Technology has impacted the world in a big way. In order to help students live a balanced life, they need to know how to balance the use of technology.
Jon Kabat-Zinn defines mindfulness as, “maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and the surrounding environment.” Being more mindful individuals helps us learn how to balance technology in our lives. Here are a few tips on how to encourage mindful tech use in the classroom.
Teach analog activities BEFORE digital activities.
When students learn digital activities first, for example reading on a device, it can be difficult for them to transfer those skills to the analog version. Teach the analog version first. After mastery has been achieved, then introduce the digital version.
Establish a screen-free classroom zone.
Set a physical location or time of day when all screens are off in the classroom. Encourage students to do the same outside of school, and take time to unplug every day.
Put your own phone away.
We are the best models for our students and children. Try to remember to keep your own phone stored away. Turning off notifications can help you be tempted less to use your phone.
Consider a weekly digital detox.
This is another behavior we can model. If possible, take some regular time away from technology each week. You might be surprised how much you enjoy it!
Research tools to promote humane technology use.
Discussed in length in the below training session, websites and apps such as F.lux, GoNoodle, Headspace, OneTab, FocusMe, and Freedom can help you and your students become more mindful about technology use.
These ideas were taken from SimpleK12's training session, “Mindful Tech Use: What Educators Need to Know.” To view more of this session, including more tips for the classroom and how to make your own phone less addicting, click here.
How can we prepare and encourage students to be more mindful about technology use, in this ever-changing digitally driven world? Comment with your thoughts below.
About the Author
Kimber Thompson is a Lead Moderator for SimpleK12 webinars and a Contributing Editor for SimpleK12.com. She writes frequently about education topics and is passionate about tools and techniques that inspire young learners. You may reach her with ideas and comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.