New initiative for students to give up their phones for a week and reconnect


A new initiative is challenging young people to give up digital technology for one week to raise awareness about the amount of time people spend online, reports the TES.

The thought of turning off your phone for a whole week might cause some people mild panic, but this is exactly what groups of secondary school students have been doing as part of a new project to raise awareness about the amount of time we spend online.

The Reconnect Project, a screen-awareness initiative that promotes a balance of online and offline activities, has been asking school students across the country to switch off for a week in order to reconnect with offline activities.

The project is targeted primarily at secondary school pupils, but is designed to promote wider debate and conversation. It begins with a six-week scheme of work that explores issues around the use of digital technology. In the penultimate week, pupils are encouraged to switch off for seven days and then reflect on the experience.

Better conversation was high on the list of positives reported by the 1,500 pupils who have participated in the project so far. They also reported improvements in family life, sleep and homework, amongst other benefits.

Although they spent an average of three hours a day on their screens, a significant number of the pupils who took part said they were regularly online for six, seven or even more than eight hours a day before the project. Many believed they were addicted and were surprised to find that spending time offline wasn't as hard as they anticipated.

The ethos of the Reconnect Project is about a question of balance. When pupils spend too much time looking at their screens, there is a knock-on effect in terms of health, happiness, concentration and employability.

Digital Learning