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26 October 2018

posted 25 Oct 2018, 16:15 by Carolyn Brett
"Come tramping with us", said our energetic, wilderness loving friends! 

So that's how we found ourselves embarking on a bit of a Labour Weekend adventure involving lots of hills, great views and the requirement of a growth mindset on multiple occasions!

I'd looked at the information about the track and thought I'd seen that there wasn't mobile reception at one of the huts. I could do that..... it's only for one night, I told myself - yes, doable. No sooner were we over the first large (and, I must say, very steep!) hill, I checked my phone and, yes, there it was "no service". In fact, it remained "no service" until we were nearing the end of the 3 days.  

The first day I did a bit of an inward mini panic, by the second day I'd relaxed into it and reminded myself that this is how my life used to be, by the third day I was actually starting to enjoy the fact that I was out of reach, it felt spacious. It was so interesting to reflect on how 'always on' I have become. The constant scrolling, the constant checking, the constant half listening for the ding or the ping, the quick responses, the brain always ticking..... no time to admire the beech forest, that's for sure!

How and when did that happen and how can I dial it back so I can still do my job well? The big question so many of us are faced with! I am not alone in this, that I know!

This reminded me of an article I read a couple of weeks ago by a health professional, paediatric physiotherapist, Julie Cullen, "Technology and our tamariki - are we getting it right?". Julie discusses some of the research that has been done in the last year about the use of technology in NZ schools and the effects of too much screen time. She also discusses the 'global push to moderate tech'. I recommend having a read as it's not just the screen time between 8.55 am and 3.00 pm. Some of our children have access from the minute they get home until they leave for school again the following morning. 

I believe we provide a good balance here. Many activities using screens are collaborative, it's limited time frames, there is plenty of action, talking and listening, inside/outside. Our curriculum is big and broad but it's always that tension with also making sure we are equipping our children for the future. As Julie Cullen says in the article, "Here in New Zealand, the time is right to become world leaders in the excellent use of technology in schools, and to find platforms to prepare our children to use computers as tools, while promoting safe use and balance both in schools and in the wider community".

This is a home and school issue. We will keep evaluating what we do at school, and let's make use of this summer term and its longer evenings to make sure our children are out and about doing some hands on physical exploring, getting close to nature and maintaining balance. 

"No service!"
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