One of the creative ways that the Principal from Washington, D.C imposed for students to disconnect electronic devices was to offer $100. The Principal offers $100 for students who turn off their electronics 1 day a week over summer break.
This was the challenge given to motivate students not to use electronic devices. “I really want the kids not mindlessly grabbing for the phone, but thinking about whether or not the phone is going to be their source of entertainment,” said Diana Smith – The school principal.
The challenge is called “No-Tech-Tuesday Summer Challenge” which asks students to spend each of the eleven Tuesdays over summer break completely disconnected from any of their screens. Smith then offered cash out from her own pocket of $100.
The challenge is open for 8th and 9th graders in her school which is rising to 160 students. Which can spend her about $16,000.
"Students have to prove that they complete the challenge by having 2 adults send a letter to her, " conforming that they know, with certainty, that you had no screen time on any of the 11 summer Tuesdays". Smith wrote on the school's website.
Smith’s then received a lot of compliments which the students are so much interested in achieving the challenge and parents has been overwhelming reactions too.
One of the students confessed of how he used electronic devices normally spends 4 to 6 hours a day online – 14-year old Nikolas Davis. When he decided to take part of the challenge, he then thinks of strategies on how to stay offline over summer break.
He thought of reading a book, ride a bike, go running or exercise in a gym on this tech-free time.
"I hope that having the students spend time without devices will result in long term habit changes. I am hoping it will be disruptive enough to get them about, 'Gee, maybe I liked who I was on Tuesday, and maybe I want to be like that on Wednesday and Thursday too." - Smith said.
This is a brilliant strategy that the principal came up with to let the students feel the importance of other things as well.
Partly, this technique is not applicable to all schools. It could probably be quoted or considered as “Not a lifelong strategy for students”. It will not be a lifelong especially when the students only up for the prize. This depends of the students’ response of this strategy. On the other hand, what if the school doesn’t have a dollar to spend for the prize? What if students are only up the prize and won’t instill it on their mind and hearts?
Suggested Strategy that could add up to your lists at no cost.
- Make a schedule first, maybe for 2-3 weeks. Example: No gadgets 1 hour per day. That free 1 hour time, spend it to their liked sports, hobby or something that interests them the most. Even if its not educational as long as they can turn it to something else.
- Write something about disadvantages will happen on the board or stick it at the refrigerator’s door about disadvantages of using too much tech. Just write 1 at a time for them to internalize.
- Inspire kids to cook or do chores.
- Reward sometimes of a trip, a picnic or something that involves family relation-bond.