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Viewpoint’s First-Ever Intentional Tech (IT) Weekends Inspire its Community to Disconnect and Reflect
Viewpoint’s First-Ever Intentional Tech (IT) Weekends Inspire its Community to Disconnect and Reflect

All school year, Viewpoint has been focused on teaching students the power of being intentional about how, when, and how much to use technology. As part of this theme of intentionality, the school has provided resources, hosted speakers, and addressed the drawbacks of mindless tech consumption.

This spring, Viewpoint launched its first-ever Intentional Tech (IT) Weekends, inviting the entire community to commit to "lower technology" or "no technology" weekends on March 2-3 and April 19-21

Gayle Cole, Director of Digital Learning, said, "We really encouraged our community to find balance through increased offline engagement. Data shows that breaking free from constant connectivity can enhance mental well-being, improve sleep, and increase productivity."

During IT weekends, students and their families were encouraged to embrace outdoor activities such as taking a long walk or hike, playing a game of basketball, participating in community events, playing board games instead of video games, or visiting a local library to explore a new book. 

“Our IT Weekends aren’t about abstaining from all technology use for the entire weekend or skipping school work that requires technology. Instead, it's about making intentional choices,” added Cole. “Whether it's three hours offline, six hours, or an entire day, it's about planning ahead and using technology consciously.”

Gayle emphasized that the weekend also was a way to involve families, encouraging them to have discussions and make intentional choices about technology together.

"It starts at home," she said. "While educators discuss developmental readiness and appropriateness, as a school community of families, we understand the influence of modeling behavior. We want to empower families to start thinking about this from an early age and to integrate it into their ongoing dialogue."

Families received planners prior to each IT weekend, and afterward, students had the opportunity to share their reflections on the experience.

One student expressed, "My dad and I got a lot more bonding time. Our entire family played frisbee, went on hikes, and ate delicious food. I feel like before we did this I would have never experienced so much with my family."

Another student shared, "Honestly, after I got used to it, it felt freeing not to be uselessly staring at my phone - to have a damaging cycle broken."

“I noticed that I got more sleep and felt more productive,” added another student.

As summer approaches, we urge our community to maintain tech mindfulness and nurture healthy habits. Parents and guardians are invited to join the Common Sense Media webinar "Taming Your Family's Tech Use This Summer" with Dr. Jacqueline Nesi and Dr. Emily Weinstein on Tuesday, May 21 at 9:00 a.m. You can register here to watch it live and access the recording.

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