FXW Day of Unplugging

FXW Families,

We’re looking forward to our second annual FXW Day of Unplugging! Starting Thursday, February 7th at 3:15 and ending at the end of the school day on Friday, February 8th, all teachers and students will be device-free. We’d like you to join us, too. Here is information on our 24-hour digital respite. We’ve also provided additional resources to help make this a meaningful day for you and your children.

First a bit of background on the National Day of Unplugging. For the last few years, Reboot, a nonprofit Jewish community established in 2003, has promoted a national, 24-hour respite from technology that they have called a National Day of Unplugging. The idea was inspired by The Sabbath Manifesto, an adaption of the Jewish ritual of carving out one day per week to unwind, unplug, relax, reflect, get outdoors, and connect with loved ones.

For our FXW Day of Unplugging, the goal is for our school community to spend the day connecting and learning without the use of any devices and ultimately to have our students be more aware of the things that matter—our connections with each other without a device in between us. Technology allows us to do a lot of wonderful things and to make connections that weren’t previously possible! However, by taking a “break” we can see when technology adds value to our lives, and when it keeps us from better, real-world experiences.

What will our Unplugged time look like in our classrooms?

  • Students and teachers will participate in device-free time from 3:15 pm Thursday, February 7th through the end of the school day Friday, February 8th. This includes after school time on Thursday.
  • 5th-8th grade students will leave their devices at home on Friday (2/8).
  • If teachers assign homework, it will be device-free homework Thursday night (2/7).
  • Teachers will plan device-free instruction for Friday (2/8).
  • Teachers will not be checking email during our Unplugged time. To send a message to your student’s teacher(s), contact the front office at either campus and a message will then be delivered to your student’s classroom.
  • There will be no morning PA announcement on Friday (2/8).
  • Toward the end of the day on Friday (2/8), teachers are encouraged to ask students about their experience being device-free for 24 hours.

How can you participate and unplug at home as a family?

  • Use the time away from devices to  discuss how technology provides (by design) positive reinforcement or dopamine bursts—it makes us feel good on a biological level. Suggest alternatives ways that a similar positive experience can be obtained. In other words, things like physical exercise, relaxation & mindfulness, enjoying music, visiting with a friend, doing something nice for someone in need, appreciating a piece of artwork, smelling something good, unexpected visits or surprises, etc. Last year’s speaker to the HNC campus, Dr. Jason Hacker, talked about working with students to use their imagination to think of all the things you could be doing when you spend time playing video games or scrolling through social media. An important part of feeling in control with the devices, games, social media we have today can come from using the 4 Ts: realizing how much time we spend on tech (tracking), imagining other positive things we could do with that time (talking), setting device-free times and limits on use (tech free and time limits).
  • Ask your students to think about the importance technology plays in their daily lives. How do they want to change this? What are small steps they can make to find a better tech-nontech balance? How might your family work on small steps together?
  • We’ll be sharing cell phone sleeping bags with all 7th-8th graders who would like one. They’re a clever way to put phones out of the way and out of sight!