Students go back to basics and use less technology on 'Mindful Monday'

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Sandy, Utah — As teachers and students explore ways to balance the use of technology in the classroom, one of Sandy’s schools is kicking off the week with a back-to-basics “Mindful Monday.”

Indian Hills Middle School Principal Doug Graham said: “So we came up with this idea: in the week he’ll come up with a day, rest it, rest it.”

According to Graham, “Mindful Mondays” was born as a response to the challenges students faced in the classroom after the COVID pandemic, when online learning became a daily necessity. Now, every Monday, an Indian Hills student puts away her phone and her Chromebook, and teachers are looking for opportunities to reduce technology use in the classroom.

For some, it goes back to the basics of using pencil and paper, using workbooks, and having group discussions.

“We really need to start pulling back and making more mixed models of learning,” Graham said.

In Katie Buffington’s 7th grade English class, “Mindful Monday” began with the “old-fashioned” way of correcting sentences in pencil to paper instead of relying on Microsoft Word.

“I’m the iPad generation. I can’t imagine what this generation is. They’re iPads to the extreme,” Buffington says. “So it’s just part of their daily routine. They’re not really exposed or used to this lack of immediate technology response.”

Buffington says that for some students, the distance from technology can be overwhelming, making “Mindful Mondays” even more important to their educational development.

“Our brain remembers what we write down much better than what we type or read,” said Buffington. “So I try to have them see, listen and write as much as possible on Monday and then later in the week apply them to the technology or both or whatever method works best.”

Students in Buffington’s class say they miss using Chrome books, but they love Mindful Mondays.

said Darien Gutierrez, seventh grader at Indian Hills Middle School. “But I also like using computers because I can catch up faster than I can write.”

“Last year we were on the computer, canvas, canvas, canvas, but now we are really back on paper and able to write and improve our handwriting,” says Grade 7 Madeleine Thaut. I was. “I think it helps our brains develop more.”

According to Thaut, students at Indian Hills Middle School are more engaged at lunchtime thanks to “Mindful Mondays.”

“With ‘Mindful Monday,’ you can sit down, have lunch, and actually talk to them. ‘Hey, how was your weekend? What did you do?’ Instead of texting them, to,” said Taut.

Graham also said he noticed more interaction with students in the lunchroom on Mondays, another goal of Mindful Mondays.

“Like the lunch room, I want my kids to be able to socialize. Once a week it’s nice to go there and socialize face-to-face and see the kids go out and play again. And you know, 20 minutes might not be a very dramatic effect, but it’s important, and it’s important to understand that you need to pay attention to how long you use your phone. It helps,” he said.

While there are no set rules for teachers regarding “Mindful Mondays,” we hope to reduce the use of technology in our classrooms and set a good example for our students.

“Ultimately, we want our students to have the best possible experience, and that may or may not be due to the technology in their hands,” says Graham. . “And we really have to get back to that balance.”

For Buffington, “Mindful Monday” is an important reminder that there are many ways to educate, and technology is just one of them.

“I think the world we live in now is all about balance,” said Buffington. “For the second year in a row we only had screens in front of us for education and things like that. I think it’s educationally rewarding to take, and personally.”