To be able to identify the benefits of a healthy balance with technology.
Introduce to the class that you’re going to watch two episodes of Search it Up: Turn it Off, Let’s Play and Hey! Time’s Up Gran. Ask the children to discuss briefly in pairs what they think the episodes may be about. Watch the videos and then have the students talk again in pairs about what each episode was about, in particular, the similarities. Potential guiding questions: How do you think Maya and Jack were feeling in these episodes? What problems do you think Gran and Robbie might have if they are always on their devices?
In small groups or pairs ask the students how many moments per day they think they use their devices – tablet, phone, TV, laptop, games console, etc . Challenge the students to work out how many moments this might be in a week? A month? A year? Provide materials and tools to facilitate this part of the activity, or structure in such a way that is best for your class. Ask the children to personally reflect on how long each of these moments may last, such as a few minutes to respond to a message or maybe 2 hours at a time to play video games. Is it more than they thought?
Explain to the class that whilst being online can be a lot of fun, it is important for people (children and adults) to reflect on how the use (and overuse) of our devices can really make us feel. Emphasise that the videos showed us that spending a lot of time on digital devices isn’t just something that children do, adults struggle to disconnect sometimes too. Open this to discussion and guide with the following potential questions: Have any of your family members ever gotten upset with you for using a device too much? Have you ever argued with your brothers or sisters about whose turn it is to use the tablet, computer, or games console? Have you ever felt really tired or grumpy because you spent so much time looking at a screen? Does anyone’s home have any rules about using devices? If so how does that make you feel? Why might these rules be important? Ask the students to talk about these questions briefly in pairs before taking and writing down key ideas and comments from the class that can be used for their writing task.
Children can write a short summary of how they use their digital devices at home and how it makes them feel. Ask them to brainstorm strategies or rules for knowing when and how to take breaks from their digital devices and when/why this might be beneficial. They can use the examples on the board to support their writing.