Students give up texting, social media for technology timeout

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Most students can’t put down their phone long enough to go days without texting or accessing their social media account. But several students at Eastwood Academy were up for the challenge. 

Sixty students recently took a time out from technology by agreeing to not text or log on to their Facebook, Instagram, SnapChat, and Twitter accounts for three to five days as part of a student leadership class.

The project, known as the Tech Timeout Academic Challenge, calls for students to shut down their digital devices for a few days and then discuss or write about their experiences. The challenge includes video creation and classroom discussions.

The challenge at Eastwood featured a Linked Learning component by having students interview participants on-camera about their experiences. Students in Advanced Placement psychology and statistics courses will create an online survey to develop a data report on the challenge, too.

Eastwood is one of eight high schools where HISD launched a Linked Learning approach this school year, to combine core academics with career-based knowledge and skills in collaborative and research-intensive learning environments.

“We’re planning to have another Tech Timeout in the spring,” said Eastwood student leadership instructor Thea Goldin Smith. “That way, the students can compare data from both challenges to see what kind of correlations they can find.”