Friday, February 14, 2014

A STEM-Style Snow Day, Part 1: The Precursor

We have had some snow here the last few days.  And when I say "some snow," that means multiple inches--up to 24 inches in part of the state of Maryland!   With the snow of course came 2 snow days from school, resulting in a 5 day weekend with both Valentine's Day & Presidents' Day.  Between the shoveling and the outdoor frolicking with the dogs, and even a little bit of pink & red valentines, it still seems like the biggest gravitational pull for my kids is still the electronics.

Being an EdTech and an Eco teacher, I often find myself a bit split. There's so much you can do to grow mentally, using technology.  Yet, I see the addictive side.  Even for me--how many times have I played "Words With Friends" or checked Facebook today?  What else could I have been doing with that time?

So, if I'm split, and I have some semblance of self-control, how are kids to navigate?  You need to be the type of parents who shut them down regularly so your kids can see (and learn) the beauty of balance.

Though, I must admit, it makes me the "Tech Police" far more than I want to be.

So, what does an EdTech teacher/mom do about--Start a Pinterest Page called "Unplug:  Tech Timeout."

One of my favorite parts of my new-found "pins" was the Sherry Turkle TED Talk "Connected, But Alone." With 15 years of Internet and interconnected tech studying, Sherry's come upon a lot of the same things I've been pondering in my house...though, of course, she's taken them to a master level.  Sherry's book "Alone Together:  Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other" sounds like an interesting read.  At the very least, her TED Talk falls in my version of "Must See TV" (which ironically invites us all to step away from the TV, texting, and other technology).

Watch the Sherry Turkle "Connected, But Alone" TED Talk here:

Other great ideas were listed at the Tech TimeOut website.  It's definitely a website I want to be visiting.  You'll find great "To Do" lists, challenges, articles, and infographics to get you thinking even more about how to shape your own level of unplugging.

It's definitely helped get my mind rolling on how to better shape these snow days and holidays of ours this weekend.

Beach photo from
Pinterest Page pic, screenshot from
Video from

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