Lake Fenton Middle School students have screen-free “Throwback Thursday”

Angelina Vitarelli, Writer

On Nov. 21, Lake Fenton Middle School (LFMS) participated in a “Screen Free” day to reduce possible negative effects of too much screen time in the learning environment. The students left their school-provided chromebooks at home and stored their phones in their lockers for the day. The entire student body and teaching staff took part in this experimental activity. 

“Students reported more experiences of having activities in the classroom that included movement and additional dialogue between students to students and teacher to student during the day,” principal of LFMS Dan Ferguson said. “There was certainly risk-taking and benefits in their social emotional learning and interactions, but teachers and students did feel disconnected from their other learning that requires technology for some the day.”

A recent CNN study found that teens are spending roughly seven hours looking at a screen for entertainment. Not all of this screen time is negative, but the amount of time spent on some type of media can be damaging.

“In a recent study, findings suggest that students who excessively use recreational screen time may be negatively impacted emotionally, academically, with activity, and face to face communications (Twenge and Campbell 2018).” Ferguson said. 

Although it was still a normal day despite no technology, students felt the effects of “Throwback Thursday”.

“My daily activities were affected like crazy,” eighth grader savannah Fellenbaum said. “I never realized how much my education and daily life was based on technology until it wasn’t there. A lot of our classes were harder to complete or continue our learning from previous days, because we needed the computer or monitor in order to accomplish that. I think everyone was a little bit shocked at how different it was.”

Throughout “Throwback Thursday”, students and teachers alike felt the effects of no technology, some beneficial and some not. Overall, LFMS had a successful test run of this experiment, and other schools may apply it in later years.