The Art of Slow and Getting to Know

The Hare and the Tortoise From: http://bit.ly/1kEGO9E Using Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

I must confess that one of the reasons my     husband and I decided to move to a regional country area of New South Wales was for a slower pace of life. Has this happened? To some degree yes but in other areas no. We have both been               continuing with our studies, joined a dog training club approximately an hour from where we live, continued with our Sydney flyball club and attending training and competitions, I started back at an adult tap class and have started taking a yoga class once a week. Not to mention the 3 hours I spend traveling to and from work each day. Where is the balance in all of this and the link to Youth and Popular Culture?

Well isn’t it the same for our youth of today, especially those                  completing their final school exams, the HSC in NSW? They need to be enabled to get the balance right. Are the adults who surround them setting good examples on this front? We may be talking the talk but are we leading by example? I am not attacking anyone with this comment, rather reflecting on what we all do, especially myself.

When I worked in a public library I was responsible for running a        programme of HSC lectures and I would get Rowan Kunz to come and speak about getting the balance right between study and the rest of their lives such as sport, while providing good techniques and             strategies for effective study. I also had sessions from the team at the University Of Technology Sydney Health Psychology Unit about stress. At the school I work in I am lucky to have access to a great pastoral care team who I can approach if I have any concerns regarding students, no matter what year group they belong to.

I believe that we also need to show this support in student’s use of technology. I love my technology gadgets and when the lecturer for one of my units this semester sent an email listing gadgets we could be using all at one time I could have put my hand up as a yes that’s what I’m doing now. I don’t believe that we should be regressing to luddites, rather we need to be grasping every development that comes our way and evaluating their affordances for teaching and learning. Who would have thought just a few years back that we would be seeing 3D printers in schools or able to use augmented reality tools to enhance teaching and learning?

At the same time we need to be taking on board the concerns regarding technology from the very young through to young adults and helping them and their families navigate this new minefield, as often it is seen. We ourselves need to be creating good habits like taking a break from technology before trying to sleep and perhaps learning to turn it off or take it out of our sleep settings. I know this is a hard one and I’m not sure if it will succeed in my household as the phone is the most reliable alarm in the house, but I’m going to try and we need to help support youth to do the same. So let’s see we can all do for our own good and the good of the students around us, while still being able to enjoy all the wonderful directions that technology can take us.

References

Ernest, J. M., Causey, C., Newton, A. B., Sharkins, K., Summerlin, J., & Albaiz, N. (2014). Extending the global dialogue about media, technology, screen time, and young children. Childhood Education, 90(3), 182-191. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/1528862094?accountid=13380

Punamaki, R., Wallenius, M., Nygard, C., Saarni, L., & Rimpela, A. (2007). Use of information and communication technology (ICT) and perceived health in adolescence: The role of sleeping habits and waking-time tiredness. Journal of Adolescence, 30(4), 569-585. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/62056103?accountid=13380

Thomée, S., Eklöf, M., Gustafsson, E., Nilsson, R., Hagberg, M. (2007) Prevalence of perceived stress, symptoms of depression and sleep disturbances in relation to information and communication technology (ICT) use among young adults: an explorative prospective study. Computers in Human Behavior, 23(3), 1300-1321. Retrieved from  http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2004.12.007.

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3 thoughts on “The Art of Slow and Getting to Know”

  1. Hi Claire, great post! Something I had not given much thought to as you just tend to follow inertia and keep going with life and only slow down once you hit the bed. It is such a current topic though with all mindfulness coming to the forefront, be that adult colouring, origami or meditation. I agree that it is important to teach things like this to youth, letting them know there is still a world without technology and they don’t have to be immersed in it 24/7. Mindfulness is really being promoted where I work/study, QUT in order to get staff to get that work life balance as well as stressed out students. Perhaps part of university orientation should include a colouring book or maybe origami paper? Maybe we should not only focus on youths digital texts that they are already surrounded by but also the non-digital and non-tangible texts like calming their minds which can only aide them in their future no matter digital texts come their way 

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    1. Madelin that is so true. I have asked for some pencils and mindfullness colouring books for Christmas for myself as after a couple of years of study I want something I can do, other than all my crazy dog stuff, that will keep me busy with a calming influence. I am also hoping to use them as part of the recovery process after some surgery I am waiting on. I think the thought of me being out of action for at least 4 weeks is enough on it’s own to make the books turn up along with some more leisure reading 🙂

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  2. I agree. We have to teach students (and ourselves) to balance screen time and non-screen time. It concerns me as a parent and a teacher when students are set or encouraged to spend several hours each week outside of school hours work on screens. Many reports into healthy screen usage have been published in recently times; however, I did read a counter argument, not necessarily about screen time, but about sleep which speculated that pre-industrial people slept only six to seven hours – see:

    http://www.theguardian.com/science/2015/oct/15/modern-life-is-rubbish-sleep-is-just-the-same-as-ever-say-scientists.

    I think the intensity of the activity prior to sleep associated with screen time is different from engaging in community activity around a fire; however, it is an interesting counter argument.

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