When JC returned to 100% virtual learning for all students last month, the amount of screen time endured greatly increased. This can quickly become too much screen time for students to handle mentally and physically.
A normal school day for me consists of attending around five or six online classes. Depending on the letter day, I may have one off-mod that lasts around 55 minutes and a 30-minute lunch. Those are the two times in a school day I have a break away from my screen. Sometimes I take those few breaks to do homework I have been assigned online. After my classes are over for the day, I have to spend more time doing homework I get throughout the day.
The school day alone is from 8:00 am to 2:45 pm. This means a school day that is almost completely online lasts around seven hours. The extra homework assignments seem to pile up and require too much screen time for students.
There are many times throughout my day when I get headaches or feel simply drained from staring at my screen. Having back-to-back classes and then homework is overwhelming at times.
Our asynchronous Fridays are good breaks from screens that many students appreciate. Many students can get their work done when they are ready and can get it done at their own pace. Also, the workload is much more manageable for students when they can create their own breaks away from their screens during the day. However, students need more breaks throughout the week, not just one full day.
The best way to help solve this problem is creating more breaks during the school day. This could be having longer breaks between classes, a second advisory, or ending classes earlier to allow for independent study. Spreading out the breaks is important to give students the chance to regain focus on work.
One could say that kids would already spend the same amount of time online playing video games or texting friends. The difference with this is that schoolwork takes concentration, focus, and lots of time away from students. Students use video games and messaging as breaks from that strenuous schoolwork. These extras are just for fun and give students a chance to relax.
For me, calling my friends or watching TV is something that can take my mind off of school for a little brain break. Calling or messaging my friends is now one of the only ways I will be able to talk to them since I no longer get to see them in school.
Students need more time away from screens and have brain breaks to help keep them motivated while doing schoolwork. Students lose motivation and drive without more brain breaks and less time looking at screens.