The Hyde School in Woodstock, Conn., is kicking off the new school year by testing “no-tech Tuesdays,” during which texting and computer use are strongly discouraged.
The program came about after many students and faculty expressed concern that the use of electronic communication came at the expense of face-to-face communication and relationship building. Every Tuesday in September, faculty will be encouraged to leave their phones at home, and students will be allowed to make calls only when absolutely necessary. E-mailing by faculty will also be discouraged.
“In the past 10 years, we’ve seen a surge of technology, ultra connectivity… anyplace, anywhere,” said Head of School Laura Gould said in the press release. “While most of its effects have been positive, some are not so positive.” Though Hyde already bans cell phone use during school hours, the month-long initiative seems to be a concerted effort to call attention to these “not so positive” aspects of electronic communication.
The school’s move comes as teens rely more than ever on text messaging for communication. A recent study by the Pew Internet & American Life Project found that 54% of teens text daily, and one in three send more than 100 texts a day.