At the California Academy for Liberal Studies Early College High School at Los Angeles, Shannon Meyer threw a challenge to her students. They had to survive an entire week without any electronic devices. That means, no TV, no Ipod, no Blackberrys, no Facebook, and no cellphones. (via)
“Kids these days are wired to everything but connected to nothing meaningful” says Meyer. If she sees a student in class take a little too long searching for a pencil in a backpack, she knows what's really going on.
"These kids are really bright, but they're quickly bored," Meyer says. She believes the constant electronic stimulation and sensory overload make kids ill-equipped to follow the slower rhythms of classroom dialogue or to interact with one another in meaningful ways.
So, how did they cope with the ordeal that was worse than the torture at Guantanamo Bay?
Cesar Rodriguez knew he was addicted to electronic devices. But the Los Angeles 10th-grader had no idea just how sick he was."I can't stand it," he wrote in his journal on the second day of a one-week attempt to survive without television, iPods, cellphones, BlackBerrys and computers. "I woke up last night but I was still kind of asleep and I was having a dream about my phone and I started to bang my head against the pillow. I AM GOING CRAZY!!!"
Mario Canaba was turned so upside down, he actually played with some of his mother's day-care kids, but described the experience in a single word: "Painful."
Angie Gaytan lost track of the days and had a strange episode of disorientation in which she found herself staring at a piece of chicken
"I felt weird and out of order," Valerie Lira wrote in describing the experience of waking up and not turning on the television.
Daniel Romero read a book for the first time this year.
Lopez actually communicated with an uncle during a rare conversation about swine flu, politics and history.
Jenny Corona connected with her autistic brother, and, to her utter amazement, read an entire Harry Potter book in four days.
Without her headphones blocking out the real world, Flor Salvador heard strange chirping sounds. "I didn't know we had birds!" she wrote in her journal.
Note to self: Must try this experiment at home with teenaged daughters……..