Monday, November 17, 2014

Screen time: Me versus the students

Coteacher: So, how much time do you spend on your computer?
EPIK teacher: Hmmm…maybe 6 hours a day?
Class: Whoa! 
Coteacher: Really? What do you do?
EPIK teacher: Everything. Lesson planning, shopping, sports news, email…
[Coteacher and class nod] 
--Demonstration lesson video at an EPIK workshop, Yangyang, circa 2012.

I’ve written about phones and “screen time” on here before, yet…lately the idea of comparing my screen time to the students came to mind. It wouldn’t be right to complain about something others do when I do it, so let’s take a look at how the numbers compare. Bear in mind that this is completely unscientific...

I started with the overly cynical and unrealistic idea that students spend every spare moment on their phones. And how many spare moments do they have? Let’s see: There 10 minutes between classes, 60 minutes for lunch, 20 minutes for cleaning time, and 60 more minutes for the dinner hour at school. Considering the hours between 8:30am and 7pm, the timetable looks like this:

Breaks between classes (6 @ 10 minutes each)
Lunch break
Dinner break
Cleaning time
200 minutes (3 hours, 20 minutes)

And me?
Breakfast: Emails and blogs
School: Planning, research, emails
After school: Emails, videos, music


Well then. We both spent a lot of time in front of computers or phones...but to be realistic, there's no way the students can spend all of their time in front of computers or phones. It's impossible. It only looks that way sometimes. And as the cliche goes, looks can be deceiving. I probably spend more time in front of screens than the students do. It'd be good to remember that.

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