Disconnecting From Technology (For A While)

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The Tech Timeout Academic Challenge is an innovative school program, presented by Foresters™, that challenges students to shut down their digital devices for a few days and then discuss or write about their experiences. Together with teachers and family, students become more aware of their dependence on technology as they explore how it feels to be temporarily disconnected from their online world. They will discuss concepts like “fear of missing out” (FOMO)1, a condition that has started to permeate society as we’ve been accustomed to up-to-the-minute status reports from everyone in our network.

The Tech Timeout Academic Challenge includes videos, classroom discussion guides and activities. Participating teachers will receive a step‐by‐step guide to help them organize their own Tech Timeout Academic Challenge in individual classrooms or school-wide.

It’s a fascinating social experiment that asks:

  • What are we missing by not building “down” time into our days?
  • Is our media consumption having an actual physical effect on our  brains?
  • Do incessant upbeat social media posts by others lead to a distorted view of ourselves?

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Can You Make it Three Days?

These students have. See how it affected them.

Over 5,000 students across the US and Canada have already taken the Tech Timeout Academic Challenge. Make your school next, order a kit.

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I didn’t really think it would be a big deal, but now I’m almost ashamed at how much I used to use my phone and the computer and I’m really happy I participated in this.

— Alexis Rose, Issaquah High School
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I’d recommend this challenge to any person of any age, not only to see if you could last the 3 days, but to see what YOU get out of it.

— Jon Ryder, Issaquah High School
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In my own personal experience, unplugging from technology meant that it gave me the chance to talk to the people around me in my class, instead of texting my best friend in another class.

— Corinthas White, TAF Academy
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This break allowed me to take more time to physically socialize with people during and after school rather than substituting that time with Facebook or text message.

— Jonathan Kuc, TAF Academy
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I Survived The Academic Challenge

Debra Wallace Prince Johnson Taylor Wiggins Shay Cole Johnson Farhiya Mohamed Nyiemah Kimbrough Nyiemah Kimbrough jesus Trey harrison Carolina Bueno Alejandro Leyva anithia Jh'Ayla Clark Madison Martinez Roxanne Tello Luis Hernandez Alisha Johnson Gueydar Roman Arpan Giri Hannah Abell GRISELDA Fabiola Alvidrez shaavon sage Shandel Garrett Alixandria Garrett Megan Parrish haehsoe sanjuana lopez Genesis Ortiz Eloy Ruiz Michael A. Stusser Ashokkumar Gloria Mattson Marty Riemer

Did You Survive?

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survived the Tech Timeout Academic Challenge and went three days without all electronic devices.

Is your school or class ready to take the Tech Timeout Academic Challenge?

Foresters will provide - free of charge - a Tech Timeout Academic Challenge kit to the first 1,000 schools who request it below. Foresters is offering a chance to win 5 x $500 incentives to schools that sign up to complete the program by school year end. Schools that sign up will be entered in a drawing to win.

What’s in the Tech Timeout Academic Challenge kit?

The Tech Timeout Academic Challenge kit provides student groups, teachers and administrators the structure and resources needed to organize their own academic challenge.  It includes the following materials:
  • "Tech Timeout Academic Challenge" video – Tells the story of a school outside of Seattle that participated in one of the first Tech Timeouts. Students talk of their experience and enthusiastically endorse the idea for other schools.
  • "Sleeping with Siri" video – In this award‐winning documentary, journalist Michael Stusser takes the Tech Timeout premise and turns it on its head. He goes on a one‐week techno‐gorge, followed by a week free from all digital distractions.
  • Classroom Discussion and Activity Guide – for discussions and activities, whether or not the class organizes a Tech Timeout.
  • Organizer’s Guide – To be used by those facilitating a three-day challenge, whether in a classroom or school-wide setting.
  • Family Packet – a useful collection of materials for communicating with parents about the Tech Timeout.
  • Plus more materials developed by Twisted Scholar, Inc., an innovative Seattle-based production company which offers a variety of compelling, research-based programs for schools.































About Tech Timeout and Foresters

For 140 years, Foresters™, an international financial services provider, has fulfilled its purpose to enhance family well-being for its members and the communities where they live. A fraternal benefit society, Foresters offers quality life insurance and investment products, unique member benefits and inspiring community activities. Foresters shares its financial strength with more than one million members in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom. For more information, visit foresters.com.