Phone Addiction, Student Voice, and Brain Power

Topics include banning smartphones in schools, nurturing student voices, and summer science.

Phone Addiction, Student Voice, and Brain Power
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Happy Friday!

T.G.I.F. Teacher Newsletter #76

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One of the topics I found most interesting and worrying this week is how smartphone use affects teenagers. The data is troubling to the point where schools need to do something about it.

What do you think the solution is?

In today’s newsletter…

  • Banning smartphones to improve student well-being.
  • Nurturing student voices helps to create an inclusive educational environment.
  • Summer STEM programs and activities can keep students engaged in science and prevent learning loss.

Have a great weekend!

The News

Here are some articles that grabbed my attention.

  • Phone Addiction - Phones in schools are contributing to a mental health crisis among students, according to this Atlantic article. With increasing rates of depression, anxiety, and self-harm, schools should consider banning smartphones to improve student well-being. Students are addicted to their phones and this addiction is only worsening mental health problems.
  • Student Voice - Nurturing student voices helps to create an inclusive educational environment. If you ask young people, they will tell you they need continuous mental health support, and to help them develop the skills needed to handle challenges and setbacks. Asking students what they need is empowering and can promote positive academic and personal changes.
  • Summer Science - Summer break can negatively impact students' STEM education, especially in underprivileged areas. There has been a significant decrease in national math and reading scores, particularly among minority groups and low-income areas. To prevent learning loss, summer STEM programs and activities can keep students engaged in science. Early hands-on science exploration can inspire children to develop their curiosity and creativity.
  • Teacher Perks - Use this resource to find discounts and deals available to teachers on electronics, office supplies, craft and organizing products, clothing and shoes, travel and attractions, as well as other resources such as grants and free classroom resources.

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Personal Development and Wellness Resources

  • Exercise Therapy - Feeling anxious or depressed? Exercise may be just as effective as therapy or medication. Researchers analyzed over 1,000 randomized controlled trials and found that exercise helps people reduce their depression, anxiety, and distress even more than usual treatments. While the type of exercise didn't matter, people got more mental health benefits out of higher-intensity exercise, and less than 2.5 hours per week was actually better than more.
  • Slow Productivity - If your stress levels are increasing and you sense burnout on the horizon, slow productivity may offer relief. Slow productivity involves working a little slower on fewer tasks at a time and focusing on quality over quantity. Learn how to space out deadlines, prioritize tasks, and automate your way to lower stress levels.
  • Brain Power - To achieve your goals, it's important to understand the brain circuitry that handles all goal work. Here are eight science-backed strategies for achieving goals: set your goal such that you could anticipate achieving it 85% of the time, make a clear, specific plan, imagine how bad it will be if you don’t achieve the goal, outsmart your obstacles, prime the pump by completing small tasks first, focus your eyes to focus your mind, reward your effort, build a spacetime bridge.


"In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer. And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there’s something stronger – something better, pushing right back." —Albert Camus

Favorite Things

  • Routine - I love vacations for so many reasons. After a vacation, I’m always excited to go home and get back into the “routine”. It’s when adventure and “routine” are balanced that I feel happiest.
  • Doughnuts - I like good doughnuts, and my wife and daughters love them. Enjoy this tour of doughnuts from around the world.
  • Technology - I’ve been eyeing this new Macbook* for a few weeks now. It would certainly be an upgrade from my lower-end Chromebook. I wonder how much time I would save if I didn’t have to wait for pages to load.
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