Edison, NJ – Edison’s public schools will be participating in the first annual “Unplugged Day” on Monday.  It is part of the school district’s efforts to limit digital media use and highlight the impact of technology overuse on health.

According to the District, one study found that limiting digital media use  in children led to improved sleep, decreased BMI, improved grades, and decreased aggression. Decreased screen time has also been connected to reducing headaches and improving productivity, said the school district.

As part of the effort, teachers and students will learn, read, discuss, and collaborate, all without screens. Students are encouraged to leave their computers and phones at home on Monday, October 7.

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“Technology is a good thing. But like everything, overuse can be harmful,” said Edison Board of Education Member and Curriculum and Technology Chair Shannon Peng.   “Disconnecting once in a while helps with creativity, interpersonal communication, and helps reduce stress.”

The school district is asking parents to join the efforts by disconnecting digital devices at home, beginning on Sunday, if possible.

“We want to balance traditional learning methods with e-learning technologies.  I do want to thank our teachers and parents who are assisting with these efforts,” said Ms. Peng. 

Some relevant statistics provided by the District:

96% of Americans own a cellphone of some kind, 81% own smartphones.

81% of Americans say they go online daily, including 28% who are online “almost constantly”

69% of smartphone users check their phone within 5 minutes of waking up in the morning

29% of cell phone owners describe their phone as “something they can’t imagine living without”