We've all been there.
You've got your exams coming up, you've got your coursework needing to get submitted. You sit down to work and before long you find yourself with your phone in your hand, scrolling through social media feeds or killing five minutes on the latest game, because five minutes isn't going to hurt right?
But five minutes every half an hour soon builds up.
Before you know it you're having to cram revision, rush your coursework and in turn become stressed and don't want to do the work. A vicious cycle if there ever was one.
The head of Michaela Community School in London, Katharine Birbalsingh, stated earlier in the year that she thought that “too many pupils” refused to work at home and some parents were “unwilling” to take their phones from them.
Which in turn was leading to worse grades as students can't maintain concentration in their work in order to get the marks they need. Birbalsingh is an outspoken critic of smartphones saying that the government should consider banning smartphones for students under-16. Quite an extreme stance but one that may have got the results she wants, with the school recently celebrating what was called 'an extraordinary first set of GCSE results in the summer'..
The school already confiscates any phone heard or seen on their grounds but also now offers a Technology drop off scheme where students are encouraged to drop off their technology right up until the exams to ensure they keep concentration during revision. Birbalsingh has stated that this service is now regularly used by students.
It isn't just Michaela who think the idea of phone-free schools is a good one. Back in May more than 45 schools, as well as academy trusts, signed a letter in which they pledged to run phone-free schools. While the idea does have it pros, there's always going to be issues with forcing somebody to give you their property so in which form this phone-free system will run is still one that is up for debate.
Push does think that there is benefits to taking time away from your black screens however, especially around exam and coursework preparation.
You could implement your own technology drop-off system, perhaps giving your parents or friends your technology up until you've finished your exams and revisions. Telling your parents you need to minimise the distraction will make you more accountable in case you try to sneak a look.
If you're a little more restrained try popping your phone in your draw while you work and getting it out afterwards. Less temptation and you're less likely to be flicking through cat videos while your maths revision book lays open but sadly unread.
A technology detox around revision also has other benefits. Detaching from social media can often lead to improvements in your mental health as you concentrate purely on yourself as opposed to concentrating how you compare to famous people you don't know (Spoiler: you're just as good as them). Try revising for a while just before you go to sleep and then again when you wake up. This is a proven revision technique. If you can replace the urge to look on facebook in the morning and instead pick up your revision book for a ten minute read. You're more likely to be able to get those marks you need in the exam.
Detaching from tech for half an hour before you go to bed is also a good method to improve your sleep. Resisting the temptation to sit in bed scrolling instead of getting to sleep will improve your sleeping pattern. Something that is absolutely crucial to maximise your revision around exams.
There's also now built in ways to limit your technology time. As phone companies have become more aware of people becoming smart phone zombies they've developed apps to track your use. Apple have the Screentime which allows you to track the time you spend on each apps and even set a daily limit for any of your apps! It may be worth popping this setting on as you get around to your exams.
While technology is undoubtedly a great educational resource, sometimes what you need to do is detach. Try it around your next exams and see how much more confident you feel going in, knowing that you've put in the hard work to get the grades you want and haven't just been sitting watching your friends stories on Instagram!
ARON TENNANT is the Talks and Editorial manager for Push. He is originally from South Yorkshire and has a BA in English Language and Literature from the University of Sheffield. He also has an MA in Creative Play and Screenwriting from City, University of London and came runner up in Nickelodeon's international screenwriting competition in 2018. Alongside Push he does screenplay work for independent production companies and is working on his own independent film projects
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