Healthy Tech Promise and events: your feedback requested

A message from the Department of Teaching and Learning

Dear families,

We’re excited to invite you to give feedback on a draft Healthy Tech Promise and to attend a community event focused on student technology use later this spring.

Technology, both in and out of the classroom, can be a point of controversy and concern. For every way using a laptop or a website or an app makes our life more connected and helps us learn and share our learning, families and educators share worries about cyberbullying, lack of human connection and wasted time or lost connection to nature.

We’ve been fielding questions and concerns from families and community members about the health and wellness implications of our 1:1 Technology program. We know, for example, that sleep is very important for health and school achievement, and that technological devices can interrupt sleep. Through organizations like the American Academy of Pediatrics, we are also learning the importance of focusing on both the quality and quantity of screen time.

For these reasons, our wellness department is partnering with our educational technology department to create a draft Healthy Tech Promise. Similar to our Good Food Promise, which guides our values around food in our schools and classrooms, the Healthy Tech Promise will guide us with a broad set of shared values we—families, educators, and students alike—can use to build a tech environment where it is easier to lead healthy and balanced lives in a digital world.

Here’s where we need your help on a couple of action items:

  • Please send your thoughts about and suggestions for our draft Healthy Tech Promise to William.Palmer@bellinghamschools.org
  • Middle and high school parents: Please mark your calendars for our districtwide healthy tech night 6 to 7:45 p.m. Monday, April 29 at Options High School, 2015 Franklin Street
    • Topics will include: relationships in a digital age, social media mindfulness, mentoring students for healthy tech use, what to expect from middle and high school 1:1 programs

Your neighborhood schools may also be hosting events—watch your school’s newsletter and calendar for details. You can also find more technology resources for families here.

We are committed to preparing students for a rapidly changing world and guiding them as they learn to be critical thinkers, respectful and compassionate humans and honest citizens in digital spaces. Thank you in advance for being partners with us on this journey.

Sincerely,

Bill Palmer, Director of Teaching and Learning: Technology Integration

Jessica Sankey, Director of Teaching and Learning: Wellness