Scavenger Hunts and Screen-Time

It was the 1996 annual Halton-wide scavenger hunt and one of our stops was at Easterbrook’s Hotdog stand in Aldershot, on the west side of Burlington. The object we had to find was an obscure menu item on the old board on the wall inside the restaurant.

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Fast forward to 2019 and what does a scavenger hunt, an 84 year-old hotdog stand, social media and screen-time have in common? Lots.

A scavenger hunt has a purpose, an end-point – the win. The team that completes all of the required tasks in the fastest time, wins the race. Its structure is an exercise in efficiency. You have to stay on task, complete each step, and find the object that allows you to begin the next step. Rinse and repeat. You don’t take “scenic routes” or get distracted, or you’re out of the competition. Continue reading “Scavenger Hunts and Screen-Time”

Are Students Really Leaving Facebook?

IMG_0001I’m not a social scientist, whatever that is (heard someone describe themselves as that this week, but they couldn’t really explain it). But I know things, I hear things, and I ask about things, a lot – with the students that I teach. And having been in four different secondary schools this past week in Lakefield, Scarborough, Kitchener and Oakville, I thought I would ask all 5,100 of them; “Who still has an active Facebook account?” Most all of them do. “Who has checked into their Facebook account within the past week.” Almost everyone. “Who uses Facebook less than they used to.” About half, with most still using it regularly. But here’s the rub; students/teens are using Facebook with a more defined and specific purpose – like a utility. They login, scan their News Feed, add content when they have something to say or to apprise their friends of, contribute to their friend’s conversations and content – and move along to their other social sites, apps and activities. Continue reading “Are Students Really Leaving Facebook?”