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Students conduct No Technology experiment at Cobham Hall

Published Wednesday 19th of January 2011 03:28:28 PM

Four Sixthformers at Cobham Hall recently conducted an experiment to assess the impact of technology in their lives.

On the morning of Wednesday 12th January, the students handed in their mobile phones and put aside their computers. For three days they did not use microwaves, toasters or DVD players. They also gave up their hairdryers and straighteners and did not watch television. All school work had to be done using the school's reference library rather than the internet, and homework assignments were, of course, written by hand.

The experiment was the idea of their English teacher, Miss Julia West, who joined them in the challenge. Miss West said 'we had been discussing in class the amazing advances in technology since the 1950s, and the girls thought it would be a good idea to experience life without technology for a while.'

The girls had listed all the things they would have to forego, which included some surprises such as cash machines, alarm clocks. At the start of the experiment, the girls had agreed that they thought they would miss their mobile phones most. By Friday afternoon, they all confirmed that this had indeed been the hardest thing. They had also missed their laptops and their music, and had found it really quiet in their study bedrooms, admitting to going to bed early.

Anna Guggenbuehl said 'It was not really like being in the 50s because we could still see technology in use all around us.' They agreed that they had not realised just how much they used technology and admitted that they had nearly broken the rules on occasions. Maxi Wolf said 'A friend just said 'come and listen to this' and I quickly had to stop myself putting on the headphones!'

Lise-Elen Meyering found that her homework took longer. 'I had to do my research in the school library rather than using the internet, but I did find that having to make written notes rather than photocopying helped me retain the information better.' It was generally agreed that, although they would be very relieved to be able to use the internet for research again, they would make more use of books and written notes in future.

The girls appreciated that their teachers had also found it difficult working with the girls without use of videos, projectors and interactive whiteboards.

The girls all agreed that they had learned something in the three days, but only Lise-Elen said that she would consider repeating the experience.

All were delighted to have their phones back on the Saturday morning and are now back in regular contact with their friends and families.
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