Students put a lot of time into studying, but not all study time is created equal.
On one hand, you can study by spending focused, uninterrupted blocks of time on reading, thinking, taking notes, and working through practice problems. On the other hand, you can spend that same amount of time, but be constantly interrupted by chat notifications, checking Instagram and Facebook, and playing Fortnight “for just a few minutes.”
It can take a surprisingly long time to get back on task after an interruption or a distraction. In fact, it takes an average of about 25 minutes (23 minutes and 15 seconds, to be exact) to return to the original task after an interruption, according to Gloria Mark, who studies digital distraction at the University of California, Irvine.
That means that a study session with even just a few disruptions can be far less effective! And that is just for small interruptions. I think that most people would be surprised to see how much time, in total, those “quick checks” take up on a daily or weekly basis.
Bring awareness to your child’s iPhone use with “Screen Time”
If your son or daughter complains of not having “enough time” to get their work done, Apple has provided students (and parents) a great new tool to help aid awareness of they are using their time on their smartphones. It’s called Screen Time, and you can access it by choosing tapping the Setting app.
Here are 3 ways that iPhone’s Screen Time feature can help kids find more study time.
1. Screen Time tell you how much time you’ve spent on each app
First, it can tell you how much time today, and over the past week, the student has spent on any specific app.
Once you are in Screen Time, tap on the name of the phone, and you’ll be taken to a screen with a graph of how time was spent on the phone. Scroll down, and you can toggle between “Show Categories” (to see categories like “Reading and Reference”, “Social Networking”, “Entertainment”, and more) and “Show Apps and Websites” (which will break time spent down by app and website).
Looking at how their (and maybe even your) time is being spent on the phone can be surprising, and enlightening.
2. Screen Time provides “App Limits”
You can set limits on how your kids’ use their iPhones in a couple of ways. One of them is limiting the amount of time, in total, that can be spent on any specific app by tapping on “App Limits” within Screen Time. This allows either the parent, or the student, to set limits (that can be overridden with a password when necessary).
This is a tool that I use myself. For example, I have a daily limit of 15 minutes on Safari (because I can spend a LONG time browsing the internet if I’m not careful!).
Any apps that the parent or student feel that too much time is spent on can have a limit applied.
3. Screen Time can schedule “Downtime”
“Downtime” sets a period of time each day that cuts of access to all apps (other than those specifically chosen under the “Always Allowed” portion of Screen Time shut down (again, this can be overridden for a particular app with a password). This is good for folks that need to schedule distraction-less time (like study time, or bed-time) that mindless phone use could get in the way of. “Downtime” has definitely helped me to get to bed earlier!
The ease of connection to the limitless information of the internet is a tremendous boon to those who use it well. But its ease also makes distraction easy, which can prevent students from getting their most important tasks done. “Screen Time” can help bring consciousness to how the use their devices, and help them make wise choices now about how they want to use their devices in the future.
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