Tech Free Zone?


Ethan Buso, Jay Journal Staff

Towards the end of the 2017-2018 school year a group of 5 representatives from the Midwest Province of the Jesuits came to Prep to do a Mission and Identity review. They told Prep to look at the way students use technology and think about how to get students to socialize and engage with each other more. 

Prep has been trying to think of different ways to experiment with limitations on technology.

“Technology creates on opportunity for students to be with and encounter each other.” said Mr. Dan Kennedy, SJ.

Kennedy has been tasked with coming up with ideas to try and limit technology throughout the school. He talked about possible areas of the school where technology could potentially be limited.

“The Lannon Learning Commons, I don’t imagine will have any technology restrictions,” said Kennedy.

During a student council meeting in October, the issue was brought to the attention of Student Council President, Josh Kramer. It was then discussed by a Student Council subcommittee to decide whether it was a real issue throughout the school.

“It’s important in the classroom to limit Phone/iPad usage because it’s learning time, however when you’re in a place where you have free time then that should mean free device usage,” Kramer said.

The committee tried to come up with ways that Prep could work on limiting technology. They talked about possibly not allowing earbuds while at the lunch table or not allowing phones at a lunch table for the first ten minutes or so, but the committee decided to not experiment with anything yet.

“When you put in earbuds you disconnect yourself from your table which takes away the community thing we’ve been trying to build,” Kramer added. “But phones are a great conversation starter.”

Students all use technology in different ways. Some just want to relax and play games or watch a show when they have free time. One things for sure, not many students are pushing for more restrictions. 

“Stopping one problem often leads to more problems,” junior Jack Cavlovic said,“If a certain area in the school is technology free, then students will all crowd into a different area.

Students at Prep all have opinions themselves on the issue. Some can see the need for technology limitations. Other students believe that we have enough or even too much. Students think if the school were to add more rules on technology could open up more issues in the school.

“I don’t think kids think about technology it’s just ingrained into their everyday life,” Prep’s school psychologist Mr. Kevin Kaminski said. 

The benefit of having tech free areas is they allow people to disconnect and to communicate with others. The dependency on technology has always been there to where kids think of a phone or ipad as something that is basic and is to the point where it is abused. 

“I think with this generation to be technology free is going to be next to impossible,” Kaminski said.

With the thoughts spreading about having certain technology limitations form at Prep, no actual plans have been formed. There is no time zone on when any rule will be in place, or if it ever will be. 

“(Prep) might experiment with some restrictions during Lent, but besides that I don’t see any rules being placed until next school year.” Kennedy said.