Balancing "On and Off Screen Time" In An Independent Study Charter School

At Method Schools we aim to educate the whole student by integrating a variety of modalities into our program. As an independent charter school, we have been afforded the creative space to combine adaptive and personalized online learning with small group instruction along with collaborative and content driven projects. Through this implementation, we have quickly discovered that even while building a program that includes diversified educational activities, most content is delivered through a singular screened device and this requires ample time in front of a screen.

In order to prevent this to some degree, we have relied on the nature of our diversified and dynamic program, but have also been committed to keeping students moving. Why? According to our observations and research shared in Teaching with the Brain in Mind by Eric Jensen, the part of the brain that processes movement is the same part of the brain that processes learning. Additionally, movement and exercise is known to increase the baseline of new neuron growth. Essentially, students who move more, learn more and with today’s screen driven classrooms, we need to get students moving as often as possible throughout the day to accommodate this relationship between movement and learning.

As a newly operational charter school, we are still working to develop opportunities for exercise, sports, and clubs, but are keenly aware of the need for students, especially today, to get up and move every so often throughout the day. We try to provide a casual environment that allows for movement throughout the day between learning stations as often as possible, regular time outdoors and frequent walks to nearby parks. As we continue to grow at Method Schools, we will continue to stay committed to educating the student as a whole, and to providing the best overall educational experience possible.

Dr. Jessica Spallino
Dr. Jessica Spallino
Jessica has a demonstrated track record of building schools that are forward-thinking, high-performing, and often unconventional. She is particularly experienced at building online and blended learning charter schools, and has a passion for improving K-12 education through new and innovative models and concepts. She’s regularly asked to speak on change management and building positive and innovative cultures in schools and in the workplace. Jessica holds a BA in English, an MA in Educational Leadership, and holds PhD in Curriculum and Instruction from New Mexico State University.

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