February 25 - March 1

Science tells us we do our best and most original thinking when our brain is in a state of boredom. However, we rarely tap into this ability because our mobile devices and social media platforms are engineered to hijack the mechanisms in our brains that are supposed to tell us when to stop engaging. We (and our brains) are being entertained 24/7 and this constant connectedness is redefining expectations around work and productivity.

The Bored and Brilliant Challenge is a week-long experience, designed to give all parents, faculty & staff, and students in grades 5-12 the opportunity to be more mindful of our relationships with our devices. Through a series of daily challenges we aim to "disrupt" the way we use technology, becoming a little more bored in order to become a little more brilliant.

The Challenges

Day 1: Out of Sight

February 25 - Keep your device out of view so you must seek it out to check it rather than let those reminders pull you in.

Day 2: Photo Free

February 26 - A day without taking or posing for pictures.

Day 3: Delete that App

February 27 - Delete the app that most frequently fills your time (e.g., Two Dots, Netflix, Facebook).

Day 4: Fauxcation

February 28 - No electronic communication. Set an away message on your email saying you're participating in the Bored and Brilliant Challenge and will respond the next day (or in an hour or two if that's all you can do).

Day 5: One Small Observation

March 1 - Take note of one thing you observed today that you would have missed if you would have been on your device.

Did You Know?

  • The average person checks their device 150 times per day.
  • A single notification can derail your focus for 23 minutes.
  • The average person checks their email 74 times a day.
  • The average person switches tasks 566 times per day.
  • 10 years ago we shifted our attention at work every 3 minutes, today we do it every 45 seconds.
  • Apps are being designed to deliberately "hook" users, effectively "breaking" the mechanisms in our brains used to indicate that we've had enough of something.
  • We do our best and most original thinking when we're bored.

Resources

Bored and Brilliant Parent Program

Introducing the Bored and Brilliant Challenge for the Key Community.

3:00 - Sarah Judd, Learning Department Head and Middle School Learning Specialist, discusses the neuroscience behind the affects of Bored and Brilliant.

23:10 - Tom Adams, Director of Information Technology and Innovation, discusses the impact of technology and constant connectedness on adults and work productivity

57:19 - Erin Weiss, School Counselor for First and Lower Schools, discusses the impact of technology and constant connectedness on parenting styles and in young children.

1:09:13 - Randi Altschuler, School Counselor for Middle and Upper Schools, discusses the impact of technology and constant connectedness on tweens and teenagers.

1:16:46 - Nina Austin, Academic Technology Department Head and Technology Integrator for First and Lower Schools, introduces the Key School Bored and Brilliant Challenge.

Check Your Baseline

To prepare for the challenges which start on February 25, please take some time to get a baseline of your technology usage during the Mid-Winter Break. Apps such as Moment or Space will track usage and/or an iPhone running iOS12 gives you a Screen Time setting.