We love tech.
Here at Digital Media Academy, we really love technology and firmly believe in its power to transform lives and benefit the world. We also think kids should be exposed to tech at as early an age as possible.
So don’t get us wrong, because we love tech.
However…we do feel there’s a time and place for everything. And that’s why the DMA camp day is structured to give kids a couple of scheduled recreation breaks from tech.
STRIKING THE RIGHT BALANCE
It’s an important concept, as many leading educators and think tanks are agreeing. Kids are not automatons. They need to be able to disengage from tech activities at regular intervals.
That way they don’t develop problems with screen addiction, a new syndrome that has been observed in electronics users of all ages, wherein people are not able to separate themselves from their tech devices without experiencing very real symptoms of dependency.
And as the New Media Consortium pointed out in its 2016 Horizon Report, young learners must be given a time and place to engage in deeper thinking than what they may typically encounter electronically.
“There is freedom in being able to communicate with peers and find information any time,” admits the Horizon Report. “But if these online activities are not balanced properly with self-reflection and analysis, technology can become a crutch — an excuse not to engage in the kind of critical thinking that leads to meaningful discovery and deep understanding.”
We agree fully with these statements in the latest Horizon Report.
And for us, it’s all part of a larger question: How to strike just the right balance between classroom and recreational activities…between indoor-based learning and fun break times spent outdoors?
THE IMPORTANCE OF BREAKS
There are several reasons why regularly scheduled recreational breaks are vital to the wellbeing of growing kids and teens, and why breaks are a standard part of our camp program:
Peak Physical Condition The link between physical fitness and mental acuity has been established for decades. And nobody needs constant and regular exercise like growing young bodies.
At DMA, it only feels natural to stress exercise and fitness. However, our creative residential staff is able to “hide” that exercise inside cool games and fun contests!
Socialization Benefits To be sure, our students get to know each other inside the classroom. But most friendships are forged at other times, when kids really have a chance to talk to each other in depth and find out what each other is all about.
Our recreation breaks provide a perfect setting for young friendships. Kids are relaxed and having fun and, because of this, are receptive to making new friends.
Time to Mentally Recharge Many progressive companies (such as Google) now actually allow their workers to take quick power naps during the workday so employees can remain fully charged up and operating at peak efficiency.
A similar phenomenon exists with tech education. In order for the human mind to effectively process and store fresh information, it needs periodic down time so the brain can finish processing the new data. Recreation breaks, like the two woven into the DMA camp day, enable that process.
WE BACK IT UP WITH SUPPORT
Our commitment to providing quality, regularly scheduled recreation breaks can be seen in our use of separate staffs for handling classroom instruction and supervising campers during recreation breaks and our overnight sleepover program.
We want our campers to have the best, and that includes a well-trained and fully energized staff to give them the attention they need and keep them as engaged and entertained as possible during their time with us.
PLENTY OF TIME FOR TECH!
We hope you don’t get the wrong idea here. DMA is first and foremost a tech school and our campers have plenty of opportunities to check their messages and use their much-prized smart phones.
We just want to make sure that they have a well-rounded experience at DMA camp – so they can be positively empowered to go make great things happen through tech.
At the end of a DMA day, our campers feel tired, but it’s a good kind of tired. The kind that results from enjoying a perfectly blended camp day – one that engages not only the mind and body, but also the creative imagination.
Learn more about the DMA difference.