Picture this: You’ve finally reached your trip destination and you’re beyond excited for your group to see the event you’ve spent a year planning. Then, you look up only to see most of the students staring at their smart phones. You can’t help but feel disappointment.
This situation is all too common on educational trips. It can be hard to compete with TikTok, Snapchat, Instagram and texting. We’d like to help you encourage your students to put the device away and absorb the experience around them. But first, we should acknowledge that smart phones do offer some respectable benefits.
Benefits to Technology on Student Trips:
- Smart phones are the easiest way for students to check in with their assigned chaperone at specific times, especially at large venues like theme parks or museums.
- Some venues use apps to add an extra educational element to students’ experience.
- Smart phone cameras offer a convenient way to capture memories.
- Texting or a quick call is also an efficient way to contact other friends on tour, if necessary.
- After the tour is over, students can alert family of their expected arrival time or of any trip delays and changes.
- ICE (in case of emergency) smart phones are the easiest way for students to contact their families back home to assure them that they are safe.
Even with all the benefits, there’s often more cons than pros related to smart phones while traveling for educational purposes. To help your students manage their usage, here are a few tips.
Technology Guidelines for Student Trips:
- Establish “tech-free” time and strictly enforce it.
- Ask chaperones to be technology keepers when needed, such as in instances when photography is prohibited.
- Strongly iterate the importance of keeping all devices secure or with a trusted chaperone. Smart phones are at high risk of being lost, broken or stolen while on tours.
Technology on trips can come at a cost. Help your students disconnect so they don’t miss those once-in-a-lifetime experiences you’ve planned.
“Wherever you are, be all there.” – Jim Elliot
Courtesy of ETI.