Virtually Connected, Socially Disconnected
Virtually Connected, Socially Disconnected, Beara Community School, Cork
A team of transition year students from Beara Community School, Co Cork took home the bronze award at the Young Social Innovators of the Year Awards 2019 for their project “Virtually Connected, Socially Disconnected”.
Educating people on digital addiction and ways to prevent it while also promoting the responsible use of technology were just some of the aims of this ambitious project. This team of enthusiastic innovators wanted to get people in their locality thinking about and acknowledging just how much time they spend on digital technology. Hoping that this would encourage people to be mindful of how they could be spending their time more productively, the West Cork students also worked hard to get parents involved and thinking about the issue.
We realise currently there is an absence of digital health promotion in Ireland, we hope our project will help to put the topic out there and get people doing something.”
Distributing over 1500 surveys to gather information on the issue, the team developed a Pack for Parents, which included a digital information booklet, as well as information on various types of digital addictions. A Digital Detox Week was held in the school, and the team drew up a Digital Wellness Charter for schools and workplaces.
The young innovators were also keen to bring their project to primary school children and piloted lesson materials in primary schools. They hope to continue this work by creating a children’s book dealing with the issue.
“Ultimately we would like to think that we could and will challenge people to look at their own digital health,” said the innovators. “We want people to realise how much time they spend on technology and how different their lives would be if they could take control of their digital use.”