Technology – who is in control?


Last week, I was chatting with a friend. The conversation was about a challenging day I’d had with my 12-year-old daughter.

My daughter, who is by nature is sporty, creative, funny and a joy to be around was no longer that. On this particular day, my daughter and I had battled all day over the amount of screen time she was allowed to have.

I shared this with my friend, adding that the stress and discourse of the battle had created unnecessary tension in our usually peaceful home. So much so, I wanted to create a hashtag, #technology-give-me-my-daughter-back, and post it on Twitter.

My friend listened.


As friends do, she had gone away, reflected, and processed our conversation. A few days later, she sent me a link to a compelling article written by Katharine Birbalsingh –Technology menaces childhood and culture.

The link included a quick note from her, Dear Apple – can I have my kid back?

To summarise, the article highlighted the impact technology has on children, the need to continue to raise awareness of restricted screen time, and the consequences of not doing so.

The quote I have chosen to share, further supports my post from yesterday – the value of the narrative.

But a story with a beginning, middle and end is a thing of the past these days. Snapchat and Instagram provide 10-second recordings where you follow someone as they film themselves with their smartphone, walking down the street — “Just on my way back from the hairdressers.” No moral at the end of the story and no attention span required to follow it.


Reflecting on the article and ‘battle day’, I have a few next steps:

  • Role model – disconnect from technology.
  • Talk, talk, talk, to as many people who will listen about unplugging.
  • Read, read, read and talk about reading.
  • Say no when friends come over for playdates and ask for the Wifi password.
  • Retweet the article, Technology menaces childhood and culture on Twitter.

I am happy to say, that since ‘battle day’, the restrictions have had a positive impact on my daughter.



A Lesson from Literature

I have chosen a quote for today’s post.

A line from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, by Roald Dahl.

The message is as relevant today as it was in 1964.

Reading is a more valuable way to spend your time.

So, goodnight, I’m off to bed with a cup of tea and my current book, The Spy who came in from the Cold, by John le Carré.



My school has embraced The L.A.U.N.C.H Cycle to teach Humanities. It is design thinking approach created by John Spencer and A.J. Juliani.  Spencer and Juliani believe, “that all kids are naturally creative and that every classroom should be filled with creativity and wonder.” They are passionate about seeing teachers handing ownership to their students and unleashing creative potential.

Personally, I love the concept.

L – Look, Listen, Learn

A – Ask a Ton of Questions

U – Understand the information

N – Navigate Details

C – Create

H – Highlight and Improve the Product

The final stage, LAUNCH!

Since adopting The Launch Cycle I have seen the positive impact on my students.

My colleagues and I had applied The LAUNCH Cycle to the Humanities unit on Food and Responsible Food Consumption. The children were to create a fusion salad that had low mileage and was low cost, and share it with their parents in the style of a ‘Food Fusion Cafe’.

Today, parents were due to arrive at 2.30pm, and I’ll admit I was a little anxious as to how the afternoon would evolve.

I am pleased to report, that the classroom was buzzing with electric atmosphere. The students were totally engaged, confidently troubleshooting issues, solving problems and finalising details. Right up to the very last minute before the guests (parents) were to arrive they were providing feedback to each other to improve the final product.

2.30pm, the ‘Food Fusion Cafe’ was open for business! I looked around the room in complete awe and pride as the students interacted with their parents with such confidence. All around me learning was happening.


Earlier in the day, the students had asked to watch a short video-clip I had shown them previously during the food unit. They suggested we finish the afternoon by sharing this clip with their parents to help promote the message of responsible food consumption.

I’ve extended their suggestion by finishing today’s post with the same clip. My final LAUNCH for the day, enjoy!

Car Conversation

Inspired by today’s featured Slicer, Darcy Haury, I have decided to write about our family dog – Rue.

Rue is a golden Labrador, full of life and always happy to be in our company.

This morning, whilst driving to school, my daughter told me about something Rue had done.

“Rue was adorable when I was in the kitchen”, my daughter explained.

“How so?” I replied, thinking of all the possible mischievous things Rue could have done.

Continuing, my daughter elaborated on her encounter.

Whilst my daughter was deciding what to eat for breakfast, Rue walked cautiously towards her. Ever so gently Rue began sniffing all around my daughter’s feet; these feet were bruised and battered from a weekend hike in the jungle. My daughter was amazed by the sixth sense Rue had in response to her ailments, she was awestruck. Rue empathised with her pain and suffering.

We sat in silence for a few moments; contemplating the compassionate nature of Rue.

Make a wish 11:11

My daughter sent me a message today that read:

Make a wish


So I did.

Sadly, the wish did not come true.

What it did make me do was remember the sweet innocence of childhood. My mother and I finding dandelions and making wishes together.

Decades on, my daughter and I making wishes together.

Cherish childhood memories; they are special.




Thankfully, I’ve had a mind shift in attitude towards exercise and the importance I place on it in my life.

The shift occurred in December last year whilst watching an episode of Catalyst @ABCcatalyst, Alzheimer’s – Can we prevent it? Research suggests it can be delayed, even prevented.

What I took away from this T.V program, was the need for me to increase the amount exercise I participated in weekly, eat well and attempt new things.

So, the shift began and I’m pleased to say I have enjoyed my weekly not negotiable walks in the jungle and a mix of gym/tennis or racketball.

This morning was racketball. Heading off to the local squash court to sweat out the working week’s activities, I was looking forward to the game ahead. What strategies might I implement or at least attempt to.. and, dreading the back left-hand corner shot!

As expected, within the first 10 minutes of the game I was drenched in sweat, and I’d like to think that I had conquered the back left-hand corner. That could have only been my bias reflection of the game; perhaps not the reality.

However, today’s racketball challenge wasn’t actually the back left-hand corner. It was playing doubles. I knew this was going to require a considerable amount of concentration, ongoing assessment, and learning. Wrestling with the contradicting voices in my head, I chose wisely.

The ‘exercise’ inner voice won.

And, as a result, learning, laughter, muscle tone and a sense of accomplishment occurred. Thanks to the supportive group of people I was with.

It isn’t a new saying by any means, however, its message rings true for many aspects of life – prevention is better than cure.

Even if the research proves wrong, the benefits I have gained from my mind shift are worth it.

This post is part of the Annual 11th Slice of Life Challenge Two writing teachers



A quick post to share my next steps towards establishing this blog.

To assist with writing my posts, I have decided to participate in the Slice of Life writing Individual Challenge #SOL18.

For the month of March, participants write daily about an event in their life and comment on three posts.

I am looking forward to the challenge and the feedback from other participants.