TORONTO, March 22, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — As schools around the world are investing in more technology, ILAC is going in the opposite direction by removing electronic devices from the classroom to improve learning results.
This spring, the International Language Academy of Canada (ILAC) is launching a “zero-tech” pilot project at its schools in Toronto. Following in the footsteps of digital giants like Apple and Facebook who are admitting to the addictive dangers of excessive screen time, ILAC is asking students and teachers to unplug in order to get connected.
“Students come to Canada to experience the language and culture – not to sit on their cell phones,” says Jonathan Kolber, co-founder of ILAC. “ILAC is all about creating authentic human connection by providing immersive learning opportunities for international students in and outside the classroom.”
The pilot project will include students ages 16-18 in the Young Adult Program (YAP) who come to study year round. Research shows that this age group is the most vulnerable to youth tech addiction and its links to sleep disruption, poor academic performance, anxiety, depression, obesity, social isolation and suicide.
As part of the pilot project, students and teachers will be asked to turn off their cellphones and put them away before each class. Teachers will reduce their use of passive digital tools such as videos and replace them with active communicative methods such as role playing and presentations.
“When students are on their phones they are not speaking English, not listening in English and not immersing themselves in our culture,” says Christine Wach, VP of Academic at ILAC. “They are not socializing or being present with those around them.”
Since the announcement was made last week, teachers, agents and partners from around the world have been applauding the initiative.
“We see the same in our school even with adults,” says Izabella Lauterpakht, one of ILAC’s partners and Owner of System-3 Education in Russia. “They cannot focus when their phone is on and it is difficult to encourage them to relax and enjoy the company of other students and teachers.”
As the world becomes more digital, many teachers around the world have noticed students becoming more distracted and disconnected during classes. Using cell phones in the classroom has been associated with lower recall, decrease in academic performance and lower student satisfaction rates.
About ILAC: The International Language Academy of Canada is one of the most awarded English language schools in the world. ILAC is renowned for its diversity of students and immersive learning culture.