On December 5th, 2017, SJA faculty and students participated in SJA’s first ever “unplugged” day. The school operated without the use of its vast technology in the classroom. This “Unplugged Day” included no use of cell phones, which are only permitted in-between classes and during lunch periods, or computers. The idea came from the school’s president and administration team to provide a day for students that spurs verbal communication with one another and pen-to-paper learning. This technology free-day also coincides with the beginning of the Advent season. The school will offer students reconciliation and adoration throughout the day in the Chapel.
“Having a technology-free day will help us experience how most of the world operated before 1985. We’ll experience, in the pioneering spirit of the Sisters of St. Joseph, the simplicity of life together that day. The event will also provide an opportunity to reflect as a community on how we can be intentional about choosing to use technology and how quickly our reliance on technology has grown - how social media flashes news at us as we put out into cyber sphere our own images, thoughts, and stories,” said Dr. Regina Mooney, President of St. Joseph’s Academy.
The teachers at the Academy prepared for the day by maximizing their lessons without technology. Instruction in the classroom included manual calculations in a coding class where students will walk around the building and write the steps in computer code on paper. The Latin classes completed “old fashioned” textbook exercises using pencils and paper, in addition to speaking exercises. Theology classes spent time the chapel for quiet reflection and prayer. Students used physical models to create molecules of atoms that are covalently bonded together their models and show the shapes and properties of their models. English classes took this opportunity to enhance grammar skills, have in-depth discussions about Shakespeare and plan for final essays.
“In this day and age we can’t imagine our lives without it. How we use it and how we think about how we use it, are ways of being we take for granted.” Dr. Mooney said.
St. Joseph’s Academy is a private, Catholic high school for girls in St. Louis, Missouri, sponsored by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet. Our mission is to provide quality Catholic education for young women in an environment that challenges them to grow in faith, knowledge, and respect for self and others. Our community expects these young women to make a profound impact in the world.