The '21–'22 school year begins August 16. Read an update from the Head of School here.

Coping with Screen Fatigue

As schools engage in online learning due to city lockdowns and campus closures, it’s no surprise that many students find themselves stressed by their daily amount of screen time. Many students also attend after-school enrichment activities and tutorials and could very well end up sitting in front of a screen until 5:00 p.m.

Using a mood meter check tool could easily indicate how much some students are struggling, understandably feeling tired and low after a long day. Many will also experience eye strain headache, which occurs when focusing on a singular task for too long—such as staring at a computer for long hours. Focusing on light that may be either too bright or too dim tires the eyes due to overuse.

Eye strain headache is a common occurence when focusing on a singular task for too long—such as staring at a computer for hours on end. Focusing too long on light that may be either too bright or too dim tires the eyes. Using a mood meter check tool could easily indicate how much some are struggling, understandably feeling strained and low after a long day.

It’s important to remember that some Zoom burnout is real! One strategy that both teachers and parents can implement with their young ones is the 20-20-20 Rule. For every 20 minutes spent looking at a screen, take a 20-second break to relax your eye muscles, and look at something 20 feet away. It’ll give the brain a much-needed break. Setting up an alarm as a reminder to get up and move around could also prove helpful. For more 20-20-20 Rule tips, click here.

Another useful practice for families is ‘Green Time vs Screen Time.’ ‘Green Time’ refers to time playing outdoors opposed to ‘Screen Time,’ which not only includes moments in front of a computer but TV-watching as well. This activity linked here can be adapted at home to help balance the two.

Like the 20-20-20 Rule, ‘Green Time vs Screen Time’ is a simple practice really. However, it’s one that can be easily forgotten or challenging to follow, like any other rule. Online learning has its physical and emotional costs. It’s important to be regularly reminded of them and to implement healthy habits that harness students’ resilience and capabilities. 

With special thanks to Mr. Julius Pre, RIS Elementary School Counselor 



BONUS VIDEO – Tips for Online Learning: Special thanks to RIS Middle School Counselor Mr. Andrew Krauthoefer for this uplifting video with tips & reminders on healthy online learning practices (featuring the Krauthoefer family)!