Digital Respons-Ability

Back-to-school Digital Game Plan

Kid sitting on bed playing games on a device

Digital Game Plan

With school starting again, we all have so many things to do and get ready for the inundation of school activities, homework, friends, families. The last thing on our mind is how to find that delicate balance with digital devices.

Don’t worry though, I have simple things to incorporate in a “digital game plan”. Outside of school we know that kids will use their devices (or their parent’s devices). To help ease some of that drastic change from summer devices usage to school devices usage here are some tricks.

Check out some of our free resources for creating a family media plan:

Negotiating tech time

My mom used to always tell me, “There is a time and place for everything.” This can be applicable to device usage too. Using technology outside of school will happen. If you negotiate the tech time, then the expectations are set. For example, for every 10 minutes of reading you can play on you switch for 10 minutes. Upfront you know that to get play time you must put in the work.

You can also negotiate and establish the non-negotiables. At some households, there is no use cell phones, iPad, or other devices during dinner. call it family time or catch-up time. This is when my parents would without fail ask me “what did you learn in school today?” It has been a great time to give and have undivided attention with family.

Pausing for People

If there is a tech time going on, we need to “pause for people”. Meaning if my mom comes in whilst I’m playing Minecraft or something equally enthralling, I need to pause my game and make eye contact with my mom to communicate with her. Pausing for people doesn’t just work with video games. It works in almost every communication situation. Pausing and practicing those communication skills we use every day.

My brother lives across the country. I often ask students how I can communicate with him. They often say, FaceTime, phone call, email, but occasionally say online gaming. I think that’s important to mention. We can communicate with others through the gaming platforms that we use anyway. I like to play co-op games with my brothers or friends. That way we can talk and still get the human interaction that we need.

Nighttime strategies:

Did you know the average person doesn’t get enough sleep? I hate to say it, but I’m one of them. As an insomniac, I have read a lot of articles and studies about sleep and sleep hygiene. This article is a great resource to help your kid put down the screen and go to sleep.

Kids being on devices is inevitable. But having a digital game plan will help students (and adults) have a specific strategy when it comes to using the technology.


Written By Angela Ashbaker, Digital Respons-Ability Trainer

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