Practical considerations in the use of ICT

Students, now that we are spending much more time sitting down and in front of a small screen, it is worthwhile reflecting upon our practices. We can be affected in many ways and sometimes these can hurt ourselves and others around us.

  1. Please review our Acceptable ICT Use Policy which is available in myMGS. All interactions online should conform to the guiding principles of RESPECT, INTEGRITY and CARE for others.
  2. The fast response of the internet can mean we respond to something before we have thought it through. As we know, it is very hard for tone to be indicated in an email or text response, so please consider your wording carefully.
    • A good tip is to pause before sending. Re-read and think how someone could possibly misinterpret what you have typed. Only when you are sure the wording is appropriate, press send. Also, double check the recipient’s address – it is all too easy to send something to the wrong person.
    • Use Web Conferencing to discuss things in which you need some support. Text and email are fine for passing information around, but the more personal interaction gained by seeing or hearing the other person is better where feelings are involved.
  3. Screen time is a potential problem
    • All of us will be spending more time sitting passively in front of a screen. This can impact upon mood, health and fitness. It can also reduce your readiness for learning.
      • Make sure you get up and move every 45 min – 1 hr (set an alarm on your watch or phone)
      • Make sure you change location whenever you can (if some of the work is not online, move to a different location as the change can refresh the brain and body)
      • Keep a watch out for headaches, tired eyes or failing concentration – these signal a good time to take an active break.
    • Try to get no more than 6 hrs in front of a screen in one day (for learning).
    • Check your chair and desk arrangement to ensure you have a good ergonomic arrangement.
    • Check that the lighting is behind you and not glaring on the screen.
    • Use as big a screen as possible and sit a bit further away if you can.
  4. Relax your muscles
    • We will all be doing much more typing than normal and these repetitive movements can cause tiredness and even pain. Stretching your larger muscles as well as flexing your arms, hands and wrists should be part of a regular routine.
    • Sitting also puts unbalanced strains on our musculature so ensure you plan for some regular stretching and exercise of those muscles little used while at your desk.

Andrew Baylis
Director of Learning and Research