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Coping skills for IT use (CS23)

Learning Scenario Description
TitleCoping skills for IT use
Length45 minutes
Main idea/descriptionLearning to cope with stressful experiences that relate to students’ use of devices, games etc.
Target group12-15 years olds
Curriculum/learning subjectshealth sciences / IT
CompetenciesThe students will learn about how to cope with emotions that might arise while using technology. The students learn that different individuals might find different situations stressful.
Teachers’ wellness competencesTC2. E-self-management
Learning Scenario Framework
Pedagogical methodPI5. Learning resilience (Learn to cope and become resilient)
Software/materialsZoom and break-out rooms can be used for delivering this session in an online mode. The teacher needs to be able to show the students a presentation and make it possible for the students to interact in groups. Mind mapping software can be used at the end of the sessions to create the golden rules for coping with IT.
It is important that the students and the teachers are familiar with the systems used, or that they are very simple and require little effort for the students to learn.
Evaluation toolsThe teacher can monitor the discussions between students by visiting the groups. The teacher can also provide supportive questions, if the students have difficulty discussing their experiences.
Learning Scenario Implementation
Learning activities (description, duration, worksheets)This learning scenario helps students identify strategies that they can use to cope with technostress. At the beginning of the 45 minute session, the teacher introduces to class the concept of technostress/how adolescents can cope with feelings of stress that relate to IT use. (5-10 minutes)
After this, the students are placed into groups of 3-5 people. The students are expected to discuss: (15 minutes)
1) When can IT use be bothersome?
2) How can you know?
3) What strategies have you used to cope with different situations (and can you come up with strategies that have not been mentioned by the teacher)?
4) What kind of advice would you give to a friend that is overwhelmed by the amount of notifications arriving to their phone?
At the end of the session, the teacher and the students create the golden rules for coping with IT. Each group should contribute by adding 2-3 points that they found especially important. Once all of the input is gathered on the same document, the teacher and students work together to synthesize the content and write the key points into a simplified list. (20 minutes)

Attachment 1 – Coping with technostress
What is technostress?
– Psychotherapist Craig Brod created a definition for technostress already in the 80s. According to the definition, technostress follows the inability of an individual/organization to adapt to the use of new technology (Brod, 1982)
– Today, technostress is typically understood as stressful experiences that relate to the use of devices and applications
– In addition to studying the work environment, technostress researchers have also become interested in leisure-related stress experiences. These can occur, for example, while using social media services (e.g., WhatsApp, Facebook) 
– Both adults and young people alike can experience technostress. For example, technostress can influence teachers’ willingness to use ICT to support teaching. 
– Young people can experience different levels of stress, and among others, their experiences can relate to..
* responding to messages/the pressure of being present in social media (e.g. it feels that you need to respond to messages too quickly)
* notifications coming from your phone (they disrupt your life in general or for example, if you need to concentrate on something) 
*online learning (e.g. the feeling of spending too much time using different devices)

How to address technostress experiences? (1/2)
It is important to stop and think about what causes the stressful experience
– Why do I find this situation burdensome?
– Is the problem specifically related to the use of technology or something else?
– Can I influence technology? Can I influence the circumstances/other stressors in some other way?

What is the most appropriate course of action?
– Deleting a useful app can sometimes do more harm than good – think about why it was acquired in the first place
– Will I miss something important if I delete the entire application? (Not necessarily!)
– If I do, can I manage e.g. notifications from the application in some other way?

How to address technostress experiences? (2/2)
Ways to manage technostress
– Management of device and application settings
*E.g. useless notifications on silent/muted/off
*Turning the phone’s screen upside down/putting the device away/giving it to another person when you need to focus on something else
– Separating study and free time
*Where the equipment used for studying is positioned at home (Does studying come to mind just by seeing the laptop/pad? Is it possible to store it out of sight?)
* Applications that can be found on the devices
* Prioritizing and leaving things for tomorrow, setting limits that work for yourself personally