Disconnect Challenge


This will be the world’s first large-scale technology disconnect challenge for an entire region.

#DisconnectChallenge is a two-week activity (in February 2020), that invites Alberta students to assess how technology affects their sense of connection with themselves and others.

With support from their teachers and families, participating students will document their technology use for one week and then embark on a one-week media fast: avoiding social media platforms, nocturnal screen time, technology around the dinner table, Internet browsing (except for schoolwork), texting (except for their parents/guardians) and listening to music with headphones.

This is a self-directed activity where Alberta teachers, parents/guardians, and/or grandparents can opt-in to a two-week set of technology disconnection and reflection activities with their students and/or families.

Teachers, parents/guardians and/or grandparents who sign up for the activity will receive a lesson plan with step-by-step instructions. After the media fast, students will be encouraged to share what they learned through text, video or an artistic production

Presented by the Alberta Teachers’ Association (ATA), in partnership with Canada’s eQuality Project, and researchers from the University of Ottawa, the disconnect challenge extends on findings from the ATA's Growing Up Digital in Alberta (GUD) Project, and Canadian research on privacy and cyberbullying (eQuality Project). This activity will provide a framework to help Canadian teens explore how their media use affects their sense of connection with themselves, other people and nature.

The province-wide challenge will help students, their teachers and families learn to navigate technology, privacy, health and learning. It will also further ongoing digital literacy work across Canada, and assist students and families as they seek to find a digital balance that is healthy, practical and sustainable for their increasingly digitally connected lives.

The #DisconnectChallenge Alberta will run for two weeks in February 2020.

Week one: Documenting (February 10 to 16, 2020)
Documenting and Reflecting on Personal Media Use

Week two: Media Fasting (February 17 to 21, 2020 including Family Day)
Engaging in a Media Fast


If you have any questions about this activity, please feel free to contact Dr. Phil McRae at Barnett House at phone: 780-447-9469 or email: philip.mcrae@ata.ab.ca