The Value of Recess for Adult Learners

Let’s be honest – higher education can be hard. Students often work into the early hours of the morning to do research, write papers, or study for exams. Many adult learners take it several steps further by going to class online, maintaining a job, and taking care of a family. A lot of their class work is done on a computer, and even adult learners need a break from the screen. But a break from class is rarely the right answer. We think we may have found a better way to take breaks and make your online time more valuable – recess!

Recess! is a new computer application that was founded by people spending entirely too much time on their computer during a 24-hour energy hackathon. Their energy solution, named Recess!, was created to get you to use your online time more effectively, creating increased time for the rest of your life. Pretty smart stuff for everyone who suddenly realizes they just spent the last hour with grumpy cats.

So here’s how it works. Once downloaded (as soon as it becomes publicly available) there will be a little icon in the top corner of your computer screen that gives you friendly and fun reminders, such as “Late night, huh? Maybe time to shut down.” and “Your afternoon called, it wants itself back.” These reminders are supposed to make you realize just how long you’ve been online. After that, you can choose whether you need a break, need to refocus, or need to keep going. Then, if you want to look deeper into your habits (and actual energy used by your computer), there are detailed analytic reports that show your time over previous days and weeks.

While this application isn’t available yet, the idea of saving energy – personal and electrical – and urging you to get off the computer and get on with living away from the screen is a valuable tool any adult learner should enjoy. Remember, research is showing that taking a break can actually help make you more productive.

Written by: Travis Taggart
Travis is a regular contributor to the Ashford University blog.

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