Future Spanish teacher encourages students to put down their phones

Feb 17, 2020

Hispanic Studies/Spanish Teaching major Kendra Kvebak is one of the organizers of Connection Day.

How many times to do you walk into a classroom and every student is staring into a phone? How often do you get to the end of a semester and you still don’t know the names of your classmates? Hispanic Studies/Spanish Teaching major Kendra Kvebak and some of her friends would like to change that. “It’s hard to get to know other students if you’re always on your phone,” says Kendra. So she and her friends Tiana Forbes, Kelly Gilomen, Trevor Peterson and Paige Wagner came up with an idea to create Connection Day, a day for students to put down their phones and interact with each other. The idea came initially as part of a project for an advanced writing class. As the students researched the topic, they began to understand more about the effects of technology on mental health. “Everyone needs social connection to survive,” says Kendra.

On Tuesday, February 18, 2020, there will be tables in front of the Tweed Museum, as well as in LSBE, RSOP and the KAML library. There will also be a center in the Kirby Student Center Garage. Students will be encouraged to talk, play games and get to know each other without technology in the way. Kendra says she became interested in this as a future Spanish teacher, because she hears her mother, who is a high school teacher, talking about how difficult it is to get students away from technology. Kendra also sees this as very connected to her Hispanic Studies major. “A huge part of learning a language is communicating with other people,” she says. “How can you do that if you don’t get off your phone?”

For more information about Connection Day, see this article from UMD News: https://news.d.umn.edu/news-and-events/news/connection-day-2020

And on February 18, see if you can try putting down your phone!


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