1:1 in the Classroom - Digital Distraction

comments Commentstotal7
I frequently visit schools planning or already using 1-to-1. Teachers sometimes express frustration with the distracting elements of technology – how students are attracted by social media applications – and spend much time randomly checking these sources at the expense of schoolwork. Lately, I have been hearing students say the same thing. Students describe sitting down at their computers to do homework and instead drifting into checking and posting to Facebook, reading multiple Tumblr blogs, seeing what photos their friends have uploaded, and seeing hours disappear before even beginning any schoolwork. Some adults are experiencing the same thing. Technology can empower in multiple ways but can also allow us to spend unfocused purposeless hours.

Recently I surveyed teachers to ask what they did to cope with the distracting elements of technology. Here are some practical ideas:

• Discuss it as a teachable moment, and open it up to the class. Ask who has experienced this, and what their ideas and suggestions are for coping

• Start with a 2 minute “Facebook time” at the beginning of class. Allow students a brief time to check postings before laptops are used only for class projects

• Engage the entire department/school/district and begin a dialogue and sharing session. Establish some guidelines all the educators agree with, and reinforce in all classes

• Employ mindfulness techniques as a thread throughout your class. Encourage students to research these ideas and to bring in articles or thoughts to benefit the class

• Set a timer for multitasking and have students do the same at home. Then set a longer time for focused work.

• Have students create a “digital diary” and record all their use of technology for the week. Aggregate results, discuss, and brainstorm solutions. Have some ideas ready as well

• Start with some reading and follow with a discussion. A good one is from the New York Times is at http://tinyurl.com/kozjvyv

I’ll be researching Digital Distraction and will share more in future blog posts. What do you do to cope? Have you experienced it yourself?

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