Strategies to Manage Distractions in the Connected Classroom
Now that you’re committed to connecting your classroom, you may be anxious about the ways that students can get distracted by the technology you’re bringing into the classroom. While the connected classroom is definitely equipped for learning, we know that there are ways for students to be distracted. But, fear not! The key is to set expectations about how technology should be used in the classroom, and what is acceptable and unacceptable behavior.
Our Top 3 Tips for Managing Distractions in the Classroom
Student Created Guidelines
At the start of the school year, begin by developing some class guidelines for behavior with devices. We recommend facilitating this conversation with students so that the rules and expectations come from them. Not only will this empower them to make good choices, but there will be student buy-in when the expectations are developed collaboratively. As tempting as their devices can be, we know our students want to be productive learners too!
It’s inevitable that your students will want to explore, play, and experiment with their devices. As students grow older, that desire to explore shifts to wanting to check their text messages or social media. Building tech breaks into the school day will help to minimize the distraction of wanting to explore during instruction time. When students know they’ll be able to have time to play with or check-in with their social network during certain times of the day, they’ll be less likely to be tempted when you’re in the middle of a lesson. Even 2-3 minutes in the morning and afternoon can help students to refocus on learning.
In many classrooms, removing the distraction of the screen helps teachers instruct and get across important points. If you teach in a classroom with tablets, your rule can be to turn over screens when you’re talking, or with laptops, you can have screens at 45 degrees. Both of these variations make it easy to see when students are still engaging with their devices.
We’re excited to be launching our brand new series of micro-credentials created by educators, for educators! They’re perfect for educators who want to take their professional development to the next level. Be on the lookout for more resources about the connected classroom and for more information about our upcoming micro-credential “The Connected Teacher.”
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