Strategies for Keeping Students on Task in the Connected Classroom
Classroom management is a challenging skill at the best of times! Thankfully, managing a connected classroom is very similar to managing a non-technology classroom, with some ever-so-slight modifications.
Having a clear set of guidelines or rules set for your classroom at the start of the school year can help build positive technology habits that your students can transfer into their day-to-day lives.
4 strategies to help keep students on task in the connected classroom:
Bring fully charged devices to class
A dead battery is a guaranteed way to break a student’s focus. Setting the expectation that devices are brought to class fully charged will help minimize the disruption of a last-minute rush to find a charger before their device dies.
A very important strategy to implement is for screens to be in a down position at important times during the day. For example, when you are explaining a lesson or giving instructions, tablet screens should be face-down, or laptop screens should be tilted to 45 degrees. This helps you get their undivided attention when it matters most.
I highly recommend the use of “techxperts” in your class. These can be students that are either naturals with technology, or a small group of students specifically trained by the teacher to be able to help others with programs, apps, or skills, This helps to eliminate the stress of being “the expert” and having to help every single student that may get stuck while using technology.
Adding onto the previous strategy, “3B4Me” suggests that students seek three sources for an answer to their tech question before asking you for help. Depending on the age of your students, the three sources could be the “techxperts” of the class, or online sources like Google or YouTube.
These simple, yet easy to manage expectations preempt many of the issues that can arise when managing a connected classroom. However, every classroom is different, so you may need to add or remove some of these strategies that are or aren’t needed for you and your students. Rather than make a rule for every challenge that may arise with the use of devices, think about what expectations can help students to use the technology for learning.
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