We all have that one student who can’t stop staring at mobile phones or misses class. It’s easy to get distracted by the latest app and forget all that is important—and that can mean your students are too. Some teachers have found ways to keep their students from becoming distracted, but how do you keep your students from becoming distracted when they’re in your class?
Distraction is a dangerous thing. The best way to combat it is to make it undesirable. This can be done through a variety of strategies invented by frustrated students, psychologists, and neuroscientists alike. From music to the simple act of keeping your phone on silent, here are some tried and tested methods to keep your mind focused on the task at hand.
It’s a common problem: Distracted kids are everywhere. And, according to a new survey by Common Sense Media, students are as distracted by their smartphones as they are by other things. When asked about their distractions, most teens said they were glued to their phones for an average of 2 hours each day. But unfortunately, one in three middle and high school students admitted they can’t help themselves.
Distracted students are a common classroom problem. Although they may seem to be inattentive, they are actually unfocused. Yet according to research, about one-third of students have a hard time staying focused in school, and one-third of those are distracted by technology. The good news is this is not a permanent condition. It can be fixed by learning new ways to focus, such as making sure there is less technology in class.
Busy schedules, smartphones, social media—today’s youth are inundated with a barrage of distractions, and as a result, their ability to focus is dangerously low. Although this is a very common problem, there’s little evidence that the current methods we use to deal with it actually work. In fact, I would argue that our current methods all detract from helping students focus, and instead only serve to distract them further. Here are a few ways you can help your students focus, regardless of their age:
- Don’t Overwhelm Your Students with Information. So many teachers are under the impression that if they get them to do more work, the more they’ll focus on their studies. To make sure you don’t overwhelm your students to stop them from being distracted in class, you need to start by identifying the types of distractions that make them frustrated and want to leave the classroom, and also the types of distractions that they can help you control.
- Everyone has those days where the only thing they can think about is schoolwork, and they get so caught up in it that they forget to enjoy the time they have. I know that I have done this, and I have hated myself for it. I then realized that I could fix this by making sure I keep things interesting to avoid my students from being distracted.
- Being the student who has to stay in class for another half hour than the rest of your class is a huge amount of effort. It can also be a challenge to get prepared for every class and every lesson. It happens more than enough to almost all students. So, what can we do to help them? It is not all that simple to just do nothing. One of the best ways to keep a student of yours from getting distracted is by encouraging them to ask questions, and always making sure that you’re there to offer them assistance.
Busy students constantly multitasking while sitting in class can cause students to miss important information and become overwhelmed with tasks. These distractions are also detrimental to academic achievement. Many students are already distracted by other activities, such as text messaging, social media, or video games, which can interfere with their ability to focus on schoolwork.
During class, students too often find themselves distracted by the latest social media update or text message instead of trying to engage in the lesson at hand. This leads to them missing important information, as well as missing key points that they need to remember later in the day.