Let’s be honest. Teachers are courageous and have the patience of a saint. Keeping their students’ attention and on task can sometimes be next to impossible. It is undeniably one of the biggest, if not the biggest, challenges every teacher faces – especially with technology in the classroom.
Studies show the average attention span is anywhere between 10 to 15 minutes. It’s also been suggested that number can be in the range of 8 to 10 seconds, which is much more believable in terms of keeping students engaged today. Today’s students have access to information overload in the palm of their hands.
“A wealth of information creates a poverty of attention.” -Herbert Simon 1977
Keeping a student’s full attention is challenging and, at times, chaotic and disruptive to the entire class’s learning, especially when they have their own tech devices. If teachers struggle to keep students’ attention and block potentially harmful digital content and social media in the classroom, having a proactive way to control the situation positively is the way forward. Although it may sound counterintuitive, Impero experts believe the best way to address shortened attention spans is through technology in the classroom.
Understand the Current Environment
Let’s start by looking at the developmental stages of some students during Covid-19. We already know the average attention span for young students is short. But for 12–14-year-old students, their bodies and behaviours change, as well as their social interactions, which distract them further. This made the pandemic a challenging experience since this also would have been the point of transition to middle school or GCSE preparations.
Keeping this group of young people isolated presented a litany of problems. One of the most obvious was their regressed social skills, maturity, and major hormonal changes. Creating an exciting and stimulating learning environment is a real magic trick and requires thinking outside the box.
Between remote learning and personal devices, technology in the classroom is not going anywhere. In fact, it will become better and grow to stay current on schools’ and districts’ needs.
Use the Internet to Engage and Teach with Value
Make no mistake, students are clever and will still try to find ways to go off task. However, an effective strategy and EdTech solution will help prevent students from going off course or circumventing safeguarding filters. Classroom management software with web filtering and BYOD controls can be that extra support to help keep students from veering away from their learning path. Additionally, they will naturally learn to develop good digital citizenship.
Start with some simple techniques and a single-source solution to support the process.
1. Engaging Information
- A variety of interactive techniques will keep students actively learning.
- Be selective and consider how you deliver content to help prevent cognitive overload.
- Assign a research project that includes classroom dialogue and encourages stimulating questions where everyone is involved. This will improve their social etiquette and confidence.
- Offer micro/e-learning to support cognitive memory and help students retain information.
- Be clear and concise, and do random checks to ensure students are on track.
3. Identify Triggers
- Help students identify and understand personal distractions and triggers and offer strategies.
- Understanding how the brain works and technology’s impact is essential in helping pinpoint triggers.
4. Attention Strategies
- Teach students different techniques for better focus with realistic goals.
- Help students learn how to manage stress levels. Take time for the whole class to learn breathing exercises and desk meditation.
- Music can help improve focus and concentration.
- Take brain breaks from 30-minute learning intervals
5. Brain Breaks
- If students show signs of restlessness or fatigue, brain breaks where students learn for 30 minutes and then take a break means learning is more effective for longer.
6. Digital Support
- Adopt a tried and tested EdTech solution
Be realistic! Meet the students where they are and take them beyond. Teaching responsibilities remain the same, but there are always ways to adapt to a new age of learning. Practice creative thinking and place yourself in the students’ position. Learn to know when the digital learning environment is appropriate. It’s important to instil balance in learning methods and approaches.
Impero Classroom – The EdTech Solution to Manage Technology in the Classroom
Impero Classroom, a classroom management solution, makes it simple to manage content and devices, keeping teachers in control and students focused. Easily identify students who are off task and remove distractions with the click of a button. Teachers can do live screen monitoring and restrict browsing functionality. More importantly, Classroom can highlight students who are struggling with an assignment giving teachers access to insightful learning challenges and helping them get back on task
It is possible to keep students’ attention using the best tools and some good old-fashioned creative thinking. Keeping students engaged and on task can now be done so much easier, allowing teachers to do what they do best – teach – in a healthy learning environment!
To empower teachers even more, combine Impero Classroom with Impero Wellbeing and let them boost their students’ potential. Our solutions enable a proactive learning approach with full device screen monitoring that can build a clear chronology of the individual student’s learning journey and mental health.
Discover how Classroom and Wellbeing work together, and book a demo today.