Dealing with Distracting Technology in the Classroom

A recent poll finds that a majority of university professors believe mobile devices are a distraction, not a help, in the classroom; while their students think that their teachers ought to be able to interest them enough to keep them from using their laptops to play games and cell phones to text.

Studies around the country are indicating quite clearly that frustration levels among educators are growing over the growing ease and fascination of social media platforms that students can access any time they choose.

Outside of a complete ban, or time-consuming monitoring and seizure policies, teachers confess that they are at a standstill when it comes to controlling cyber-distractions in the classroom.

Students, on the other hand, keep telling researchers that they do not feel their mobile apps are keeping them from learning in the classroom. Students say they need their apps in order to reference teacher’s remarks and look up esoteric data that teachers refuse to take the time to explain.

Some universities and high schools, under the prodding of teachers, have taken the drastic step of removing wifi access in classroom buildings, so that students cannot go online at all. This approach has had mixed success, with educators deprived of computer teaching aids, and their students feeling stranded and anxious without access to their phones and laptops.

A consensus-based compromise is yet to be found in most schools.

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