How to Reel in your Students’ Attention

Dec 7
student bored

How to Reel in your Students’ Attention

With shorter attention spans and the internet’s instant gratification, it can feel like you’re competing for your student’s attention. Don’t think all hope’s lost, don’t even ban electronic devices–just change your strategy

Get to the root of the problem

If scores of students seem to drift off into facebook and email in your class, first ask “why?” Often, students get lost in the internet because they feel the lecture’s content is not useful for the test, or just the homework repeated.

  • Look over your lesson plan to make sure you are adding valuable engaging content
  • Rather than repeating readings, quiz students, play a game at the beginning of class to make sure they read and understood
  • Try dialectic techniques for class discussion
  • Allow students to take a five-minute break (call it a facebook / internet break) halfway through a long class

Embrace technology

If you find your classroom still needs enrichment, make the internet your friend, not foe.

  • Have students look up statistics relevant to class
  • Check your students’ metaphoric pulse, by quizzing every fifteen minutes through nClass
  • beef up socratic dialogue with instant text comments (also available through nClass)
  • Ask students for exit tickets–you’ll know what they learned, and students they’ll be quizzed on their attention.

What do you do to win your classroom’s attention?

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