Keep Students Focused by Using Mobile and Handheld Devices in the Classroom
March 2, 2017
The shocking truth is that electronic devices distract and tune students out during lessons. Students use cell phones in school as a quick way to connect to their friends, but often become disconnected to their teachers and fellow students. To figure out how you can get your students excited and remain attentive in class, let’s explore the possibilities by answering the following question: Why should cellphones be allowed in school?
Some might argue that cell phones could be allowed in school, along with other mobile devices, because they are a powerful way to connect students with classes and the wide world of learning.
Keep Students Engaged by Using Mobile Devices for Media
If talking to your students and using a chalkboard is failing to keep their attention, then try using smartphones to provide photos, videos, podcasts and documents to keep your students engaged. The Science Education Resource Center at Carleton College points to several studies that suggest the use of visual media helps students to understand and remember concepts and facts. If your students are already heavy users of media on their smartphones, then why not use this same medium to keep their interest level up?
Mobile devices can also allow your students much more access to primary sources. Instead of telling them about an ancient document, have them look it up and see it themselves. Primary sources are also not limited to the past or to paper. Keep kids connected to modern politics and social life by having them look up and watch interviews with famous contemporary leaders and celebrities from across the globe. By using these various media forms, you not only reinforce learning, but you really do put the entire world in your kids' hands.
Unlock the Expanding Scope of Digital Education
Digital education is expanding and offering many exciting and innovative programs to help students learn. Be part of this trend by letting your students use smartphones to take advantage of the many programs that provide interactive lessons in math, reading and other subjects. Many educators have been seeing significant progress with struggling students using digital education programs, according to U.S. News and World Report. Many programs provide instant feedback to teachers so you can keep up with the struggles and triumphs of each individual student in your classroom. Some of the programs also adjust the material to each individual student. This feature is particularly powerful when combined with personal mobile devices, since each student can use the digital material appropriate to their level on their own smartphones.
Let Students Take the Lead in Learning
When you show students images or text on a big screen, you are letting them be spectators. When you have them view images or text on their cell phones, you give them a sense of ownership over their education. When a student views images, video or text on a mobile device, then that student must navigate through the material, which makes learning more interactive. Now’s your chance to take student involvement to another level. Have them read assigned text from their smartphones, or have them play competitive educational games to stimulate learning while having fun at the same time. Some digital games come with a reward system to encourage your students to work hard, notes the U.S. News and World Report. You can even challenge the entire class to compete in finding material on their phones, turning the smartphone from a private tool to a shared activity.
Use Tools That Enhance the Digital Educational Experience
Problems that may arise from using digital technology in school include audio volume and wear and tear on devices. Purchase screen protectors to ensure that your digital learning method stays in tip-top condition. You can even provide wireless headphones to allow students to pursue their own digital projects without interfering with their classmates' work.
At a time when digital technology shapes conversations and forges connections, there are few better ways to connect students to the real world than by using their mobile devices to provide a wide range of educational content. Cellphones can be part of the solution. Teachers and parents may embrace them as such.
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