Education is defined as the acquisition of knowledge and skills that help students better identify and make the most of potential opportunities in today’s highly competitive job market. As such, classrooms have adopted various methods to improve student productivity in school.
The most notable change in the learning environment is adopting new and emerging technologies to enhance current learning outcomes. However, despite the benefits of learning institutions adopting technology, it also provides the challenge of being a distraction in the classroom, diverting the students’ focus.
Today, almost every student has access to digital devices initially intended to facilitate learning. The majority of students rely on digital devices such as smartphones, tablets, and laptops in the classroom.
In more ways, digital devices have been a welcome advantage in education. However, according to the privatewriting review, they can also impede the learning process. There are genuine concerns with the increased use of smart devices in classrooms, causing previously unavailable distractions
The use of these digital devices increased in 2020 after theCOVID-19 outbreak forced students to learn from home to mitigate the spread of the disease. Therefore, most institutions worldwide have adopted some form of educational technology since the pandemic, significantly increasing the potential for classroom distractions. Below are a few classroom distractions and how to reduce their impact in the classroom environment.
Today students have devices with significantly higher computing power than a few years ago. As such, there are a wide array of games that can play on such devices and are likely to be a distraction when played in class.
Social media platforms
The current generation spends a considerable amount of time staring at a screen. They are mostly engaged on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Tik Tok, and Twitter. According to opendata.soccerlab.polymtl.ca time spent on social media is a distraction and thus disadvantageous to students’ academic progression.
Short/ Instant messaging services
Smart devices offer a lot of functionality for students, one of which is communication. However, students often get distracted and communicate with their family and friends, even during class. This is a distraction as the student will focus more on following the conversation rather than the lesson. A common instant messaging service is WhatsApp, which is a cause of classroom distractions worldwide as students share images, videos, and texts.
Readily available entertainment
The internet has brought many benefits for people worldwide, such as readily available entertainment such as streaming services. However, students often indulge in these services while in class.
Focus on other unrelated articles and assignments
The internet has a wide array of information sources, and it is easy for students to digress from the required learning resources causing distractions in the classroom. For instance, you might be searching for quality essays from topswriting.com and end up viewing a blog with a catchy title, forgetting your reason for accessing the browser.
Possible Solutions to Classroom Distractions
It is evident that student devices offer a lot of opportunities for the improvement of the learning environment. However, the distractions they bring about in the classroom are often detrimental to the students’ academic development. Academic distractions are alarming especially considering the ever-changing educational development.
This raises the question of how to improve the quality of learning with technology without it being a hindrance to the student’s academic growth. Studies suggest that the presence of digital devices in the class is not the issue, rather our indulgence of these technologies at the wrong time to fight-off boredom.
Digital devices in classrooms are here to stay, and with each new release, these technologies are smaller and easily concealable. As such, banning these devices is not a feasible solution to the problem. Therefore, a solution to the issue of distraction is to ensure students are engaged with various activities in the learning environment.
Understandably, it can be a challenge for students to maintain focus on a particular subject. Still, the compartmentalization of your time can help improve attention levels and increase knowledge retention, thus maximizing productivity.
Better classroom engagement can be achieved through group collaboration activities, gamification, virtual reality tours, among many other activities that facilitate effective learning. Learning institutions have also taken additional measures to block access to most of the distracting sites within their networks to limit access by the student.
Nonetheless, despite the benefits of educational technology, learning institutions, and teachers should use moderation when changing the learning environment and only focus on necessary improvements in line with the institution’s academic goals.