Sun.Star Pampanga - - PERSPECTIVE! -


While tech­nol­ogy has opened the door to ex­cit­ing new learn­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties with tech­no­log­i­cal de­vices such as lap­tops, gad­gets and smart­phones, these have also opened the door to new chal­lenges. One of these chal­lenges is the dis­trac­tion fac­tor.

We should teach stu­dents to in­te­grate tech­nol­ogy into their school­work and their learn­ing - but we should also guide them into stay­ing fo­cused on the task at hand.

Stud­ies have shown that the abil­ity to fo­cus on a task has been linked to fu­ture suc­cess. In the study, it was noted that the abil­ity [to fo­cus] is more im­por­tant than IQ or the so­cioe­co­nomic sta­tus of the fam­ily you grew up in for de­ter­min­ing ca­reer suc­cess, fi­nan­cial suc­cess, and health.

In another re­search, teach­ers de­scribe their ex­pe­ri­ences with stu­dents us­ing tech­nol­ogy in the class­room. They de­scribe the chal­lenges of keep­ing kids fo­cused in a high-tech en­vi­ron­ment: Be­cause stu­dents aren’t be­ing given chal­leng­ing work, they nat­u­rally move to so­cial me­dia be­cause they’re bor ed.

Other teach­ers dis­cour­age the use of any kind of tech in class to as­sure that stu­dents are en­gaged and fo­cused. It has been proven that stu­dents fo­cus bet­ter once their phones are out of the picture.

While some teach­ers dis­cour­age the use of tech, it is also un­help­ful if stu­dents have no ex­pec­ta­tions for how tech is used. We should talk with kids about their use of tech­nol­ogy— why they use it, when they use it, how they use it. This way, they can know how to use it ef­fec­tively most of the time, both in the class­room and at home.

There is also a need to en­gage par­ents, who most of­ten than not are also dis­tracted with tech­nol­ogy them­selves. They should serve as role mod­els and have open con­ver­sa­tions with their chil­dren and ac­knowl­edge the role tech­nol­ogy plays in stu­dents’so­cial lives, at the same time teach­ing them the in­valu­able skill of bal­anc­ing their so­cial lives with per­sonal goals and suc­cess.

Fo­cus and at­ten­tion are huge is­sues with stu­dents today. It has been our ex­pe­ri­ence that stu­dents take long to com­plete their home­work, be­cause they aren’t fo­cus­ing on what needs to get done.

There is no such things as ef­fi­cient mul­ti­task­ing; when you switch from one task to another, you break the flow you had in one to pay at­ten­tion to the new task.

In­stead of re­mov­ing de­vices from stu­dents’hands, we should be teach­ing stu­dents how to man­age their at­ten­tion with their de­vices and ex­plain what mul­ti­task­ing is do­ing to their abil­ity to ef­fec­tively com­plete their work.

When stu­dents leave school, they have to know norms and eti­quette for their de­vices, and need to know their own lim­its when it comes to dis­trac­tion. They should know when to put their phone away be­cause it’s dis­tract­ing them, or when lis­ten­ing to mu­sic while they work is slow­ing them down.

— oOo—

The au­thor is Teacher III at CutCut II El­e­men­tary School, Tar­lac City

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