The notion of being distracted is the topic that comes up first when discussing student devices in the classroom. It doesn’t matter who the audience either: students, parents, teachers, or administrators. It is a universal concern.
And this conversation often put too much emphasis on the wrong question: how do we manage the classroom with devices in the room? Important question? Yes.
So there are more important questions:
- What is really causing the distraction?
- How will you engage your students? How will we create environments where students can get into their flow?
- How do we shift the of learning from object to process?
- How do we best leverage these devices for learning independently and interdependently?
- How do we redefine cheating in a collaborative culture?
- When are the devices needed and when are they not needed?
- How do we rethink the curriculum, instruction, and assessment when the sum of human knowledge is in front of them?
- How do we shift our mindset to Connected Learning: interest-driven, networked-minded, and production focused?
- What do we want students to know (content knowledge), do (skills), think (habits of mind), and be (experiences & dispositions)?
When our focus is on teaching and content, too much of our energy is wasted on a singular question of management. When our focus is on learning and learners, our focus shifts to deeper questions of discovery, engagement, innovation, and learning as a process.