Tips to Minimize Digital Distractions

By Huntington Learning Center

One of the unfortunate realities of teaching in the digital age is the volume of distractions. From smartphones with all kinds of tools and games to many different types of social media platforms, there are lots of ways for students to get sidetracked in class and when doing homework. What can you do? Huntington recommends the below tips to offer your students:

Set and stick to a schedule. The more your students structure their days, the better they will be at minimizing wasted time – including technology time. Encourage them to develop a detailed daily schedule that blocks out time for all of their have-tos as well as their want-tos, including online and phone time.

Establish classroom expectations. You must outline rules for digital devices, including when students are allowed to have their phones out in the classroom and when they are prohibited.

Encourage parents to set rules. Your students are only with you for part of each day, so make sure you communicate your classroom expectations to parents. Hopefully, this will inspire some rules and guidelines for responsible phone and technology use at home as well.

Help students build good habits. Try teaching the Pomodoro method, which has students set a timer to work for 25 minutes and then take a break for five minutes – a simple but effective way to maximize productivity. Those short breaks can be used for checking social media and replying to texts. The benefit: students will grow accustomed to staying focused when it’s time to work.

Suggest helpful apps. There are many tools that can help students be more aware of what they spend their time on and quit wasting it on unproductive activities. Check out RescueTime , a program which runs in the background of computers and mobile devices, and SelfControl for starters.

There’s so much to distract students today. Help yours embrace good habits so that the many digital tools and devices out there help and do not hinder their lives.