Tag Archives: device distraction; texting in class; banning devices

Boredom Fighters – Device Distraction

May 20, 2016


You walk into a classroom/boardroom and are greeted by a sea of faces…or…how about a sea of laptop/iPad/iPhone/Android-obscured faces?  More than ever, we are connected to our devices and both schools and businesses have become more lax in allowing them in education spaces.

Ever wonder the impact of these devices on our students’/participants’ ability to learn?

A study done at West Point determined that students who were permitted to use their devices while in class “scored 18 percent of a standard deviation lower than students in the section where devices were banned”.  (The link to the study, in case you want to read more – http://bit.ly/1TOYOL7).

In another article on the subject, Straumsheim (http://bit.ly/1SIRWkf) points out, “The average student uses those devices for “nonclass purposes” — in other words, texting, emailing and using social media — 11.43 times in class during a typical day.”

As an educator, I think the use of media has a place in the classroom/boardroom, but I do take exception to students/participants incessantly checking their email/Facebook/text messages.

Why are they doing it?  A survey done (also from the Straumsheim article) paints a bit of a dismal picture:


Only 46.46% of the students are using their devices for reasons related to the course.  Ouch.

Implications?  I know some suggest that banning devices would solve our problems, but I wonder if perhaps the solution is a bit more difficult than that?  Could it be that we as educators need to rethink how we teach?  If students are using their devices to stave off boredom or to entertain themselves, perhaps we need to consider what we need to change to reignite engagement in our students.

What might that look like in your teaching environment?