Many psychologists say the attention span of the typical student is about 10-15 minutes long, yet most university classes last between 50-90 minutes. It’s normal for rates of student attention to vary depending on motivation, mood, perceived content significance, and other factors. But are there different strategies in our teaching which we could use to keep students focused and alert for longer periods of time?
We are all familiar with the argument that increased technology use rewires the minds of the students, making it harder to understand them and teach them.
Internet survey of nearly 2,500 teachers shows that 87 percent believe that new technologies are generating an “easily distracted generation with short periods of attention” and 64 percent say that today’s digital technologies “do more to confuse students than to support them academically.” In some situations, can’t technology boost attention?
So many of these discussions fail to recognize or even acknowledge that we can train ourselves to be more vigilant even in the digital age. Learning is what’s important. For example, students meditate in his classes before the lessons begin. He makes them spend half an hour every day outside of class monitoring and recording their email behaviour.
Most teachers find technology a successful teaching tool. Nearly 75 percent of the 2,462 teachers surveyed said the Internet and search engines had a “highly positive” effect on student research skills, and that “these resources have made students more self-sufficient researchers.” More than six in ten college and high school seniors believe that tablets help students study more effectively (66% and 64%) and help them perform better in class (64% and 63%).
Tricks for catching attention of your students
1. Let’s continue with encouragement.
To pay attention to the students need to feel motivated. Why should they remain interested in the subject? To them, what’s in it? Although twenty or thirty students with individualized instruction can not be objectively inspired during each class, you can try to appeal more broadly to things that keep learners alert — for example, by grounding abstract concepts in real-life situations and drawing on examples from the daily routines of the students.
2. Regular free play integrate.
Some government has decided that during each class hour, all grade school students will receive 15 minutes of free play time. The research supports this method: analyzing higher brain regions after periods of excessive social play in juvenile animals, one-third of all the genes they examined were “significantly jogged by the playful behaviors in one way or another.” They explain: “Without a regular diet of fun social interactions, children are hungry for play and tend to ‘act out.’
3. Participate students in the lesson plans.
The reasoning behind this one is simple: people like to construct experiences for themselves and others. If students have contributed directly to a lesson, they are far more likely to stay involved in seeing how it plays out.