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Steps to deal with digital distractions in the physical classroom

Steps to deal with digital distractions in the physical classroom

Technology has both good and the adverse effects. Have you ever thought of digital distraction in a classroom? Do you really think that digital devices should be allowed in the classroom? 

Well, you can’t wholly deny or accept the usage of gadgets in a classroom. Digital distraction is one of the growing problems in the system of education. The school authority needs to deal smartly with this distraction. 

There are several distractions that students go through. Digital distraction is one of those. A distraction that is caused by the unnecessary usage of technology at an inappropriate time of the class. These days students easily have in hand many kinds of gadgets, whether it is the smartphone or a tablet, or a laptop. These gadgets in a way are very useful for the overall learning of the students, but if they are used unnecessarily, then they become the enemy of the students.

Many schools have allowed students to use their personal gadgets for any research. This lets the students learn the recent development at a much higher pace. The teachers cannot obviously control each student to make the ideal use of technology. That is why it sometimes becomes the biggest problem for the teachers and the biggest distraction for the students. 

The school authority must have proper planning for regulating the use of electrical gadgets. School should monitor carefully every student so that no student can take advantage of it and use the gadgets unnecessarily. The teachers should make sure they use the devices for a definite purpose only. It has become a problem for many of the schools to allow the use of electrical devices or gadgets in class. 

This is because the size of the class is increasing day by day, and it becomes challenging for the teachers to monitor students properly. It is not even possible and appropriate to just snatch away from the students because, in this case, they won’t feel good. 

So what should we do to avoid such digital distractions in a classroom for better learning? Well, the answer to this question is definitely this blog, which will help you avoid and manage these digital distractions easily. To decrease the digital distraction in a classroom, the teacher can make use of the instructional technology for the smooth functioning of the class.

1. Making use of digital note-taking.

We often see that the students try to do two things at the same time or you can say multitasking. However, this doesn’t work very well because the brain cannot focus properly on both things at the same time. Listening to the teacher’s instructions and noting things at the same time is not a simple task. Many students use their digital devices for jotting down notes, though it is a good thing it can become a distraction too. 

To avoid this digital distraction while noting down things, you can make use of instructional technology. For example, google docs offer a distraction-free mode as well. In this mode, when the students are jotting down the notes, all the other tabs, buttons, and other such additional tools. Thus a student only sees an empty page, no point to get distracted.

I think this is a much better way to avoid digital distraction rather than putting a total ban on it. In digital notes, students can have more options for editing and changing them according to the need. Instructional technology is no doubt the most convenient way to remove digital distractions from the class. 

2. Careful monitoring of each student.

A complete ban on digital devices in the classroom is not the right solution to the problem. Why am I saying this is because the students are smart and intelligent enough to find another convenient way to use their gadgets? So dealing this with using a smart technique is the right choice. For the benefit of the students, to make them away from the digital distraction, sign a contract with the student and with the parents. 

This an excellent step to be taken to have control over excess usage of digital devices. In it define all the rules and instructions along with the penalty if the rules are not taken seriously. This will have a good impact on both the student and the parents, as they are aware of the ill effects of the distractions caused by the devices. 

Second, as a teacher, you can take the help of screen locking apps and other monitoring apps. This will let you have complete control over the students. You can block all the unnecessary browsers and apps that are inappropriate for the students to use in a classroom. Usually, the biggest distraction is the student playing games or using social media while attending the lectures. So the best thing is to lock such websites. The monitoring apps will let you have a track of every student’s activity. The school authority can use these proofs if any rule of the contract is not followed properly by the student.  

3. Allow short breaks in between.

To help the students focus more on their studies, allow them to take brief breaks in between. This will help them retain things for a much longer duration because when the student learns things with a free and relaxed mind, then he/she can concentrate better. 

For example, challenge the student to study and complete the task in 25 to 30 minutes and after that, as a reward, they will be given a 5 minutes break in which they can use their digital devices freely. Help the students to determine the distractions in class, so that they can save themselves from many distractions. Identify the best tool that can assist them to avoid the extra usage of devices in class. 

4. Blend of technical and non-technical activities

Adopting this technique of blending the technical and non-technical activities can help the students to overcome the digital distraction. Blended learning technology is a suitable way.

If they made the students to perform such activities that don’t require the use of technology, then they will be free from digital distractions. These activities can be laboratory classes or individual or team-based projects. In between these activities allow a brief break in which the student can use their digital devices.


No method adopted can give you 100 percent assurance that the digital distraction could be removed. But yes, these measures will surely help you cut down the rates. According to the needs, you can apply different instructional technologies for dealing with digital distractions.

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Mayuresh S. Shilotri writes on Product, EdTech, UX, Customer Development & Early Stage Growth. 2,000-Word posts only. You can discover more about me here

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