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Opinion: Students need less technology, more interaction in classrooms

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Reported by Reuben Dongalen Jr.

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Cartoon by Veronnica MacKillop

For a student that has experienced sitting through several hours of lectures, the classroom environment can be very distracting.

One ongoing subject in any educational system is how to improve students’ abilities to pay attention in class, improve their learning capacity and participation in class discussions.

The most significant development in modern-day classrooms has been technology: PowerPoint presentations, YouTube videos, slideshows and even accessibility to personal laptops, or school desktops.

However, it has also become one of the biggest hindrances.

Restrict in-class technology use

Personally, in lectures around two or three hours, I will pull out my iPhone to check text messages, scroll through my Facebook feed, or read through emails.

I can’t sit in one spot, staring at the instructor and taking notes from the presentation for any longer than 30 minutes.

It has become just as boring as the classroom years ago, when the teacher would write the notes on the chalkboard.

It’s also very hard to resist pulling out a phone considering many instructors don’t have any restrictions on technology; it’s almost welcomed when teachers ask to “Google it.”

In addition to technology, many instructors fail to provide an interactive learning environment.

Most students find long lectures, despite a break in-between, unappealing. They will lose focus and concentration, and they will get bored.

Students will find ways to cope with their boredom, such as scrolling through their phones, doodling rather than taking notes, or fiddling with pens to get through the long class.

Interactive classrooms can help students pay more attention

As students lose interest in their lectures, participation and attendance in the class will drop, negatively affecting their grades.

Put restrictions on the use of technology in class; use phones and laptops only when needed, such as in-class assignments.

For instructors, develop an interactive and creative teaching style, where students can discuss among their peers, or provide mock situations similar to the working environment where they aspire to be.

If students are having fun and moving on their feet, there’s no reason for them to be distracted and lose focus.

Read our related story about classroom distractions here

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