The Kids are Distracted !

A common complaint we hear from teachers in schools where kids have computers and iPads is that the students are distracted and that they can't attend to their lessons. I see this myself as today in my student centered classroom I had to redirect a student from his fantasy football website and later from a political blog. However, remember that kids have long been distracted in class. More importantly, we have to ask, "How are we using the technology?"

Last year, my boss asked me to generate questions for an upcoming discussion at faculty in-service regarding distraction in students. Below is her question and my response. (I came across this today as I was cleaning out my inbox.)

AlexAs  a teacher that uses the iPads in your classroom quite a bit, can you offer a guiding question or two for small group discussions during our PD Day Friday on distraction in the classroom? Thank you! -K
K-
Your request is hard to distill into a question. But I'll try after a bit of explanation. With the tools in kids' hands, we can't expect them to attend the same way. Ever try not watching TV when it is on in a restaurant? I can't help but watch, even when I don't want to. My point is that we can't teach the same way as we used to. The beauty of the iPad though, is it can let us be more kid-centered in our teaching.... Since I still have to pose a question... it is this:
What do we want kids to know and be able to do?
Is she paying attention?

Follow up question:  Are we changing our expectations and goals in light of the fact that we have these powerful tools?  -Alex
Distraction is real. So is the potential for teaching differently.


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