As teachers we always want our kids to be on task and engaged in the classroom. This seems to get more challenging as our schools have so many exciting things that students have access to, especially when we hand them a digital device. We know that even as adults we can get off task when sitting through a meeting with our devices active. We claim we are multi-tasking, but the truth is that we probably are missing pieces of information that we should be taking in.
When we are teaching lessons in a 1:1 setting we must understand that our students are just like us. They will get off task and we will have to remind them to do the right thing. I want to challenge us as teachers to not get mad and have a knee-jerk reaction of taking a students device from them when they are off task. Rather, give a simple reminder and move forward. When we immediately take a tool from a student that they need to accomplish a task, they don’t have any chance of completing it. Even worse than taking a device from a student is keeping it and not allowing them to have it for the rest of their school day. When we do this, the student loses the tools they may need for another class. Just because the student is off task in one room doesn’t mean that he will be off task in the next class.
Be a reflective practitioner. If you have a day where many students aren’t where they need to be on their devices, ask yourself why. In the past I know that when I have taken the time to do this, I can honestly admit I could have done things better. If students think a lesson is boring, they aren’t going to stay on task. We need to be sure that what we plan is engaging and meaningful. As we continue to develop as digital educators our skills in management and engagement will get better every day. Don’t get discouraged or frustrated when you hit challenges. Reach out to other educators for tips and tricks and keep pushing on.