When it comes to creating a learning environment that meets the individual needs of their learners, all teachers strive for perfection. It’s the nature of a great classroom teacher to want to ensure that every single student is catered for, and that every single student leaves their classroom at the end of the day having learnt something or been challenged in some way. That’s why the world needs great teachers.
Unfortunately, as most of us having undertaken mainstream education know, this teaching vision doesn’t always go to plan. There are inevitable distractions along the way that take planned lessons into different directions. Most teachers are prepared for the usual distractions - bugs flying in the room in the middle of a prep lesson; a child pushing another on the mat in a year two lesson; a musical instrument that is lost or a book that is misplaced that sends an extracurricular lesson into spin.
These usual distractions can be used to take a lesson into a different tangent and still meet a desired goal of learning or reflecting or challenging. It’s the unusual, difficult-to-mitigate, killers-of-a-great-lesson-plan distractions that can send even the best classroom teacher into a panic at the thought of losing the children’s focus. And let’s face it, those distractions are usually the fault of the technology that is in the room.
Having worked with a number of schools in setting up their technology requirements, we hear a lot about the bugbears that teachers have to endure when it comes to IT. And we sympathise, because we know it can be better for teachers. So much better!
So with that in mind, here are three common digital distractions and some ideas on how to avoid them in your classroom.
Digital distraction #1: One learner goes without
If ever there’s going to be a problem within a primary school setting, it will be when one of the learners goes without. Think the year one child who’s iPad battery runs out and has to share with another child. Or perhaps, the year seven child who’s mouse doesn’t work in the computer lab, so they need to finish their assignment at lunch time on the library computer. Not only will these events ebb the flow of any planned lesson but they also give the learner reason to start disrupting rest of the children in the classroom.
Digital distraction #2: Your network connection fails
Using world-class educational internet sites to work through technical maths problem with high school students is a great way to engage learners, particularly if you have an interactive whiteboard hooked up to your projector. However, this lesson will fail abysmally if you lose your connection to the network and find yourself staring at a frozen screen. Losing an internet or network connection will quickly mean losing a classroom of kids while you frantically try to refresh the connection and realise that there’s probably not much point because every other teacher in the school is more than likely doing the same thing.
Digital distraction #3: Things look unfamiliar
A great teacher is a prepared teacher. They would have researched their lesson plans and modified their outcomes to suit the curriculum and each learner in their room. They would have arranged for support work for the children who required extra assistance. They would have some activities on hand for the fast finishers in the group so that they stay on task and don’t get distracted. But sometimes, a teacher can’t be prepared for everything. Especially the inevitable, and often unexpected, software upgrade that leaves their laptop looking as unfamiliar as it did the first day they opened it.
At the end of the day, we love and value our classroom teachers and appreciate how much time and effort they put into each and every learning experience. We also know that if we can help ensure the learning experiences run smoothly, then why wouldn’t we eliminate those pesky little digital distractions? Get in touch
with the team at Precision Industries to find out how we can partner with you today.