Create an environment where students know how to stay focused by making it easier to identify off-task behavior

  • Line up computers in your classroom with screens all facing the center of the room to make it easier to identify off-task behavior.
    •  It is hard to manage a room full of computers. To best manage the classroom, you need to be able to see all computer screens. 
    • If anyone is off task, immediately address the situation. The following suggestions would be useful. 
      • When you see students surfing the internet before they’ve finished the class activities, discourage them using one of these strategies:
        • Sit next to the distracted student and say: “You programmed Gmail in 10 minutes? It took Google years to develop it.” 
        • Replace Gmail and Google with the relevant site and company for your situation.
      • If your classroom has the technology to display any computer screen on the main projector say: “Quinn’s screen will be on the projector in 5 - 4 - 3 - 2 - 1.”
        • This gives them time to close the unauthorized websites and get back to the course material.
        • This also lets the student know you’ve noticed they are distracted and reminds the whole class that this behavior is not tolerated or acceptable.
  • Note: It is really important to develop a relationship with students that shows that you are respectful of their privacy, but have high standards for them focusing during class time.
  • If you don’t have a good rapport with your students where they don’t see your respect of their privacy, this can be detrimental for student-teacher relationships and make students feel uncomfortable in your class.

More about this tip

External Source

Interview with Seth Reichelson

Interview with Mark Zarb