Stating the Obvious

Spending a lot of time at conferences, I have heard the question, “What do we do with kids that are so distracted by their devices in the classroom?”  My initial thoughts is that in a world where there are so many amazing things and easy ways to connect, kids are not always simply distracted, but sometimes they are just bored.  There is often pushback to that idea from many participants.

Then I observe and state the obvious.

If adults are sitting through any opportunity that they find boring, many adults are quick to grab their phones, go to their computers, check email, text family, head to Facebook, read Tweets, and so on.  When they are bored, they look elsewhere.

The best “classroom management” is engaging learning opportunities no matter if you are 16 or 60.  Let’s quit pointing the finger at kids that do the same thing that we often do as adults.


  1. WK said:

    Great point! Students are doing exactly what we do and what they see us doing.

    February 22, 2014
  2. Dawn said:

    Perhaps we need to acknowledge the presence of the devices and USE them to engage our listeners, rather than pointing the finger.

    February 23, 2014
  3. Lori Polachek said:

    Yes rather than legislate away the behavior- cell phones or other distractions, or medicate kids so they are better able to tolerate boredom, it would help to try to understand what is causing the distraction- what if we worked on enhancing engagement, with relevant lesson and engaging pedagogy- we may find there is a less of a need for medication or restrictive cell phone use policies

    February 23, 2014

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