4 Ways to Increase Student Attention in the Age of Distraction

4 Ways to Increase Student Attention in the Age of Distraction:


Awesome article. Here’s one idea:

#1: Practice contemplative pedagogy

According to the Center for Teaching at Vanderbilt University, the teaching methods ofcontemplative pedagogy help cultivate deepened awareness, concentration and insight. Some of the recommended practices, which research says can offset the distractions of multitasking and multimedia, include:

In-Class Contemplation, or taking a few minutes to focus on the task at hand. This might mean turning off the lights at the start of class and instructing students to take slow, deep breaths, relax and stretch their bodies, and “just let go” and be silent for a few minutes.

Journaling, when done at the beginning of class can help students determine what they have to offer to the class’s upcoming discussion, or when done in the middle can have a reflective and calming effect after intense debate and discussion. One professor has his students answer the question, “What matters here?” because it prompts them to take ownership of their learning.

Mindful e-mail involves acquainting students with the concept of mindfulness, having them observe without judgement their own e-mail behaviors, engaging them in honest and broad discussions on the application of mindfulness to an ubiquitous technology, and then asking them to craft and share a set of personal guidelines for mindful e-mail use.

Find many more ideas for incorporating contemplative pedagogy here and here.

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