Most days I like to pretend it hasn’t been an eternity since I was in school, but then I remember that my teachers used overhead projectors to get their messages across, and I am forced to admit that I’m practically ready for retirement. And then I think about how any given high schooler today would have NO FREAKING CLUE what an overhead projector was, and I start designing my tombstone.
Today’s schools are all about the smart phone. It’s 100% commonplace to not only be able to take quizzes and check grades online, but use personal cell phones in the classroom for study and “learning.”
While smart phones should be a big help in getting more, and sometimes even better, information quickly, studies have found that having your phone with you in class can actually lower students’ grades.
It’s pretty obvious that when your attention is divided between those all-important texts and the in-class lecture, it makes it more difficult to recall either of those things accurately or for long.
Regardless, we now have proof that having a cell phone or laptop open during class can actually lower a student’s grade by at least a half letter, which for some, could be the difference between passing and failing.
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But here’s the kicker:
“The mere presence of our smartphones can adversely affect our ability to think and problem-solve—even when we aren’t using them. Even when we aren’t looking at them. Even when they are face-down. And even when they are powered off altogether.”
So even if our kids aren’t distractedly Instagramming during chem class, simply having their phone with them means they’re still being affected by the distracting, anxiety-inducing, and sleep-deprivation-mimicking effects of electronic devices.
It’s like an all-powerful gravitational force on our attention. And everyone else's in the class.
So how do we help kids pay attention in class and perform their best on tests and even in real life application?
The students in the studies who ultimately performed best were those who left their phones in another room entirely.
Time to lock up those devices in a locker and LEARN!