Are You 1 Click Away From Losing Them?
In today’s digital world everything is just seconds away from our eyes or ears. Think about it, we are always 1 click away from anything we could possibly want to know. We can hold up our phone and learn the name of a song we are listening to in just a few bars. If we need directions we just ask our phones and it immediately pops up and then proceeds to tell us where to go! We can even control our TV by our phones or tablets.
This creates an interesting challenge in the classroom when it comes to the delivery of information, content and what seems to be “never enough time” to get in the lessons we feel that we need too. When these kids, I call them Digital Natives, feel like they are not being engaged or stimulated they simply CLICK and move on to the next thing. As educators, if we do not embrace this 1 click away mentality and work diligently to engage our students we will lose their attention and ultimately their opportunity to learn the material.
These are few strategies that I have used in the past that have worked extremely well in multiple classroom environments and seminars to keep students engaged:
This is simply an opportunity for them to tweet a concept or idea that they find interesting during a lesson or lecture using a specific hashtag. I often require a minimum number of tweets and I also consistently use the phrase “this is tweet worthy!”
Kids are always up for a good argument! They seemingly have perfected the art of negotiation, so allow them the opportunity to debate the pro’s & con’s of a topic in your classroom.
The Google Project
Google uses a concept called 20% Time – this is where their employees spend 20% of their time working on projects that THEY want to work on. I use this as an opportunity for my students to come up with unique and innovative inventions or ideas to combat the topic at hand.
Out of Industry
A reality in the real world is that many of the best ideas and solutions to problems have come from outside of the industry that the problem is in. I often group my students in very small groups by their favorite hobbies and ask them to develop a strategy to combat the topic at hand. Then I start combining groups with the caveat that they must figure out how to combine their ideas to make a better idea to combat the topic at hand. Eventually the final 2 groups will come together and merge their ideas into one final solution.
There is no right or wrong way to engage students and keep them stimulated. The key is to meet them where they are at with their learning styles.
If you would like to discuss these 1 Click Away or any other learning strategies for our Digital Native students please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org