Technology in schools has been a contemporary topic in the modern years. The student’s success and concentration in the classroom are important and rely on a variety of factors, including the equipment used, instructional methods, and the learning environment. Research has found that technology incorporation in classroom environments is not only healthy but also allows students to lose attention if not correctly used. The student concentration in the classroom is directly linked to the manner in which the instructor incorporates the technologies and conducts himself in the classroom. The present study aims to unveil the relevant technologies used, their relevance, and student emphasis in the classroom. The study will further delve into how the student’s focus amid technological integration in school can be enhanced. This is aimed at improving and integrating appropriate technology in schools. Additionally, it will ensure the teachers use the right technology and approach to effectively improve students focus in class.
Technology and Student’s Focus in Class
Technology and student’s focus in class is a vital aspect in effective teaching and learning to take place in class. Learning is considered to have taken place when a significant change is experienced by the learners. Also, the teachers play a vital role in ensuring students stay focused in a classroom setting. In most cases distractions hamper the learning and teaching in the classroom, this results in subject and lesson objectives not achieved. The 21st Century learners are much a head in the technological edge, this demands for 21st century skills upgrade by the teachers (Emmer, E. T., & Evertson, 2016). Therefore, it is inevitable for teachers to seek for nuggets that will help them go an extra mile in analyzing the demands of the rise in technology and sharpen their classrooms and student’s technology demand (Arney, 2015). Teaching is boring without integrating the technological aspect, this is the cause of class boredom as students always claim. However, to staying focus in the class is a challenge that should be addressed for learners to achieve the national goals of education. It is not only technology that improves learning, but the ability of students to stay focused and free from distractions.
Objectives of the Study
The purpose for working on this topic is to unravel the kind of technology that takes place in school and how it affects student focus in class. This will ensure proper selection of technology to be used class and give recommendations on how to integrate it in the curriculum across the globe.
The research will handle the question: how does school technology affects student learning and classroom focus. More specifically the research will delve on the impact and approach of technology used for effective learning that enhances students focus in a classroom setting.
The need for Technology in Classroom to Improve Learning
Regarding the technology in class and school setting, technological integration in education is increasing becoming significant. Over the recent past, there has been a shift in class teaching from manual to digital (Dell, Newton, & Petroff, 2016). Technology is on the rise in this generation. Technology in the classroom entails use of digital gadgets such as laptops, projectors, iPhone, electronic tables for data plotting, online class discussions and conferencing, and internet availability. Therefore, projects related to technology is mandatory to the sustenance of education in schools.
Emmer & Evertson (2016) examined how technology in schools help in running of many education related activities. For example, monitoring of students records and performance in class (school). Technology helps to quicken the running student’s database. This helps in storage of student’s information that is the admission record, and performance progress report. In addition to that, teachers profiling and distribution of lessons is kept t per. The school program works swiftly with the aid of technology, the teachers are able to enter the students marks or search with a lot of ease the report of a given student where need be.
Advanced technological laboratories in majority of schools play a vital role in helping students conduct and analyze practical in science subjects electronically with much ease. In this regard, the students are able to connect and share their practical data with other students across the globe (Wong & Daud, 2017). Furthermore, the presence of digital school library is a key avenue for teachers and students to hold online discussions and classes. In this regard, the students stay connected with their tutors and mentors online without any physical contact. This method enhances future retrieval of the online discussions and class sections. Additionally, the presence of internet services such as Wi-Fi in school has enabled students to stay online so as to research for vast information in online. Therefore, the students are able to access e-books and other online resources which helps students to have full possession of content in the internet (Lim et al., 2013).
All in all, students are able to access their class room assignments, projects and stay connected with their teachers online for as much they can. The teachers do not have to print assignments to students individually. Consequently, it has saved time, money, and reduced a lot of paper work in schools. In regard to this, schools should embrace technology and erect more technological projects in their environs (Meyer, 2014).
Technology and student’s focus in modern teaching and learning demands the use of proper technology in a classroom. There are a myriad reasons to support the need of technology in a classroom. The technological adage helps teachers to explain well abstract content (Meyer, 2014). Topics in science subjects and mathematic may be abstract, for example three-dimension analysis in mathematics, rate of reactions in chemistry, organic chemistry, complicated human system figure, and other topics of the same. These topics cannot be explained directly by a teacher for students to understand. Technological components such as animations, projected three dimension diagrams coupled with pictures and proper explanation enables students to analyze and easily understand the concepts. The retention and understanding of the learners for such abstract ideas comes with a lot of ease when using technology. Also, teachers find it difficult teaching abstract topics without technology. Consequently, much time is consumed by the teacher explaining such abstract content. However, by using technology that time is secured and saved for other class work (Lim et al., 2013).
While based upon research, another significant classroom technology is the internet. Internet and search engines play a vital role in the performance of students in the 21st Century. Internet comes along with a dozen possibilities for students. Students always have many assignments in various fields, this demand for implicit and explicit research. Internet has saved the students the hustle of carrying bulky textbooks to class. Therefore, students can access any information from the internet. The e-books, journals, research papers, online questions help students a great deal. Internet has acted as a reference and an intermediate between the teacher and the learners (Wakefield, 2015). In addition to that, students are able to explore the work of other students from other parts of the world through the internet. This boosts there classroom work and performance. Students can access their assignment in class through online class page or blog. This saves time and prevents a lot of paper work by both the teacher and the students. Analysis of scientific data in class can take a very short as the teacher can install software’s that help students get the meaning as the teacher explains. Mathematical and engineering software like Math lab and staples helps student to quickly plot and analyze their data which can be used to explain a number of scientific concepts. All these require technology in installing internet services in the classroom environs (Binder & Watkins, 2013).
Dell, Newton, & Petroff (2016) suggested how technology fastens and makes learning interesting. The teacher is able to use gadgets such as projectors to provide slides, PowerPoint, and videos which makes learning of seem real and interesting. Most students get bored and doze off when a teacher is busy explaining or teaching verbally. However, the use of such technology keeps all students alert and active. The students are able to interact with the real lecture or lesson. Consequently, the students are motivated as than when the teacher teachers them. The teacher is able to go to teach at the pace of the learners, even if the learner missed a point or a diagrammatic flowchart, it becomes easy for the teacher to press the button back. This makes teaching and learning interesting. More so, the video lectures can be interesting to the learners. When the teacher is help up or feeling sick, learners will not have to miss the lesson, the teacher can avail the audio or video recorded lectures for the students. Hence, the no lesson will always go unattended to. This last hour rush by the lecturers as timely coverage of the syllabus and the course outline is upheld (Meyer, 2014).
Furthermore, classroom technology enables students to learn at their own pace. Podcast and vodcast are classroom technological platforms that enable students to go back and review what they were taught if they did not understand. Students with learning difficulties find this technology amazing for them. Therefore, they can refer time after time, even after a long period of time. Students can lose their notes, so they can still survive or retrieve them without much stress. The teacher may also misplace his teaching resources and he can still find them (Wakefield, 2015).
Bausch, Ault, & Hasselbring (2015) suggested that, video conferencing, academic discussion and consultative platforms play a fundamental role in boosting learning in the classroom. This takes place when the teacher and the learners can remotely interact with each other in a discussion targeted on a particular contemporary or argument idea. This technology allow students to present their ideas and ask questions logically without fear. The questions and challenging concepts can be answered technically by the teacher in the platform. In regard to this, technology has simplified teaching and learning. This keeps learners busy and concentrate on the valuable aspect of learning and teaching. Thereby boosting the learner’s morale and urge to discover much. Through this charts, the teachers can post their questions to be done or answered briefly without much time wasted. The vast classroom technology can further be used by the students to prepare for the outside tech demand by the job market (Wong & Daud, 2017).
How to Improve Student’s focus Amid Technology
Binder & Watkins (2013) investigated how technology and student’s focus is determined by the teacher’s method of teaching in class. Teacher place students at a spinning point to either stay focused or divert from the focus path. Therefore, teachers play a vital role in the effectiveness of teaching and learning scenario. A number of nuggets help students stay focused. To begin with, class experiments and tasks helps student to stay on truck. This is done by grouping students into manageable groups and give them a class experiment or a task that entails their full participation within the group. The teacher in such a scenario acts as a facilitator. The students will stay focused to the objectives of the lesson (Meyer, 2014). Furthermore, after the students have participated in their group class experiment and discussions they are allowed to present their findings to others in the classroom. The students will act actively in such a case since they will be competing to present the best to their colleagues.
The teacher can apply demonstration method to teach the students. The method can be a class demonstration experiment or a number of students demonstrate in front of a class. This makes learning colorful and enjoyable, it further reduces boredom and dozing in class. It is believed that student’s participatory method evokes alertness in them. Therefore, the teacher should ensure the demonstration is student centered and not teacher centered method. Student centered method of teaching creates not only alertness but also improved retention potential and learning drive. The drive is what keeps the student focused and crave to learn more without ceasing. In doing this, appropriate technology can be integrated (Wakefield, 2015).
Also, the teacher should consider planning thoroughly prior to the lesson. He should dress well and have in-depth content delivery. This will lure the students to listen to him and participate in class without drifting their minds (Meyer, 2014). Proper lesson planning and delivery ensures time is well allocated for every concept to avoid creating a disorganized picture in the mind of the students. This is because attention is a key mental aspect, when students switch off from a teacher they will definitely scatter their attention away from class. In relation to proper dressing code and decency of the teacher, the students concentrate and have their attention captured (Wakefield, 2015). Teachers who are poorly dressed reduces the student’s ability to focus on the lesson. Also, teacher planning should come in the way lessons are arranged in the timetable, technological resources, and lesson deliver. Furthermore, the lessons should have frequent and appropriate breaks which will enhance retention of concepts taught and boosts concentration of the learners.
Proper choice of words and richness in presentation devices count much in attracting student’s attention. The teacher should know when to raise or lower the tone, this helps to bring back students from a region-out session. Students are sensitive to tonal variation and voice projection (Davies, Dean, & Ball, 2013). Teachers who do not project their voices loud enough for students to hear leads to boredom and loss of focus. Poor voice projection makes learners not hear or understand the teacher and this leads to dizziness in class. Also, if the teacher projects the voice beyond the threshold, the student’s attention is interfered with. The interference is termed as noise. Therefore, it’s vital for teachers to ensure their voices are well projected and varied to suit the attention of the students.
Furthermore, the teacher should arrange the content taught from simple to complex. When the lesson development is not followed properly, learners drift their attention from the lesson. It is important to ensure that the choice of content does not cultivate high difficulty index to the learners (Bausch, Ault, & Hasselbring, 2015). As such, the difficult index dictates how the attention of the learner is sustained. The choice of content should be accompanied by the relevant examples given to the learners by the teacher. Therefore, the examples given to students should correlate with the content taught to avoid switching off of the students minds. Students often switch off if the content does not match the examples given by the teacher. Also, class tasks and exercises given to student in between the lesson breaks keeps students focused and attentive throughout the entire lesson.
The teacher’s personality in the classroom should be also be checked. The teacher should employ humorous personality in line with his code of conduct. Humor makes the class and teaching lively, no student will doze off when the teacher is maintaining humor. However, humor should be controlled for the results to be achieved. Too much humor makes the teacher lose his target and objective. Other than humor, the teacher should introduce change and use appropriate technology. This helps to create and trigger the learners mind to be receptive to learning during the lesson. Additionally, creating a good atmosphere for learning helps the students stay focused in class, the atmosphere should be stress-free to necessitate proper learning which attracts the attention of the learners (Arney, 2015). When a teacher enters in class he should ensure all students are feeling well and nothing will interrupt the teaching and learning process.
Considering how to makes students stay focused for long, there are several methods that can be used. The teachers need to learn the art and science of proper student motivation and incentives program. The program can be launched periodically or at the point of giving the right occurrence. The method entails rewarding students either individually or in groups for maintaining proper participation in class or in different groups (Wakefield, 2015). The rewards can also be given either during the class attendance or weekly. The students develop a positive mind towards the lesson and the teacher. Consequently, maximum attention will be achieved and guaranteed whenever the teacher is in class. Incentives and motivation serves to cognitively create a good desire towards the activity at hand that is classwork. Motivation may also involve the teacher guiding the students and opening avenues of counselling. Guidance and counseling motivates students to concentrate in learning (Davies, Dean, & Ball, 2013). Those students who have poor habits in losing attention during a lesson should be keenly noted by the teacher. The teacher can meet such students and show them the right way to overcome such challenges. Most of the students have challenges right away from home, so the root cause of the problem should be addressed to avoid future repeat of the same. Therefore, the teacher should periodically keep the learners motivated and rewarded to achieve more attention.
Proper teaching strategy can be employed by the teacher to ensure the students maintain and sustain their attention for long. Student centered strategy, inquiry, and expository method should be employed. The inquiry method demands students to be inquisitive in class always and research before they come to class. The method ensures full participation of all students since they will have to answer questions in class. Therefore, students have not alternative of not being attentive. Student centered method of learning cultivates a spirit of participation at all class activities without excuses. When all learners have no choice other than participating, then they will focus all their attention to the class work without diverting anywhere. Expository method involves grouping of students and giving each one of them the course outline and asking them to produce quality work as per the topic of discussion or being handled by the teacher. The method makes students have maximum attention in class (Bausch, Ault, & Hasselbring, 2015).
It is not only technology that improves learning, but the ability of students to stay focused and free from distractions. The research has vividly indicated the benefit of technology in a school and classroom setting; it helps to simple abstract concepts during teaching and learning, saves time used in explaining concepts, makes learning interesting and not boring, and enhances learning and retention of concepts. The teachers should ensure students stay focused to be able to learn well. Effective teaching strategies are vital for students to stay focused and free from distractions during a lesson. Proper choice of words and content, use of discussion and class experiments, keep students alert by giving more class examples, and proper guidance and counselling to ensure students stay focused for long. The research is conducted in a school, college or university setting.
Arney, L. (2015). Go blended!: A handbook for blending technology in schools. John Wiley & Sons.
Bausch, M. E., Ault, M. J., & Hasselbring, T. S. (2015). Assistive Technology in Schools: Lessons Learned from the National Assistive Technology Research Institute. In Efficacy of Assistive Technology Interventions (pp. 13-50). Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
Binder, C., & Watkins, C. L. (2013). Precision teaching and direct instruction: Measurably superior instructional technology in schools. Performance Improvement Quarterly, 26(2), 73-115.
Davies, R. S., Dean, D. L., & Ball, N. (2013). Flipping the classroom and instructional technology integration in a college-level information systems spreadsheet course. Educational Technology Research and Development, 61(4), 563-580.
Dell, A. G., Newton, D. A., & Petroff, J. G. (2016). Assistive technology in the classroom: Enhancing the school experiences of students with disabilities. Pearson.
Emmer, E. T., & Evertson, C. M. (2016). Classroom management for middle and high school teachers. Pearson.
Lim, C. P., Zhao, Y., Tondeur, J., Chai, C. S., & Chin-Chung, T. (2013). Bridging the gap: Technology trends and use of technology in schools. Journal of Educational Technology & Society, 16(2).
Meyer, L. (2014). 5 Reasons Schools Still Need Desktop Computers: Despite the Growth of Mobile Learning, Desktops Still Play Important Roles in the 21st Century Classroom. THE Journal (Technological Horizons In Education), 41(4), 20.
Wakefield, J. (2015). Technology in schools: Future changes in classrooms. BBC, [En línea]. Available: http://www. bbc. com/news/technology-30814302.
Wong, A. Y., & Daud, K. (2017). Headmaster Technology Leadership in Malaysia Elementary Schools. Journal of Education and Learning (EduLearn), 11(2), 154-164.