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African American using laptop and mobile phone at the same time

James M. Lang has written a series of articles for the Chronicle of Higher Education on distraction and attention in higher education. The articles draw from his new book, Distracted: Why Students Can’t Focus and What You Can Do About It. In his book he makes a compelling argument that rather than thinking about how to ban distractions you should focus on creating learning environments that support and sustain attention. If this has piqued your interest, you can find his series of articles on distracted minds at these links:

Photo Credit: #WOCinTech Chat / CC BY 2.0

Technology promises productivity and even happiness — but does it deliver?

With so many apps and options for accessing information and communicating, it’s more important than ever to be highly selective and intentional in our choices.

Maintaining Focus in a Fragmented WorldJoin us as we explore the ideas and practices put forward in Cal Newport’s provocative new book, Digital Minimalism.

Learn about the concepts of digital minimalism and how to implement them.

Date: Saturday, September 14, 2019
Time: 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Location: Mellon Seminar Room - LRC 532B

Lunch will be served. Participants will receive a copy of the book.

Open to all Xavier faculty and staff. Limited number of seats — register today!

by Janice Florent

It is hard for students to remain focused and engaged with all the digital distractions out there. This is especially true for students taking online classes.

image showing student daydreaming and is surrounded by social media icons

In a recent Edudemic article, Rony Zarom wrote:

There is no silver bullet for keeping students engaged in the online classroom, there are many simple things educators can do to improve their chances of success.

Rony lists four ways educators can examine their online learning approach for student success. They are:

  • Assess skills early and set goals
  • Give students a variety of ways to learn
  • Prevent the "zone out" effect
  • Establish flex class learning options

If this has piqued your interest, you can read more in his article 4 Ways to Turn Distracted Students into Engaged Learners.

by Janice Florent

image showing distracted students in a classroom

Technology in education is great, distraction is not...Digital technology in the classroom is here to stay, whether it’s provided directly by the school or used surreptitiously by students on the sly. The question is not, "Should we allow digital devices in the classroom?", it’s "Now that they’re here, how can we prevent digital devices from becoming a distraction?"

A post by Leah Anne Levy, at Edudemic, suggests the following tips for dealing with digital distractions in the classroom:

  • Destroy the multitasking myth
  • Rethink smartphones bans
  • Write how they read
  • Use their unique distraction styles to spark learning
  • Don’t post everything online
  • Create opportunities for curiosity outside the digital space
  • Teach grit

You can read more about this in Leah's post 7 Ways to Deal with Digital Distractions in the Classroom.