How to reclaim learning time to keep students on track

Since classroom time is critical to learning, teachers and students simply cannot afford to lose precious time due to clumsy technology.
Madeleine Mortimore
Madeleine Mortimore
Madeleine Mortimore is the global education innovation and research lead for Logitech, where she leads research on ed-tech hardware to create products that holistically optimize learning and teaching. She holds a master of education from the Harvard University Graduate School of Education, where she launched an ed-tech startup at the Harvard Innovation Lab.

It’s no secret that teachers and students are losing valuable learning time each day due to never-ending disruptions in the classroom. In a study that concluded before the proliferation of tech in recent years, researchers documented teachers were losing 3.5 minutes of learning time every hour. While some interruptions are unavoidable, many day-to-day challenges can easily be mitigated.

Technology in the classroom is generally designed to enhance learning experiences, but it’s also become a regular source of frustration for those using it. Since classroom time is critical to learning, teachers and students simply cannot afford to lose precious time due to clumsy technology. And with more and more tech entering schools, the potential for delays and distractions has escalated. But time lost to technology is easily avoidable with the right practices and tools in place.

Technology fatigue is real

Considering the time lost to technology, it’s no wonder a recent study uncovered that 49% of educators believe their colleagues were fatigued by tech use. Picture a scenario where a teacher instructs students to put on their wireless headsets for focus time, only to discover that several headsets are not charged.

The same goes for uncharged tablets, wireless mice, and more. We’ve all been there—and we’ve seen enormous amounts of time wasted on device pairing, untangling headset cords, or trying to awkwardly take notes on a tablet without using a stylus.

Unlocking capabilities in an integrated way

Despite the challenges, the majority of educators are excited about tech in the classroom. In the study mentioned earlier, 61% of the teachers believe that technology invigorates their students, which implies there’s a tremendous opportunity to keep students engaged and excited.

When technology is designed in a way that contemplates student needs, it can greatly reduce frustration and improve both teaching and learning. For example, when students are working on comprehension exercises, headsets allow for greater focus and distraction-free learning.

Superintendent turnover: Frenzy of moves as school year ends

In a recent case study, students were asked to use wired plug-in earbuds while reading books, listening to audiobooks and doing activities in a reading app. The earbuds weren’t designed to block out ambient noise, so students became more distracted by classroom chatter and other external noises. Students also often fiddled with the earbuds to keep them from falling out of their ears. When they switched to headsets that were optimized for voice, focus improved so much that time on task increased, with the class experiencing a 40% increase in the number of books finished.

For teachers, there’s peace of mind when students are truly set up for success. And when educators use tech in the classroom, it needs to be equally impactful. For demonstrating activities, the ability to easily and seamlessly share analog content with an entire class at the same time without stopping instruction helps keep all students engaged and focused on the lesson. When teaching remotely, tools like external webcams and microphones that are plug-and-play also avoid interruptions to the flow of teaching.

Choosing the right technology

When evaluating classroom technology, it’s important to consider how the technology will increase focus in distracting environments and streamline instruction. Tech solutions that are built for learning typically require little – or preferably – no setup time. They should be intuitive, easy to use, and plug-and-play so that students and educators can seamlessly use devices without interruptions.

In a perfect world, technology should be “invisible,” in that it takes a back seat to the actual process of teaching and learning. With the right tech and planning in place, you can reclaim lost time. And when you choose technology that is built for learning, there is huge potential for enhanced learning experiences with little to no disruptions. All it takes is a little bit of research and a good plan for implementation.


Most Popular