According to one study, teachers need to be entertaining to stop students using YouTube to skip ahead. Instead of banning technology outright, one expert believes that the solution lies elsewhere.
According to the findings of a new study, students believe that teachers need to be entertaining to prevent them from watching YouTube in class.
Researchers from the University of Waterloo discovered that most students used technology to catch up on other classes because they felt disengaged and bored in the classroom. The research also pointed out that the students fiercely clung to their right to do so.
“While students felt that it was their choice to use the technology, they saw it as the instructors’ responsibility to motivate them not to use it,” says co-author Elena Neiterman, a School of Public Health and Health Systems professor.
On the other side of the table, instructors believe that technology is a useful tool, but also noted that they were mostly a distraction. 68% said that they were bothered by the use of phones in the classroom, and 32% were bothered by the use of laptops and tablets.
Teaching in the tech-age is challenging. When students can access free online content from entities like Harvard and TED, that puts incredible pressure on teachers to match that level of quality.
“Some students said that instructors need to be more entertaining to keep students engaged in the classroom, but this is a big ask, given that we are not employed in the entertainment industry,” says Neiterman. “There is also a question of what we are preparing our students for: If we are training them for future employment, we might need to teach them to focus even if the class is ‘boring.'”
For what it’s worth, the majority of instructors understood that a blanket ban on technology is not the answer.
Bernadette Schwerdt, a workplace communications expert, believes the solution lies somewhere in the middle. “Teaching in the tech-age is challenging. When students can access free online content from entities like Harvard and TED, that puts incredible pressure on teachers to match that level of quality. However, on the flip side, students now want their learning delivered with colour and movement so if teachers can incorporate gamification, quizzes and personal stories into their lesson plans, and thereby engage directly with the student, this will encourage the student to turn off the video and pay attention to the teacher standing in front of them,” she said.