Teachers compete with video games to keep students’ attention
In this era, when information is ubiquitous, attention is scarce, thus expensive. In learning, attention is prerequisite to memorize information, facts, theories, skills and to transfer short-term memory into long-term memory.
However, learners nowadays focus more on video games and social media than on learning. Therefore, teachers must find ways to pull student’s attention back to books. This is challenging because video games are more exciting and stimulating. In other words, they are more emotional rewarding immediately in comparison to learning. This latter only brings rewards in long-term, which is not something students prefer. Furthermore, video games are supported by big businesses whereas teachers have limited resources.
There are several strategies to attract and keep student’s attention on learning:
- More interesting learning materials
- Better learning and teaching methods
- Convert learning materials into video games
- Experiential learning approach
- Reinforce discipline in balance with reward
- Work in sync with parents at home
- Improve learning and teaching space and make this space conducive to learning and focus
Many students are unable to focus to learn. They get distraction easily by smartphone, games, online chatting. This is irritating to both teachers and parents. More importantly, students can not learn well and can not build good productive habits.
Video gaming in school children: How much is enough? Ann Neurol. 2016 Sep;80(3):424-33. doi: 10.1002/ana.24745. Epub 2016 Aug 22.
Gentile, D. A., Swing, E. L., Lim, C. G., & Khoo, A. (2012). Video game playing, attention problems, and impulsiveness: Evidence of bi-directional causality. Psychology of Popular Media Culture, 1, 62-70