Faculty Partnership Opportunity: Reducing Technology Distraction in the Classroom

Classroom Phone Distraction

At Duke and at many other educational institutions, instructors and students struggle with technology in the classroom. Research shows that students distracted by their laptop computers distract other students around them, thereby hurting their ability to focus on course activities. As a result, some instructors ban devices from their classrooms and encourage their colleagues to do the same. But, a total ban forecloses opportunities for emerging positive uses of technology in the classroom.

This Fall, Learning Innovation is seeking Duke faculty who are interested in piloting a technology, with one or more of their classes, that students can voluntarily install on their connected devices to temporarily block access to applications and websites that they deem to be distracting.

Early in the semester, the faculty member and students would mutually agree upon a list of “distracting” apps and sites to add to the block list. Students would then install the software on their devices and set it up to be active during the time that the class regularly meets.

If you are interested in participating in this pilot this Fall, please fill out this short survey, and someone will be in touch with you soon.

Seth Anderson

Author: Seth Anderson

Seth works with faculty in the Humanities in order to help them improve pedagogy and enhance meaningful student learning. His interests include active learning techniques, the educational use of mobile devices (phones, tablets, etc.), wearable technology, online course development and delivery, digital video and imagery, virtual and augmented reality, and Web-based educational tools.