I’ve noticed a few blog posts about screen time, in particular these ones from Mr Enthusiastic and Ella. In his blog post, Mr Enthusiastic states that you shouldn’t sit in front of a screen for more than 15-20 minutes at a time. As I read this, it reminded me of a strategy that my mentor teacher used on my previous professional experience.
The students were completing a report – which meant they were spending a large amount of time on their laptops in class. Now, I remember those lessons from when I was student. I remember getting distracted. I remember being productive, but as the lesson wore on, I became less and less productive, and more and more disruptive. These students were no different.
To combat this, my mentor teacher uses a simple, but extremely effective strategy. The classes were 70 minutes long, there were 10 students, and the current craze at lunchtime was good ol handball. After 30 minutes of class (enough time to work for about 20 minutes after the introduction of the lesson), we set aside 5 minutes for a break. We went outside, we played handball, they got away from the screens. And when they came back into the classroom, they worked all the way through to the bell.
It seems like something so simple, but by sacrificing that 5 minutes of class time, I would say we gained at least 15 minutes of efficient work by the students.
Image: CCO Public Domain