Education

How to capture students’ attention

10.05.2017 • 4 minutes

How to capture students’ attention

Capturing the attention of students, helping them focus on the lesson to learn as effectively as possible, is one of the biggest challenges facing teachers and education officials today. How come?

Generation Z expect everything to be an ‘experience’

Members of the younger generation are hyper-connected, and with that full-time connection comes growing impatience. Through games, websites and apps, Generation Z  have grown accustomed to ‘experiences’, which they now expect to find in anything they do.

This notion of an ‘experience’ is now present almost everywhere outside of the educational environment, which is why it is important to adapt teaching methods to this new generation, to help them focus their attention and improve their concentration.

Using the idea ‘experience’ to promote learning

The notion of ‘experience’ in an academic context is becoming more prominent. The more a student is immersed in such an ‘experience’, the more they will be able to learn. The more we take the learner into a story by creating a kind of universe of experience through interactions, the more we will feed and capture their attention and concentration. It is therefore necessary to offer interactive experiments to capture the attention of this new generation of learners.

Students will never learn as much as when they are engaging with and engaged in their learning

Teachers aren’t always aware that they could leverage this idea of an ‘experience’ to tap into the mindset of Generation Z and keep students motivated throughout the year. Studies show that a student will never learn as much as when they are actively engaged in learning.

Here are four concrete examples that you can put in place to capture your students’ attention:

  1. Project-based learning
    Project-based learning involves bringing students together to work on the same topic. This is different from traditional learning and will allow students to develop new skills (disciplinary, soft skills, autonomy, transverse, critical thinking, questioning etc) to learn more easily.
    Modify the size of the group to help develop these new skills. The advantages and difficulties of working in a group of 6 people are different from working in a group of 2.
  2. Gamification
    Bringing fun and games into the classroom dramatically increases the motivation of learners, their understanding of a subject matter, and the amount of information they retain. Games are designed to engage the player and encourage them to invest themselves into it a little more, bit by bit. Gamification improves attention and concentration and helps the student learn.
    That being said, let’s not forget that the game has an educational purpose: remember to contextualise the experience and give students an overview that shows them what they have learned.
    One good example of interactive experiences that are quick and easy to set up is Wooclap’s competition mode. Students use their smartphone, tablet or laptop to answer questions, and the rankings with the best show the players with the best scores.
  3. Interactive slides
    Generation Z no longer expects to listen to two-hour presentations passively. Integrate surveys, multiple-choice questions, word clouds, open questions and more into your slides, and invite your students to answer them using Wooclap.
    Instead of trying to fight smartphones, use them to regularly redirect the students’ focus and to emphasise the important lessons during class.
  4. Q&A sessions
    There is nothing more frustrating for a student than not being able to ask questions, and there is nothing more frustrating for a teacher than to be constantly interrupted during a lesson.
    Wooclap offers an interactive presenter mode which allows the students to ask questions during the lesson, and the teacher to select questions to be projected on the screen at opportune moments.
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