Sorry pen and paper, your golden age has come to an end. Taking notes is faster with a computer, and researching and writing papers can be done simultaneously. The only trouble is all this technology can be a real problem for professors.
Professors often find themselves vying for the attention of their students during class period. Facebook chatting, emailing, playing games, or watching silly video clips is normal behavior I’ve noticed as a college student. I don′t think it’s fair to the college professors to prepare a lecture only to have a dead audience, so I’m going to spill the beans. I’ll reveal some ways to help you know what your class is really up to.
Sometimes it’s quiet obvious when students aren′t paying attention. You can almost predict whether they will be listening or not depending on the hour and the class. If you teach an early morning class or a really hard subject you will have a much harder time keeping an attentive audience. Also, if you don′t have strict computer policies, you are more likely to have students abusing their computer.
Now, for the actual giveaways. When students giggle even though you’ve said nothing funny, click a lot, have glazed eyes, or keep up a constant stream of typing when no one else in the class is typing, they’re probably using their computers for other purposes. Also, little or no eye contact and expressions of frustration can be indicators of gaming. For those of you with Mac users in the class don′t let them trick you. Macs have a setting called hot corners that allow the user to position the mouse in one of the four corners of the screen and they serve as shortcuts. One setting enables everything pulled up, all documents, chats, or online screens to disappear, another allows the computer to go to sleep. Many college students will use these features when they see their professor coming. It only takes one second so Mac users are very hard to catch red-handed. The trick with the first setting is that as soon as you place the mouse back in that corner, all the things hidden will instantly reappear. In the case of sending the computer to sleep, if you’re fast enough, it won′t have time to go completely to sleep. Of course you’ll have to figure out which corner to go to, since the students set up each computer differently, but you should be able to figure it out.
With these tips, hopefully your students won′t get the best of you. Speaking of letting people get the best of you, technology doesn′t have to be your competition. As a matter of fact, technology can help you. Take home security systems for instance. Installing a security monitoring system can keep your home safe and prevent burglars from taking advantage of you.