Do you have a digital device policy?
A study published this week found that West Point students who were allowed to use digital devices without restriction while in a learning environment performed lower on assessments than those who were not allowed to have devices or who were directed to use devices constructively during class. The researchers said that "the impact may be " due to professors’ decreased ability to monitor and correct irrelevant usage."
Have you ever "corrected irrelevant usage" of someone's iphone during one of your talks?
I thought so.
Have you ever asked learners to use their devices in a constructive manner? A few helpful examples:
- Ask learners to search a term or concept, give you feedback on what they found, then "mythbust" the misconceptions represented in those search results
- Embedding "tweetables" in your slide deck with a door prize drawing for those who tweeted and @mentioned you
- Set up a running question and answer response in TweetDeck with someone who is helping filter questions like a webinar producer would do
- Quiz for conceptual, sequential and application understanding using Kahoots
- Testing audience "temperature" with PollEverywhere
If you're interested in engaging learners to increase your lesson impact, you really have two choices for a digital device policy:
- Ban them and enforce ruthlessly. This means you have to be thrilling, stunning and your presentation has to move like gangbusters.
- Implement strategies for learners to actively engage their devices - but with YOUR learning goals in mind, not THEIR time wasting goals in mind.
Without one of these two approaches integrated into your presentation before you start, you may certainly lose your audience before you ever had them.
See for yourself! Download the full research report here https://seii.mit.edu/research/study/the-impact-of-computer-usage-on-academic-performance-evidence-from-a-randomized-trial-at-the-united-states-military-academy/