At the dawn of my career in Instructional Design, I was made aware of the learner’s attention span limit. Thus, I had got the logic behind limiting the lectures in schools and colleges to 45 minutes. This awareness happened more than a decade ago. Today, when I look back, this fact seems irrelevant.
Today the students are more aware with exposure to information through various mediums. They want more than just information; they also want a great learning experience. And what has happened to the attention span? It has almost reduced to one third of the earlier span. Hence, practically, a teacher has only 15 minutes to make the students spellbound. This is the age of smart kids, who will listen to the 1st sentence, evaluate the 2nd one and by the time the 3rd sentence reaches their ears, they will make their decision to avoid or listen. How to deal with such students? Forcibly teach them? You can’t. They will find ways to outwit you. A simple solution is to become SMARTER than them.
Apart from exploring the learning mediums beyond the confinements of classroom and syllabus, you can consciously include few checklist items in your daily teaching task.
Quick checklist for making your classroom a SMART CLASS:
□ Encourage students’ curiosity to know more; go beyond textbook
□ Allow the students to explore new things
□ Use cognitive association to enhance learning
□ Focus on active learning rather than passive listening
□ Keep lecture sessions short and blend it with activity and demonstrations
□ Give each of the students a challenge where they can apply and synthesize knowledge
□ Make your classroom SMART by blending traditional teaching with technology-based learning
The topic of evolving to SMART CLASS is a subject of indepth research. But, even before we deep dive and make stupendous discovery, a step towards renovating our approach to teaching is a good start. My attempt in this post is to list those starting points. Happy Teaching!