Todays’ students are happy to use technology as part of the learning process.   However, teachers and parents are worried about the distraction effect of technology when students go ‘off topic’ and start browsing and exploring subjects not relevant to their current study.

Teachers do, however, understand the potential for technology to help create engaging snd challenging learning – and assessments.

So, teachers must learn (and indeed, many are learning) how to harness technology effectively to make learning active and productive.

Firstly, they insist on students using in-house technology devices rather than personal ones – with all the

student’s messaging apps.  This, of course, places a cost burden on schools to make sure sufficient technology is available.

The sense of loss felt by the students can be lessened by having short breaks during which students can access personal devices.

Increasingly academic app developers are introducing apps that exclude certain activities – so that, for example, students are locked into the app unless the app permits the students to go elsewhere – such as to a controlled browser which might ban access to certain websites and services.

Perhaps most important, if teaching staff design engaging learning materials with attractive interfaces requiring student attention and interaction, the students has less need for external distractions.

If group discussion is built in to online lessons – so that students can communicate ‘on topic’ with classmates, students retain a sense of involvement and connection with fellow students – but know that their messages, queries and posts may be recorded  or ‘policed’ by a teacher with master software that can interrogate their screens.

Sp, not surprisingly, and in fact, reassuringly, effective and productive online learning depends on good learning design which recognises and deals with the possible negative issues surrounding modern technology.

All it takes is tech-savvy teachers who understand modern technology – and modern students.