THIS JUST IN: Distracted students are distracted! Also: sometimes there are things that distract students! And we all know what to do with things that might potentially distract students: BAN THEM! At least that’s what we’re told by the avatars of pedagogical wisdom populating the comment threads below any article talking about students’ use of technology in the classroom.
As the Spring semester is drawing to a close, and me and my students are
staggering moving closer to the finish line, I’ve witnessed some serious cases of the fuck-its break out, and spread like wildfire until it’s a virtual pandemic. From one or two students who bailed on the reading to half the class skipping out on a Friday to OMFG WHERE IS EVERYONE, this dread malady can have tragic consequences for once-promising academic trajectories. And it can be deadly for even the most nobly-intended class plans as well:
Few things are as lame as the discussion where 3/12 did the reading. More stammering, awkward pauses, & downcast eyes than an 8th grade prom
— Kevin Gannon (@TheTattooedProf) April 18, 2016