The True Cause of Distraction

@MrBrettClark 2 Comments

Here recently I've had the opportunity to spend several days at a couple of conferences. One day, I overheard the following conversation centered around a school that is about to go 1:1 in their high school.

Person 1: What all is going to be blocked on these devices? Because, students are going to be easily distracted. They're going to be all kind of things to distract them and nothing will get done. I'm really concerned about it.

Person 2: I have the same concerns. Don't worry, I'm sure they'll be plenty of blocks to help keep students from being distracted. 

Now this conversation is nothing new. I've heard this conversation time and time again from a variety of educators. The only problem is, person 1 is not an educator, he was a student. I stood off to the side and it kind of caught me off guard. I'm sure it's not the first student who has expressed his or her concern of what will happen when students gain access through a 1:1 device. In fact, if I think about it long enough, I can probably think of other instances where I've heard other students say the same thing. 

However, this time was different because I believe I actually get what the student was actually trying to say.

Again, here is what the student said, "What all is going to be blocked on these devices? Because, students are going to be easily distracted. They're going to be all kind of things to distract them and nothing will get done. I'm really concerned about it."

Here is what I believe the student was actually saying, "I was distracted enough before a device was placed in my hands. I mean, students are distracted by pencil, paper, and cell phones. How much more will they be distracted by a device? You're class was boring before and I'm really concerned about it."

Now that's not the only thing he could have been saying. Maybe he was saying, "I want to be engaged in my learning. I want to be involved and do something that is worthwhile to me and my community. The fact is, if my school doesn't provide that, then other students and myself will look elsewhere."

The point is, when students are not engaged, we have to look at the factors of that are contributing to their lack of engagement. When teachers ask me for classroom management tips. I always tell them that a teacher's two best friends in regards to classroom management are engaging lessons and mobility. If a teacher provides an active and engaging classroom centered around the needs of their students, then the majority of issues of around engagement will take care of themselves.

It's time to admit that when educators, parents, and/or students are expressing concern over devices becoming a distracting, they are admitting that school is not engaging or meaningful. That's the true cause of distraction.

Agree? Disagree? 


Exciting Things Ahead #edchat #INeLearn

@MrBrettClark 0 Comments

It's been two months since my last blog post on this website but I'm excited to be blogging again. This past semester was an exciting time for me as I dove into the administration side of education as a director of technology. This coming year is going to be a great adventure as I start my first full year as an admin and my district goes 1:1 with Chromebooks in grades 3 thru 12. However, before our school year starts on August 1 there a few things left to take care of. Yes, you read that correctly, our schools will have students in them on August 1 as we move to a balanced calendar this school year.

Here is how this month is shaping up for me.

July 8 & 9 - Princeton, IN

I will be the keynote speaker at a small conference in Princeton, IN on Monday, July 8. Schools in that county are going 1:1 in the fall and I'm excited to talk to them about the shift in learning that can take place when we leverage technology. I don't want to tip my hand but my keynote will feature this great picture from Krissy Venosdale aka @venspired.

July 10 & 11 - Evansville, IN 

I will be speaking at The EVSC eRevolution. This will be fun to be back in my old district, be around amazing educators, and to catch up with everyone. Oh yeah, I'll also be with Adam Bellow, Yong Zhao, and Eric Sheninger! It's going to be a great time of learning. Plus my new elearning coaches will be joining me at the conference. It'll be our first time to really hang out and learn together. 

July 18, 21, & 22 - Chromebook Rollout!!!

That's right, we are just days away from rolling out 8,000 Chromebooks over a 3 day period! We will have three Chromebook filled days of sharing out information to parents and students, highlighting our new Responsible Use Policy, and handing out devices. Of course I know not everyone will be able to attend and we have plans in place for those families. Here is an article my superintendent wrote about the rollout. 

This year we are hosting our first anual eLearning conference. This is in partnership with the Indiana Department of Education Office of eLearning, Summer of eLearning. Our feature keynote speakers are the EduBros, Tim Gwynn and Nick Provenzano! They will be kicking off their EduTour at our conference. We will also have spotlight speakers Tom Whitby, Kyle Pace, Shelly Terrell, and Jeff Bradbury(TeacherCast)! Plus other amazing educators like Michelle GreenMarc Seigel, Tim Wilhelmus, Brian Bobbitt, Troy Cockrum, and more! There are still spots available for only $25!!

July 29 & 30 - Teachers Report

Finally, teachers report on July 29. We are putting together two great days to kick off our year that will center around our two big initiatives as a district, technology integration and literacy. I'm excited to spend these two days with the great teachers in my school district and to meet all the new folks joining our district. It's truly an exciting time!

And yes, for those of you who are worried that I've worked all summer and didn't take any time off, I did spend 5 days in Jamaica in June.