Time on Task: Minimal Computer Time Maximum Thinking Time For More Student Learning

 

A collleague observed many school groups in a museum and she noticed how little time they were actually on task.

I realize that educators can use technology to keep students on task. Students can be very busy when they are on the computer. I am unsure if we have measured how much time studens are engaged in actual content rather than the beautification of the presentation during a technology-infused learning project I am unsure if we have measured for how long students search for “just the right” image when the image does not add any new information to the digital report. I am not sure if we have measured how much students are off task even when they appear to be on task such as reading a website.

I have found that when students are given minimal time on the computer and maximum off-computer thinking time that their learning increases. I have done a one period research project in which groups of students had to give a one minute report on a certain topic at the end of the period. I gave them 10 minuteson the computer to find critical information and 20 minutes off the computer to organize the report. It was amazing that each month we did this project the students increased the amount of different information that they found even though they had the same time. They found much richer information. They were more focused and more on task when they were online so they learned more.

How do you maximize student learning that involves technology-infused learning?


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2 Responses to “Time on Task: Minimal Computer Time Maximum Thinking Time For More Student Learning”


  1. 1 Anonymous October 6, 2006 at 8:02 pm

    So, how do feel about free-form, Helen Barrett style “digital stories” for learning? Would you recommend them for classrooms?

  2. 2 hgtuttle October 25, 2006 at 10:50 pm

    I think that her digital stories serve as purpose as a creative personal reflection. I think that students can tell digital stories about many subject area topics such as a brother explaining why he chose to serve on the north side for the Civil War


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