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Why Teaching Students Solid Digital Work Habits is Important

Why Teaching Students Solid Digital Work Habits is Important

Organization, tracking, planned collaboration, making distractions productive and minimizing homework are all part of Roxanna Elden’s tips teachers should teach students when setting them up to learn in a digital world, according to Alexandra Samuel’s latest post to her biweekly column, The Digital Voyage.

"Elden’s list of work habits provides a useful starting point for identifying the digital study habits both teachers and students must master— after all, teachers can only support students’ digital work habits if they know how to work online themselves. They’re also helpful in thinking about the online systems that teachers, parents, and students can set up before the school year begins,” Samuel says.

First and foremost, Elden recommends that teachers be organized and plan ahead. Organization of digital tools, Elden says, involve figuring at a digital filing system to ensure that digital resources are centralized and easy-to-find. This makes sense as from my personal experience, disorganization has led me to forget certain resources even existed as they got lost in the mass of my files.

Planning ahead, on the other hand, involves setting up routines to avoid being overwhelmed by a digital workload.

A big tip Elden offers for planning ahead is using a single calendar as opposed to a “hodgepodge of online calendars,” a trap that easy to fall into with the many digital calendars available across devices.

Specifically for teachers, Elden says to avoid orchestrating collaborative online group sessions that result in minimal productivity.

"Learning to conduct focused, effective virtual work sessions—typically by quickly articulating meeting goals and minimizing off-topic conversation—will help both students and teachers work with one another remotely, either asynchronously or in real time,” Samuel writes.

Part of Elden’s tips acknowledge the importance of ensuring that the distractions of social media and unrelated games don’t interfere with student work. An interesting plan that Elden recommends is offering social media use and free digital play as a break from productive work.

"One productivity tactic that’s popular among techies can also work very well for students (or for teachers faced with a pile of grading): the Pomodoro technique involves working for 25-minute sprints, interspersed with brief (5-minute) breaks, plus longer breaks after every four sprints,” Samuel says.

Finally, Elden insists that a reduction of homework is key to helping students do their best digital work.

Elden urges teachers to help students make better use of classroom time, which the aforementioned tips should help do.

Read the full post here.

Nicole Gorman, Senior Education World Contributor

8/23/2016

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