The problem of student boredom is at least as old as the classroom itself. And technology, rather than helping to solve this issue, is only making it worse. Today’s students, armed with laptops, smartphones and free Wi-Fi, have a world of distractions at their fingertips, all of which they find more immediately engaging than the curriculum and oration they’ve paid to receive.

It is the teachers who most sharply see and feel the impact of classroom disengagement. They are also the ones best situated to correct the trend, by incorporating new techniques and new technology into their teaching.

There is little point in devoting more time and effort into teaching, and adopting new technologies in the classroom, if it falls on deaf ears—that is, if students would still rather shop online than learn online. Successful teaching will ultimately depend on how technology is applied to keep students engaged and raise their comprehension.

For five ways professors can use new technology to greatest effect, check out Philip Preville’s e-book, Reaching Today’s Distracted Students: A Handbook for Professors.


Philip Preville

Philip Preville

Philip Preville is an award-winning journalist and a former Canadian Journalism Fellow at Massey College at the University of Toronto. He’s currently a member of the Professional Advisory Council with the Department of English at Ryerson University.