Of course, they may be looking up something related to the lecture content, but I can usually spot that dead-eye TikTok coma a mile off. I get distracted because I am genuinely upset that they’re wasting time, money and opportunity.
I initially thought I was just taking it too personally and that my ego was just taking a hammering, but it is much more about feeling sorry for them and their struggle with the addiction. Either way, it stops my flow as I find myself having to switch mindsets to tackle the situation, which then becomes a total distraction for the rest of the class. I do remind students at the beginning of each lecture that social media is a distraction, and encourage all to give themselves a break from it during their lecture time, but some (especially if they have come late to the lecture!) are just too locked in the tractor-beam.
I consider my lectures as interesting, exciting, full of humour and carefully curated AV, but, with some students, I feel I’m losing the battle for their attention. I’m keen to learn of strategies for coping with the aforementioned mindset switching, so any suggestions are welcome.
By the way, I can’t put a ban on phone use as the Uni has just issued an edict saying it’s ok for students to take notes on them.