Whine of the times

13th February 2004 at 00:00
I don't seem to be able to speak in class without making heads drop.

Despite all my efforts to mix things up and make my lesson active, it seems students today can't concentrate for very long. So how the hell can teachers relay information to them effectively?

Heads drop in my classes, too. I modulate my voice, speaking more quietly to attract attention. But this encourages some students to drift away altogether. I try to get in as many questions as I can to lead the lesson along - discussion, not talk. A colleague who is convinced that we have to rethink the way we teach to keep up with a generation of children who increasingly learn through television and computers - and not face-to-face contact - decided to make videos of his lessons, and showed them to his pupils instead. On the whole, he found that his students concentrated for longer when listening to him talk on the TV than when he stood in front of them to give his lessons.

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