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What students can do to block out distractions in the classroom

An ability to focus in the classroom can go a long way toward helping students achieve their academic goals. But distractions lurk in every corner, making it easier than ever to succumb to a lack of focus.

Maintaining focus in the classroom can be difficult in the digital age, but students can try various strategies to block out distractions once class begins.

Disconnect your devices

A 2020 report from the nonprofit association Educause found that the majority of students report connecting two or more devices to campus Wi-Fi each day. Devices often serve as useful tools that augment classroom lessons, but they also can distract students. Students can turn off notifications on their phones and tablets before class begins so that familiar ping does not sound during lectures and lessons.

In addition, unless devices are necessary during a class, students can store them in places where they won't be tempted to check for messages or other alerts when they should be learning. Storing devices in a separate pocket in a backpack or even in a locker outside the classroom can remove the temptation to log on during class.

Prepare for class in advance

Organizing before class can help students stay focused when a teacher is lecturing, explaining classroom material or engaging students in a discussion. Students who can't readily access their notes, books or assignments may be forced to spend valuable class time looking for such materials, thus distracting them from the lesson.

Bring questions to class

Students who jot down questions about a subject prior to class are more likely to be engaged once class begins. Students can ask their questions during the lesson and listen intently to hear if their teacher or professor is answering their questions during their lecture. Either way, bringing questions to class and going over them before class begins can help students narrow their focus to the subject at hand, reducing the likelihood that they'll succumb to distractions.

Sit in the front of class

Students who are having trouble focusing can try sitting in the front of class. Sitting in the front ensures students can hear their teachers or professors, and sitting so close might subconsciously compel students to perk up so they're not caught wandering.

Devices and other distractions can easily compromise students' focus in the classroom. But various strategies can help students focus so they can perform better academically.


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