All students have felt the struggle of getting through a class period while glancing at the snail-paced clock and praying for the bell’s ring to come sooner. The quick tapping of a foot, bouncing of a pencil and eyes drifting away from the board are symptoms every student feels at one time or another.
Many teachers expect students to instantly learn class material and become frustrated if media and music distract students, but if teachers adapt their lessons to the new generation of students, professors’ frustration and students’ distractions would be prevented.
Instead of forcing students to learn a specific way, such as memorizing endless definitions and scrolling through countless powerpoints, more teachers are adapting to new techniques and activities, to make students want to pay attention during school.
Although taking notes and listening to lectures is necessary for all classes, there are ways to make these practices more engaging for students. Teachers everywhere are infusing music into their lessons. According to Educationworld.com, teacher Alex Kajitani turns his lessons into rap songs to try to connect more to his students, describing them as “excited to learn,” having increased test scores and improved behavior.
Teachers cannot stop the inevitability of students becoming distracted by their phones and social media, and many have placed online study activities, such as Quizlet and Kahoot, into their curriculums to increase focus and participation.
However, many students struggle with memorizing terms, and those that successfully memorize them often instantly forget the definitions the day after the exam. It is proven that more people remember songs, due to catchy phrases and tunes, than terms learned in school. In an online poll conducted by the Arrow, 91% of 98 high school and college students said that they remember song lyrics more than memorized terms in their classes.
“At the risk of sounding cheesy, the students don’t care what you know, until they know that you care,” said history teacher David Yancey according to NBC News, after he adapted to a music-infused curriculum and lesson plans that better fit this generation of students.
I once heard a teacher say that whenever a lesson is considered “fun” by students, they do not fully grasp the concept. In an online poll conducted by the Arrow, 78% of 96 high school and college students said that they feel more motivated to do school work and are more excited to participate when technology, music or the media is incorporated into the lesson.
Whether it is with music, technology or social media, teachers need to adapt to teaching techniques relating to the interests of students. Not only will this help increase test scores, it will also increase the level of enjoyment students have about learning new material and attending school.
It is time for teachers to start listening to students about their passions and what they are interested in, rather than forcing them to learn a certain type of way.