Are devices distracting students in class?

Sailele Faaituala

Although students are at school in person this year, a lot of classwork and homework is still done virtually. A benefit to this is reducing paper waste. But there’s a new problem: students are taking advantage of having access to their own personal devices. Students sometimes play games or watch videos on their computers or phones during class time. 

I mostly observe students playing games like Snake, Tetris, or even Cool Math games. While some students are playing because they have already finished all their work and have free time, it is inexcusable for students to play games while the teacher is teaching or if they aren’t done.

Freshman Gregory Cochard admits that he sometimes gets distracted when the teacher is teaching. “Most likely because when other people use their computers, I get distracted,” he says because of other students. But he is capable of focusing: “More or less I try to focus.”                                                   

At the start of the school year, many teachers shared their policies for using devices. Some examples include simply telling students to put their devices away or notifying parents that their child is playing on their computer or phone during class.

Academy of Industrial and Engineering Technology teacher Dawn Shin chooses to  “redirect [students] or talk about the consequences” if they have been caught playing games in her class.

The same is said by fellow IET teacher Jennifer Totoki. Totoki even sees students try to sneak on their phones in the middle of class time, or turn and talk with their friends in the middle of class. She can easily get them to focus by just redirecting them.

I have to admit that I, too, am distracted by my computer in the middle of class time. Every once in a while, I listen to music or play games like 2048 or Friday Night Funkin’. But I can get myself to focus by remembering what my mom would do if my grades drop to a B or below.

If you feel an urge to play games on your device, ignore that urge and do your best to focus. Just because you weren’t caught, what have you learned in your class? How will you know the answers when a test or exam comes up? Your teacher explained it all, but if you weren’t listening and you were just playing games, you wouldn’t know any of the answers. So for your sake, focus on school and only use your devices when you need them. Work hard now, rest later.