Digital Smarts - Would One Minute Tech Breaks Help Digital Natives Focus?

You are here

Should teachers give “tech breaks” to students in class? That’s an interesting new idea proposed by Larry D. Rosen, emeritus professor of psychology at California State University-Dominguez Hill. He proposes that digital natives (those born between 1995 and 2010 who have been given that moniker because of their comfort with digital devices) should be offered a one-minute tech break in the classroom to check and send messages on their phones. More specifically, "Instructors should initially schedule the breaks every 15 minutes, [Rosen] says, but then gradually increase the time between breaks to teach students to focus."

Outrageous? Rosen points out that students have a very short attention span and that they do typically check their phones every 15 minutes anyway. So, should teachers give in to that? Or should they have higher expectations as Barbara King, a professor emeritus at William and Mary, writes on the National Public Radio site in an article entitled Should College Professors Give 'Tech Breaks' In Class?