Keep calm, focused and motivated!
School environments require students to be attentive and focused, which nowadays it is very challenging task for students and especially for students with ADHD, who have difficulties in adapting and maintaining a good level of attention.
Following our previous article on the beneficial uses of technology for students with ADHD that have a direct impact on schoolwork, there are, in addition, other uses of technology to support focus and motivation. Those for example include:
- Listening to music: although this tends to depend on the people, music can help some students focus on studying by blocking noises and information coming from around them. There is no particular type of music which is more beneficial than the other and there are many playlists available (like this one for instance), that can help in concentration for relaxation and studying. As examples, some tracks that can help are Weightless by Marconi Union, Canzonetta Sull’aria by Mozart and Watermark by Enya. Regardless the type of music, just remind the students who are listening, to make sure not to bother other students.
- Listening to a white background noise: a white background noise can have the same benefits than listening to music for people who find that listening to music is too distracting. Several apps offer different types of background noises depending on the user’s preferences.
- Mindfulness and meditation apps: apps such as Headspace or Calm provide breathing exercises and mindfulness sessions with focused exercises on stress management, anxiety, etc. While not all mindfulness exercises correspond to everyone, they could support some in calming down or focus when they need to.
Classroom teachers can ask students whether they are using any of these or other tools, and discuss with them the most beneficial uses for their studies.
Finally, since we and our students are distracted like never before by our electronic devices such as phones and i-pads, it is valuable to establish some strategies that can keep our mind calmer and less distracted by those media. As a teacher, if you wish to provide recommendations to help students to not let their attention be constantly caught by their smartphones when they are in class or doing their homework, here are some good practices to introduce to them:
- Turn off all apps notifications, either in the phone settings or thanks to a notification blocking app.
- On the homescreen, only display the apps you use them most or the most useful.
- Sort your apps in folders (studying, games, social media, etc), it will make it easier not to get distracted by notifications from all your messaging apps.
- Create a “Mindless” folder on your phone or tablet, in which you can file your most time-wasting apps that put you in the autopilot mode. The folder’s name should serve as a reminder every time you’re about to distract yourself.
- It is important to be aware and reflect on the time we are spending on our phones. You can suggest to your students to try and have a look at how much time they spend per week on social media – most smartphones automatically measure it.
Logopsycom is taking part in the Erasmus + project “Empower Me with Sufficient Attention and Tempered Hyperactivity” to spread knowledge about teaching students with ADHD in VET.