Phones, video games and music: Students navigate new distractions during class

Classrooms typically do not have barking dogs or annoying family members within their walls, but that has become the reality for students in virtual instruction.

Senior Cory Peiffer said it can be a challenge to stay focused and attentive in his classes when there is a lack of authority.

“I get on my phone and play games because there’s no teacher to tell me not to,” Peiffer said. “[I do] not really [play] anything specific, just anything that seems fun to play at the time.”

Peiffer also said teachers should expect this from their students, as it is not a problem unique to him.

“I’d think if I have a problem with getting distracted and my friends do too, then other students must have the same problem,” Peiffer said.

For other students like senior Ryan McCaleb, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) also plays a significant role in how he focuses during instruction.

“I’m finding it very hard to keep concentrated,” McCaleb said. “[It is] just hard to pay attention to something that feels like [it] is moving so slow [as opposed] to something that I can just look at. Class just isn’t attention-grabbing enough.”

McCaleb also said while ADHD was already a challenge in the physical classroom, it poses a bigger one in the virtual environment.

“There isn’t someone to monitor me in class and redirect my attention to what’s going on,” McCaleb said. “Also, there’s a lot more to do at home and way more distractions like music, video games, or even my […] bed.”