Hold on! Wait! Oh no!
The user swiped up and nothing mattered.
Everyone is vying for the attention of that consumer, whose attention span is considered to be less than that of even a goldfish. We are all in this together. But the concern of lack of attention is more bothersome for kids than for adults in the workforce. Children are in their learning stage and focus, undistracted attention ought to be their thing! Isn’t it?
If we let parents answer this question, they would say, yes, students need to increase their attention spans, because that would help them learn and memorize.
But if we let technology answer this question, it would say, let’s make content that suits the attention span of the child. And we couldn’t agree more.
Why the Attention Span is Decreasing
The latest knowledge tells that the attention span of people has come down to 8 seconds. We live in an era where the trends are fads and news is brief. So how do we expect the younger generation, those who are born in the lap of technology, to learn from long, video-based, mundane educational content?
Ways of entertainment and engagement have changed. The short videos of Tik Tok, the reels of Instagram, and the stories on Facebook have raised different expectations from the current generation. They prefer everything in brevity. I believe we all do too!
Social media content has undergone incredible evolution and has changed the way the consumers absorb content. This Deloitte study found out how millennials and Gen Z are more involved in online content and may even be influencing the way the content is delivered.
It is basically not just because of these videos or apps. People have developed a certain tech-lifestyle where people tend to focus less on information which hardly holds any relevance for them.
Online Content and Education
Ed-tech companies have tried to bring in newer and better ways of keeping the student engaged with their websites or apps. Myriad Ed-tech companies saw a colossal rise during the pandemic and many others were born since then. But we also know that e-Learning companies have faced losses since the reopening of the schools in 2022 and the pandemic withdrawal.
During the pandemic, students were compelled to go online. Now they have grown tired of the online learning content, most of which owes to the bad quality of the content or poor app/website services and features.
How to Create Content for Students with Short Attention Span
Students are required to study and they have plenty of choices online. They would want to choose a service that gives them not only a good learning experience but also one that is interesting.
So, what can these Ed-tech companies do to make students more interested in learning?
How can these companies cater to their brief attention? Here are some ways:
Create Short Learning Videos
There are many platforms that create short videos for the purpose of learning. EdTech companies can take a cue from such videos and include them in their educational content. Websites like Socratica or The kids should see this, make excellent content to inspire a curious young mind on various topics.
Short videos are trendy, engaging and easy to consume information from. This is why the short videos on various social media platforms became a viral trend and are running to date.
Go for Educational Podcasts
If screen fatigue is an issue, one can switch to listening tools. A study by the American Psychological Association tells how technology contributes to stress, blood pressure, and other physical problems.
Students use their screens for most of their work and entertainment and multitask all the time. This can also be one of the causes of decreasing attention spans. So, one can go the way to the podcast.
Educational podcasts are good as they help students focus on listening sense and not on seeing. It is well known that while an individual might read an article for 2 to 3 minutes, they may listen to an interesting podcast for half an hour. It can be the most beneficial for students who find reading a tedious exercise.
Immersive Technology Applications
The illustrations in a book might not interest a student as much as moving illustrations!
Educators can opt for applications that use immersive technology or augmented reality features. These can make the students more engaged in the content and help them learn in a better way too. A blend of educators, students and technology can make learning interesting and interactive.
Multiple applications like the Halo AR, timelooper.com can help students to get immersive experience and learn effectively.
The Responsibility of Learning
As much as we are moving towards the idea of creating engaging and consumable content for the students, we should ponder as to why we are doing all of this. We want children to learn, but don’t they want to learn? Should it not be their responsibility to try to focus on gaining knowledge?
Another school of thought is that if they want to learn, students should make efforts to increase their attention spans and ditch certain habits. Parents can be mindful to develop a reading habit among the children before teaching them how to browse. The responsibility of learning is on students, teachers, and parents equally.