Adapting to Shifts in the Media Consumption Habits of Students

A few years ago I began to notice a change in the attention span of teenagers when it came to watching videos in class. At first I thought it was because the videos were boring, but then I noticed that teenagers at the movie theater couldn’t watch a movie without talking or text messaging. There is undoubtedly a shift taking place in the way people consume media. As educators we need to adapt in order to continue to engage our students.

One of the adaptations to the shifts in media consumption habits of students that I’ve made recently is in the type of media I use in the classroom and how the media is delivered. Rather than showing VHS (almost antiques now) or DVD videos, I have been locating and downloading videos from the Internet on the same topics as the old videos I used to show. I compile a short play list of videos from the Internet and show those videos interspersed into my lectures or lessons. The students can pay attention more consistently to four seven minute videos interspersed into a lesson better than they can pay attention to one thirty minute continuously played video.

It is not just the younger generation making a shift in media consumption habits. MediaPost Publications recently released a study of 80 million Americans’ television and Internet viewing habits. In the study Media Post found that one of the major reasons Americans use the Internet or DVR for viewing television was to skip commercials and to take control of when they can watch a show.

Media consumption habits are changing and educators are seeing those changes in the classroom. How teachers adapt to changes is a crucial part of maintaining student engagement. What are your strategies for adapting to change in the media consumption habits of your students?


Thank You Readers for 14 Amazing Years!