MOVE! – Move around and interact with your students. Do not sit in the corner while they work, you should be able to see their screens and be able to interact with them while they are working.
Rethink your classroom setup – Rows of students facing forward does not allow for you to easily know what they are doing on their laptops. Rearrange your room, try new things, be able to move easily between groups of students all while being able to see screens easily.
Have clear expectations and procedures – Make sure your students know what they should be doing and what happens when they are off task. If the laptops are not needed for that moment, tell them to close them or put them away. Have steps in mind for what to do with those students who won’t follow the rules. Keep in mind however that the last thing we want to do is to remove the laptop from the student, that would be like taking away the textbook in a lot of classes.
More engagement! – If students are truly engaged in a lesson, there will naturally be fewer problems. If all you do is lecture and worksheets, the students will be off-task. Many teachers would be off-task.
Use Technology for a purpose – do not just add tech to the same old lesson and expect it to be magical.
Plan ahead of time and do not expect things to work the first time. You should never be doing anything for the first time in front of students, always test it first.
If you want to see what windows are open on a student’s laptop, place three fingers on the trackpad and swipe up. You can also use Command+Tab to see which apps they have open.
Be observant. Watch their body language, that will be the clue to what they are doing on their laptop. If their fingers are always on the home row and the arrows, you can guess they are probably playing a game.