Many teachers I encounter have decided that they need to crack down on — if not entirely eradicate — screen distractions in their classrooms. (A minority of teachers accept it as a form of 21st century doodling.)
If the activity is engaging and challenging, there is an authentic audience, and prescribed time limits, students won’t mess around.
The more time I spend “teaching” teachers something from the front of the room, the more inclined they are to check email, Facebook, or whatever.
Add in the possibility that they they’ll have to present to the entire class, or post their creation online, and they’re even more focused
the activities are challenging and expectations high
it’s more like: “This is hard. And I’m not going to show you how to do it. But I expect what you create will be excellent.
Tell students you’re going to present their work at a conference, or submit it to a state publication, and then watch the heightened focus in their eyes
Teacher lectures impart useful information and explanations, and they can be lively and engaging.