In the age of technology there will allows be distractions that prevent us from getting our work done. We have all been there lessons to plan, papers to grade, or just work to do, but wait let me just check Facebook or Twitter, or look at that latest Youtube clip everyone was talking about real quick. Next thing you know several hours have gone by and all the work you have planned to do still isn't done. If this happens to us as teachers it is definitely happening to students at home. It leaves us with the question "What can be done to help against these weapons of mass distraction?"
While technology may be responsible for a large portion of procrastination that is happening these days it can also provide a solution. There are now apps and websites available to help solve these problems for both teachers and students.
For Mac users there is a free app call SelfControl. This app only works for Macs but its very user friendly you simply set up a time limit that you want to be blocked, then create a blacklist of all the sites you think you might visit in order to put off getting your work done. Then click start, once the time starts you will be unable to visit any website included in your blacklist until the time expires.
For Window Users there is a website called Cold Turkey. This has a basic free version and a pro versions that you can pay for to get more features that include blocking apps and not just websites.
Its easy to spread the word of these sites to you students and if you have a class website make a resource section and post the links to these websites/apps. Also during parent teacher conferences if it becomes clear that a student is having a difficult time studying due to the ever growing world of the internet and social media you can offer these sites as a solution, even the parents themselves may find these sites useful for their everyday lives.
"The real problem is not whether machines think but whether men do."