Technology to motivate and manage “difficult” students

Author(s): Nadia Sansone, Maria Beatrice Ligorio & Donatella Cesareni

Affiliation(s): University of Rome and University of Bari

Date of publication: March 14, 2015

The Educational Problem

Within the class, sometimes you can have one, more or all students presenting some behavioural issues, often disturbing the lesson, or which are just unmotivated.

The Solution

Teachers have adopted different solutions, based on the number of students and kind of issues registered:

  • One “difficult” student: Teachers have personally supported this guy in the creation of a draft spreadsheet to be used for data analysis. The goal was to stimulate his concentration on a specific goal and let him go over some basic math.
  • Many unmotivated students: In these cases, the teacher involved a colleague of his/hers with whom he/she co-managed the time devoted to the KNORK project. In this way the two teachers were able, on the one hand, to manage those students; on the other, to follow more closely the various groups of which the class was made-up for the realization of the work.
  • Almost nobody interested: The teacher defined specific goals in the short term, also including intermediate evaluation tests. The clarity and familiarity of the defined objectives promoted students’ proactive attitude.

The Context


  • In school contexts in which the use of technology could help students recover bad grades. It could also be a mean to motivate students’ with disabilities and to focus their attention.
  • In learning contexts in which there are two or more teachers working together.
  • In working and teaching environments in which the ultimate goal is unfamiliar or not clearly defined.

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