This is my third post on ideas for managing technology in a 1:1 atmosphere. These ideas are adapted from my own use with my elementary students.
1- As students enter the classroom, have them as a standard rule to place tablets "flipped" on upper corner of desk. Any laptops should be closed.
2- At your cue, have students close all open apps on their tablet device. This will allow you the opportunity to check any student that seems to be off task. If an app is open that you have not told the class to open then you may assume this student has been off task. This eliminates any questions about whether they were using it before class.
3- I cannot say enough how helpful it is to use keywords in the classroom regarding technology. I use the terms "flat," "close," "flip" on a regular basis and therefore do not have to explain what I want to happen in each class time.
4- If I am giving instructions or we are in a classroom discussion, I often require that all devices stay in the "flat" position so that I can see that:
A) the students are looking at my eyes
B) the students are not preoccupied with the device.
C) all devices are on the home screen or on an app that I have told them to go to.
5- I teach elementary school but this seems to help students immediately follow device instructions. At the end of the class I will often say, "When I count to 5 all devices should be in flat position and all apps should be closed. When you have closed your apps, flip your device." I then clap and say 1-2-3-4-5. For some reason, they see this as a race and immediately follow instructions. The same students seem to go slowly at following this command as a rule, these students I often walk over to and start the process for them. A few times of that shows them the importance of following instructions.
As the year has progressed, students have started finishing their processes as I start this very familiar sentence and it seems to help with device closure at the end of the class period.