School using mobile phones to help children learn

MOBILES phones – once banned in class - are now being used by school pupils to help with their work. Pupils are using them as cameras, digital recorders and devices to compile surveys. Longsands College in St Neots first started using the phones as part o

MOBILES phones - once banned in class - are now being used by school pupils to help with their work.

Pupils are using them as cameras, digital recorders and devices to compile surveys.

Longsands College in St Neots first started using the phones as part of research conducted last term by the University of Nottingham.

Teachers say the experiment was so successful that the phones will now be used at Longsands for work across the curriculum.

Head of A level science at the school, Chris Millington, told The Hunts Post: "We used phones to take pictures of plants we grew in the lab for GCSE applied science. We grew sweetcorn, marrows and beans and we took pictures of them every week for six or seven weeks."

Dr Millington said pupils could use the pictures in their portfolios for coursework and even take photographs of apparatus instead of doing drawings to produce the evidence for science projects.

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"Instead of a drawing for your evidence you can use a picture to accompany the measurements."

He added: "The students are quite proud that they have taken the pictures with their own phones and they all have access to them - they can share them and work in groups and it saves the school having to order in 10 sets of cameras. Students have access to a lot of technology which helps with learning.

"They were initially surprised when we asked them to use their phones in class because school policy is that they are not switched on in lessons but they knew that any messing about and they would be removed - they are used to using computers and they know they have to be used for work - they can't start playing games on them."

Lisa Plowman, school spokesman and modern languages teacher, said: "The phones are useful because people can take information home on them and use it for homework.

"The phones are useful for surveys. It's a technology they are used to so they will be more likely to respond honestly. They are also helpful for timing speeches and presentations. You can record a piece of work and listen to it again to see if it meets the criteria. Most pupils have phones and you don't need to spend money to buy specialist audio equipment.

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