Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Mobile Phones Help Secondary Pupils

Date:
September 15, 2008
Source:
University of Nottingham
Summary:
Ask a teacher to name the most irritating invention of recent years and they will often nominate the mobile phone. However, some education researchers believe it is time that phone bans were reassessed — because mobile phones can be a powerful learning aid, they say.

Ask a teacher to name the most irritating invention of recent years and they will often nominate the mobile phone.

Exasperated by the distractions and problems they create, many headteachers have ordered that pupils must keep their phones switched off at school. Others have told pupils to leave them at home.

However, education researchers at The University of Nottingham believe it is time that phone bans were reassessed — because mobile phones can be a powerful learning aid, they say.

Dr Elizabeth Hartnell-Young and her colleagues have reached this conclusion after studying the consequences of allowing pupils in five secondary schools to use either their own mobile phones or the new generation of 'smartphones' in lessons.

During the nine-month experiment, 14 to 16-year-old pupils used the phones for a wide range of educational purposes, including creating short movies, setting homework reminders, recording a teacher reading a poem, and timing experiments with the phones' stopwatches. The smartphones, which could connect to the Internet, also allowed pupils to access revision websites, log into the school email system, or transfer electronic files between school and home.

The research involved 331 pupils in schools in Cambridgeshire, West Berkshire and Nottingham.

"At the start of the study, even pupils were often surprised at the thought that mobile phones could be used for learning, " Dr Hartnell-Young will tell the annual conference of the British Educational Research Association in Edinburgh today. "After their hands-on experience, almost all pupils said they had enjoyed the project and felt more motivated."

Some teachers also had to reassess their views even though staff who took part were already champions of new technology in their schools. "Students like mobiles and they know how to use them," one said. "Using this technology gives them more freedom to express themselves without needing to be constantly supervised."

Other teachers found that pupils who lacked confidence gained most from the project. However, they recognised that greater use of mobile phones in schools could prove problematical.

Increased temptation to steal phones was one worry. "I thought, well, four of these smartphones are going to end up on eBAY tomorrow," one teacher said.

That fear turned out to be misplaced but a few teachers remained concerned that phones could prove a distraction for some pupils. Allowing pupils to access school emails via mobiles would also pose data security risks if passwords were shared, they said.

Teacher unions have similar fears and have supported phone bans in schools. "Pupils nowadays come to school equipped with mobile phones, MP3 players, and portable games consoles when teachers would like them to just bring a pen," Chris Keates, general secretary of the NASUWT teachers' union, said last month.

Dr Hartnell-Young says that the teachers' worries are understandable. "While the eventual aim should be to lift blanket bans on phones we do not recommend immediate, whole-school change," she said.

"Instead we believe that teachers, students and the wider community should work together to develop policies that will enable this powerful new learning tool to be used safely. We hope that, in future, mobile phone use will be as natural as using any other technology in school."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Nottingham. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Nottingham. "Mobile Phones Help Secondary Pupils." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 September 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080911103924.htm>.
University of Nottingham. (2008, September 15). Mobile Phones Help Secondary Pupils. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080911103924.htm
University of Nottingham. "Mobile Phones Help Secondary Pupils." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080911103924.htm (accessed September 1, 2014).

Share This




More Computers & Math News

Monday, September 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Apple's Rumored iWatch Could Cost $400

Apple's Rumored iWatch Could Cost $400

Newsy (Aug. 31, 2014) Apple is expected to charge a premium for its still-rumored wearable device. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Amazon Chases Netflix And HBO With Five New Pilots

Amazon Chases Netflix And HBO With Five New Pilots

Newsy (Aug. 31, 2014) Amazon has released another batch of five pilots, allowing viewers to vote on which shows will get full seasons on the company's streaming service. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Apple Wants Your iPhone To Become Your Wallet

Apple Wants Your iPhone To Become Your Wallet

Newsy (Aug. 31, 2014) Apple might soon announce a feature that would allow iPhones to act as a credit card when making payments in physical stores. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Young Entrepreneurs Get $100,000, If They Quit School

Young Entrepreneurs Get $100,000, If They Quit School

AFP (Aug. 29, 2014) Twenty college-age students are getting 100,000 dollars from a Silicon Valley leader and a chance to live in San Francisco in order to work on the start-up project of their dreams, but they have to quit school first. Duration: 02:20 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins