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 October 23, 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 October 23, 2014).

Share This



More Computers & Math News

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Chameleon Camouflage to Give Tanks Cloaking Capabilities

Chameleon Camouflage to Give Tanks Cloaking Capabilities

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 22, 2014) — Inspired by the way a chameleon changes its colour to disguise itself; scientists in Poland want to replace traditional camouflage paint with thousands of electrochromic plates that will continuously change colour to blend with its surroundings. The first PL-01 concept tank prototype will be tested within a few years, with scientists predicting that a similar technology could even be woven into the fabric of a soldiers' clothing making them virtually invisible to the naked eye. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Internet of Things Aims to Smarten Your Life

Internet of Things Aims to Smarten Your Life

AP (Oct. 22, 2014) — As more and more Bluetooth-enabled devices are reaching consumers, developers are busy connecting them together as part of the Internet of Things. (Oct. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Free Math App Is A Teacher's Worst Nightmare

Free Math App Is A Teacher's Worst Nightmare

Newsy (Oct. 22, 2014) — New photo-recognition software from MicroBlink, called PhotoMath, solves linear equations and simple math problems with step-by-step results. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Rate Hike Worries Down on Inflation Data

Rate Hike Worries Down on Inflation Data

Reuters - Business Video Online (Oct. 22, 2014) — Inflation remains well under control according to the latest consumer price index, giving the Federal Reserve more room to keep interest rates low for awhile. Bobbi Rebell reports. Video provided by Reuters
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

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