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Kids may benefit from mobiles in class

Smartphones bring smarts

A study from Nottingham University found that kids can actually benefit from using mobile phones in class.

Teachers and parents have often complained about mobile use, and been tricked by kids using ringtones that adults can't hear, but a nine month study at five secondary schools found that phones can be a useful learning aid.

Researchers looked at mobile use by 331 pupils aged between 14 and 16. The kids either used their phones or smartphones provided by researchers.

One teacher involved in the study said: “I thought, well, four of these smartphones are going to end up on eBay tomorrow.” In fact, none of the phones were pinched.

Phones were used to make short films, record teachers reading poems, time experiments and access school email systems and revision websites.

Although some teachers remain convinced the phones were a distraction, others found that less confident kids gained most from the experiment.

Lead researcher Dr Elizabeth Hartnell-Young will present the study to the British Educational Research Association later today. ®

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