School trials iPhones as learning aid

A research project is underway to determine whether smart phones could be used as an educational tool in schools.

A group of pupils at Brentford City Learning Centre have each been given an iPhone, Apple Inc’s popular smart phone device, in a joint study by Kingston University and educational technology provider Academia.

"In most schools mobile phones are viewed as distractions and banned from the classroom,” said a school spokesperson. “But, as technology becomes more integrated into our daily lives, we wanted to understand how it could be used positively in the learning environment.”

A number of educational applications are available on the iPhone, including language learning aids and calculators. Under the research study, pupils must make the case for the educational value of paid-for applications they wish to download.

Should smart phones be adopted in the classroom, it would accelerate the shift of functionality traditionally associated with desktop hardware onto mobile devices and could have significant ramifications for the nature of office work.

Pete Swabey

Pete Swabey

Pete was Editor of Information Age and head of technology research for Vitesse Media plc from 2005 to 2013, before moving on to be Senior Editor and then Editorial Director at The Economist Intelligence...

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