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Friday, 27 November 2009

One teaching union has branded mobile phones potential offensive weapons. But there’s a growing realisation that, despite their nuisance value, they also represent a huge untapped learning resource - and a cheap one at that

As the best-of lists of cool gadgets for the past decade start to fill Sunday newspaper magazines, all-singing, all-dancing, camera-boasting mobile phones will be up there with the iPod and Google as some of the Noughties’ best technological advances. But when it comes to the classroom, the devices are deemed far from desirable.

When Notre Dame High School in Sheffield announced that it was considering using mobile phones and MP3 players in lessons last month, the news was met with shock and indignation from the tabloid press. Notre Dame’s assistant headteacher, Paul Haigh, described mobiles as “a huge untapped resource”, enabling pupils to get involved in technology without the school buying more hardware.

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