Ringing the changes to mobile learning

Rohan Lee uses his mobile phone to search for information needed in class at Carr Hill High School
Rohan Lee uses his mobile phone to search for information needed in class at Carr Hill High School
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HOW do you solve a problem like mobile phones?

Schools across the Fylde coast are adopting a range of policies to oversee mobile phone use in lessons.

Following the news that one Greater Manchester headteacher has banned their use altogether, reportedly seeing a rise in attainment and behaviour, high schools in this area have rejected such an idea.

Mobile devices can be valuable learning tools, some teachers have said.

Dayle Harrison, headteacher at Collegiate High School in Blackpool, said showing children how to get the best out of their mobile phones, some of which are “mini computers” he said, is vital.

He said: “We have come up with a phone policy to educate children to use their mobile devices safely and responsibly.

“Knowledge is available to us 24/7 via mobile phones, we teach the children about the validity and accuracy of information available online.”

Mr Harrison said the school, on Blackpool Old Road, encourages pupils to use their phones as learning resources as much as ways to communicate with others.

Pupils at Carr Hill High School in Kirkham also follow a similar phone policy.

Graeme Napier, assistant headteacher at the school on Royal Avenue, said: “We take the view that the vast majority of pupils walk around with mini computers in their pockets, so we encourage their use in lessons.”

The school also keeps a bank of spare mobile phones and tablets in the school library, to be used by pupils without their own smartphones.

Pupils at the high school and sixth form in Kirkham use their phones to enhance learning, such as filming sequences in PE lessons, using mobiles apps to aid foreign language lessons and to assist poor readers with written material, or as personal organisers for homework.

Mr Napier added: “We want to be teaching pupils to make the best use of their phones.

“But we make expectation clear, they must be only be used in certain lessons.”

Mr Harrison said: “They are young people developing, adults use their phones so young adults have to be treated with the same respect and educated about proper use.

“But if a phone comes out inappropriately we do reserve the right to remove it.”