Page last updated at 17:11 GMT, Tuesday, 22 September 2009 18:11 UK

'I'm in class - ring me, teacher'

Website fights cyber-bullying

What's the rule on mobile phones in your local school?

Chances are they're banned - to stop students texting their friends all the time, or worse still, cyber-bullying. But are schools missing a trick?

Most teenagers now carry a mini-computer in their pockets, capable of taking photos, videos, podcasts and even surfing the web. Could their mobiles actually be used to enhance their education?

Alex and Charlotte from Westhoughton High School in Bolton wanted to investigate this issue. They interviewed one boy who'd experienced cyber-bullying - getting abusive and threatening text messages on his mobile phone.

"I received a few text messages," said the boy who wanted to remain anonymous. "One said I was going to get run over, and I'd better watch my back. I was actually scared of coming to school."

A recent survey by the charity Beat Bullying claimed that one in three pupils experience cyber-bullying. And another report found one in seven teachers experience the same problems.

New ways of using mobiles in class

But Alex and Charlotte found one teacher in their school who thinks pupils' mobile phones are great teaching aids. Mark Holden records his teaching notes direct into students' phones. Then students can listen back at any time - in school or at home.

For News Day, the School Report team carried out an online vote in school - and 83% of those who voted said teachers should be more open to new ways of using mobile phones in class. The team asked their Head teacher Phil Hart, if he'd consider lifting the ban on mobiles.

"We have started to discuss the use of phones in school because I feel that if phones are used in the form of a Personal Digital Assistant, then it would benefit pupils' education positively," Mr Hart told them.


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