Page last updated at 17:48 GMT, Tuesday, 8 December 2009

iPhones given to schoolchildren

Children given iPhones for class

Pupils at a school in west London have been given iPhones to use in the classroom in a trial aimed at finding out if they can aid learning.

Gumley House Convent School in Isleworth is trialling the use of the Apple phones as a teaching aid.

Thirty of the phones have been lent to pupils who will only have to pay for their calls in the scheme funded by Brentford City Learning Centre.

But critics have said the technology will be detrimental to learning.

"Mobile phones have quite rightly been banned from many classrooms as they prove to be a distraction," said Katie Ivens from the Campaign for Real Education.

"The case for learning by computer has not been proved at all."

Teachers hope that applications available on the device, such as the periodic table and works by Shakespeare, will assist children in the classroom.

"I think it will be a real benefit for school, we have to embrace this kind of technology," said Stephen Byrne, an assistant head teacher at the school.

"If we knock it away we're not preparing these kids for their futures at all."

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