Learning with Mobile and Handheld Technologies

As technology evolves we are ever more reliant on the use of handheld and mobile devices, yet what do we know about their impact on learning? While there is a lot of interest in mobile technology, many schools still aren’t sure how to best use it for learning and teaching. 

Learning with Mobile and Handheld Technologies by John Galloway, Merlin John and Maureen McTaggart shows the changes that are taking place within schools as a direct result of these emerging technologies, and contains case studies with accounts of best practice in a variety of settings including primary, secondary, and special schools, and learning beyond their boundaries. The book also explores themes of pedagogy, communication and affordances, collaborative learning, individual creativity and expression, self-directed and informal learning and outdoor education. 

For more information about the book and the authors please see their Learning With Mobile and Handheld Technlogies flyer. 

To order your copy and receive 20% off please visit www.routledge.com before 31st December 2015.

Scargill Junior School wins National Handheld Learning Award in London

Scargill pupils and Johnny Ballhttp://www.handheldlearning2008.com/handheld-learning-conference-and-exhibition/learners-y-factor

On Monday 13th October 2008, pupils from Scargill Junior School walked away with the 3rd Prize in The Learners’ Y Factor Awards at The Handheld Learning Conference at The Barbican in London.  Supported by teacher Mrs Karen Webley, who has championed Handheld Learning in the school, the children wowed the audience and panel with their confident presentation, extolling the virtues of using PSPs (PlayStation Portables) to support learning of modern languages.  The panel, included Professor Stephen Heppell http://heppell.net/ and the event was hosted by television presenter Johnny Ball (pictured with the children).  The panel were impressed by the way in which the children had used the PSPs independently to create a Portuguese dictionary to enhance their learning, building upon language lessons with Havering teacher of modern languages Dan Alliot.  Havering was the only London Borough represented in the Y Factor Awards and the award is a rich reward for the vision and commitment shown by Scargill Junior School and teacher/ICT Co-ordinator Karen Webley in particular.  The HIAS ICT Team would like to whole-heartedly congratulate Scargill Junior School on their fantastic achievement.  Well done!

For more details of how handheld learning can support teaching and learning in your school please contact Dave Smith – HIAS ICT Consultant via dsmith.havering@lgfl.net

‘$100 laptop’ embraces Windows XP – one machine for each pupil comes closer

Microsoft has joined forces with the developers of the “$100 laptop” to make Windows available on the machines.

The move was prompted by countries which demanded the operating system before placing an order.

Trials of laptops loaded with Windows will begin in “four to five” countries from June, the organisations said.

Read the full post at:-


Ultra-mobile PCs – a fast-moving market… confusing choices – your HIAS ICT team can help advise…

From Becta’s TechNews March 2008 –  please speak to your HIAS Link ICT Consultant for advice before considering any purchase.


Sign-up to the Becta TechNews newsletter here… http://lists.becta.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/technews 

Low cost portables

The market for low cost UMPC (Ultra Mobile PC) style devices continues to grow rapidly thanks to an increasing range of products and demand outstripping supply for certain models. Education is a key market for these devices. Asus led the way with its Eee PC and now a number of other manufacturers are hoping to emulate their success with highly portable low cost devices. UK manufacturer Elonex has announced a £99 Linux based laptop due for launch in June 2008 aimed at the education market. The device will include a 1GB solid state drive and built in wireless networking. http://www.elonexone.co.uk/ More expensive and aimed at a portable business market is the Belinea s.book 1 from Maxdata. This is a similar sized device that includes a detachable Bluetooth handset to allow easy VoIP calls to be made. This is based on a reference design from Taiwanese manufacturer VIA. A similar format device has been announced by Everex.http://www.via.com.tw/en/resources/pressroom/pressrelease.jsp?press_release_no=1787http://www.everex.com/ Asus have announced that the next version of the Eee PC may be shipped with a cheaper hard drive instead of the current solid state device. The Eee 900 series will also be a version with a larger display – 8.9” rather than 7” and an option to run Microsoft Windows XP. http://www.reghardware.co.uk/2008/03/10/asus_ceo_on_eee_future/ Mary Lou Jepsen, the chief technology office for the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) organisation has left to start up her own company aimed at delivering a $75 laptop using some of the technologies developed for OLPC. She hopes that with the falling component prices this will be achievable. License fees from her commercial operation will be paid to the OLPC organisation.http://www.itworld.com/Comp/1290/mary-lou-jepsen-pixel-qi-080218/index.html Computing giant Hewlett Packard has announced a mobile thin client computer using many of the technologies seen in these UMPC devices. The company hopes that the lack of local storage will prove to be popular with customers worried about the potential local data loss if standalone devices are lost or stolen. http://www.hp.com/hpinfo/newsroom/press/2008/080124b.html Later this year, the first mobile internet devices (MID) based on Intel’s Atom processor (see below) are expected to launch. These will be inexpensive Linux based devices, typically with 5” displays and offering a ‘full internet’ experience. Ultra mobile devices have the potential to offer personal access to the networks, data and applications to education users. Projects have already shown how personal ownership improves the opportunities available to pupils and teachers; and promotes adoption of ICT to improve standards.

After assembly, switch on your Nintendo… Are you sure?


It is a school child’s dream. Primary pupils are being encouraged to play on Nintendo DS consoles in class to boost their cognitive skills.

Under a scheme being tested on 900 pupils in 16 primary schools in Scotland, children are being given the hand-held computer games devices for free and encouraged to start their day by doing “brain training” exercises.

Read the full article from the TimesOnline…


Food for thought – we need to take pre-existing knowledge/skills into account…

When pupils come to school are they devoid of ICT knowledge and skills?  Should we try and take account of this?

Watch this video and then see what you think... 

[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/XrVt2ZcrWUY" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]


Click on the link above to open a sample questionnaire to provide to Reception or other pupils (parents/carers) to complete to enable you to get a better idea of pre-existing ICT knowledge and skills.

Dr Kawashima’s Brain Training using Nintendo DS

Braintrainingnintendo ds lite

Three Primary classes from schools in Dundee took part in a Consolarium project to show how computer games can impact on and enhance learning in classrooms in a practical, accessible and manageable way.

The project involved the use of a game for the Nintendo DS called Dr Kawashima’s Brain Training. This is a collection of mini-games such as number bond challenges, reading tests, problem-solving exercises and memory puzzles.

The main rationale underpinning the game is that the problems and challenges are designed to ‘exercise the brain’ by increasing blood flow to the pre-frontal cortex.

They felt that Dr Kawashima’s Brain Training had a rationale similar to that of Brain Gym and we were very keen to compare and contrast both approaches to see if any gains could be made, particularly in relation to mental maths and how children perceive themselves as learners (academic self-concept).

The results have shown that a small, cleverly designed handheld game can significantly enhance learner performance in mental maths as well as having a positive impact on other aspects of classroom life. Our research methodology used only four of the 25 available Brain Gym activities, and the children from the Brain Gym group spent less than half the time using the movements than did the children playing the Nintendo game. Despite this lack of parity in both approaches, the limited Brain Gym intervention did significantly improve the children’s performance in maths, although not by as much as did the more extensive use of the Nintendo game.


What is a Nintendo DS? http://www.nintendo.com/ds/what

Where are they used in Havering? Scargill Junior School are currently using Nintendo DS handheld devices to support learning and teaching.