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Wednesfield pupils use smartphone technology to hunt bugs

Pupils from St Alban’s Primary School in Ashmore Park will be using the latest mobile technology to help them learn this summer.

Pupils from St Alban’s Church of England Primary School in Ashmore Park, Wednesfield will be amongst youngsters who will once again be able to use the latest technology to help them learn when they are out and about this summer.

Last year more than 1,000 pupils from 34 Wolverhampton schools used the latest smartphone technology as part of a nationwide project to track the spread of the Harlequin Ladybird.

It was the first time smartphones had been used by pupils city-wide – and it proved so successful that plans are already underway for an even bigger event this year.

Dr David Whyley, Wolverhampton City Council’s Headteacher Consultant for Learning Technologies, said: “Staff and pupils were given a working understanding of the use of the smartphones, with even nursery children showing how adept youngsters are with this technology.

“The pupils then went out into the field and searched for ladybirds and other beetles and, using GPS-based technology, either recorded them on the smartphone or took their ‘finds’ back to the classroom to input via their laptops. This information was fed into the National Harlequin Ladybird Survey and entire classes were able to look at their results on screen and find their locations using Google Maps.

“Our schools were really enthusiastic about the challenge, with 34 taking part. For some this was their first taste of using smartphones for learning.”

The results of last year’s project have now been published online at www.learning2go.org, while the data has been included on the National Harlequin Ladybird Survey website, www.harlequin-survey.org.

Councillor Phil Page, Wolverhampton City Council’s Cabinet Member for Schools, said: “This was a really significant milestone in using technology such as smartphones, which young children are increasingly used to in their everyday lives, to enhance their learning. It gave them a greater understanding of the use of technology to record their learning and the chance to contribute to a real life environmental issue.

“We are delighted that, following the success of last year’s trial, pupils will once again be able to take part in this really innovative form of learning this year. It will be based on a similar outdoor theme as last year, which will give youngsters the chance to carry out research in the natural environment.”

Source: Wolverhampton City Council

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