Sheringham students learn through classroom gadgets

Teachers and children are learning how social media and computer games can help in the classroom at an event in Norwich today.

The ICT in Schools Conference is in its second and last day today, including workshops on how games consoles can be used in education.

Children from Norfolk schools such as Sheringham Primary School and Sheringham Woodfields School have already been using electronic games in the classroom.

Sheila Denny, ICT adviser for Norfolk County Council, will join Tim Groves, senior teacher at Sheringham Primary, to discuss the idea in the John Innes Centre at Norwich Research Park.

Sheringham Primary has been using Nintendo DSs with nine to 11-year-olds to develop maths skills and concentration.

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Staff assessed pupils before and after the experiment and found progress of as much as 10pc in some children in tests such as reading ability.

Mr Groves said: 'Games based learning has certainly had a positive impact on the children's learning skills.

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'As a school we do all we can to encourage this positive use of technology.

'Many of our pupils have these consoles at home so will embrace learning in this way and see it as enjoyable way of boosting their skills.'

Other workshops throughout the day will explore the role of social media in education and how mobile phones can be used in the classroom.

The conference will also explore the impact of the government's Home Access scheme on young people in Norfolk.

More than 5,000 families in the county have received free computers and internet access as part of the scheme and young people will talk about the difference this has made.

Alison Thomas, cabinet member for children's services at Norfolk County Council, said: 'We are committed to raising the aspirations and achievements of Norfolk's children and young people and technology plays an important part in this.

'By developing the use of new technology in the classroom teachers are able to engage and motivate more children to learn, reaching out particularly to children that can be hard to reach.'

The conference will run from 9am to 4pm, with children from Sheringham Primary School taking a workshop from 2.45pm and 3.30pm.

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