MOST schools discourage mobile phones and other technological distractions in the classroom, but that's certainly not the case at Heathfield School in Pinner this term.
The all-girls independent school has issued each pupil in one of its year eight classes with an iPod Touch phone and music device. But there won't be any phone calls or headphones allowed because the girls are using the iPods as a learning aid instead.
The 'revolutionary' teaching method allows pupils to access various applications, or 'apps', to make learning more interactive and accessible.
The scheme is a one-year pilot, funding for which was received through the Girls' Day School Trust.
Mrs Verma, head of e-learning at Heathfield, explained: "Girls no longer need to carry their dictionaries and calculators with them to their lessons and if they want to look up something on the internet they can look information up without going to an ICT [information communication technology] room.
"An example includes the students learning about teeth in their biology lesson, when they can use the dentistry app to learn how to label a tooth and then be able to use the information for homework to create a poster on teeth and looking after them."
Other apps available on the iPods include the periodic table app for help in science lessons and the doodle buddy app for help taking notes.
But the devices have had their mobile phone technology disabled and the girls are only allowed to use the iPods on the say-so of their subject teachers.
It is hoped the colourful devices will supplement the lessons throughout the school year, enhancing teaching and learning. Results of the trial are expected in Autumn 2011.
One pupil, Keisha, gave her verdict: "We were really excited to learn we were being given the iPod Touches, they were too expensive for us to buy right now. We are going to use them a lot!"
Heathfield is one of a growing number of British schools that have started using Apple products in the classroom. The use of iPods for education began in the US, and a select few UK schools took up the scheme in 2009.