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Majority of schools think games consoles aid education

Research shows three-quarters believe access to "educational consoles" such as DS is beneficial

Research conducted by the British Educational Suppliers Association (BESA) has found that the majority of schools think that access to games consoles is beneficial to primary children's education.

In a survey of 406 primary schools carried out to determine attitudes to technologies such as games consoles, phones and computers, it was found that three quarters of teachers thought that home access to educational games consoles such as the Nintendo DS could be helpful to a child's educational development.

Internet access at home was identified as the most beneficial technology however, while access to mobile phones split opinion with 39 per cent saying that children shouldn't have access to their own phone outside of school and 29 per cent saying an ideal situation would be all children having access to a mobile.

However teachers were found to be happier with pupils having a mobile games console rather than a mobile phone.

Most schools surveyed said that children's preference for technology both at home and at school was evolving quickly and the majority said they thought netbooks and smartphones would be more popular with children than desktop and laptop computers by 2015.

In terms of computer use at home, 64 per cent of schools said they provided teacher-directed homework that required computer resources. Just one quarter of respondents said they believed the majority of pupils use computers for entertainment and social networking exclusively, instead of for educational purposes.

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Kath Brice