Classroom technology use analysed
Education Scotland is to look at how tablet computers and mobile devices are being used in classrooms and consider how they could be introduced in schools on a wider scale.
The Scottish Government body will take stock of how existing schemes are working before providing recommendations to Education Secretary Michael Russell.
Almost 20 schools across 10 local authorities are already using devices such as iPads and Android technology to aid learning.
Speaking during a visit to Sciennes primary in Edinburgh, Mr Russell said: "The range of mobile devices that are now available and the promise of what they can bring to teaching and learning is very exciting and something that must be embraced. There are a number of pilots already under way around the country, including the use of iPads here at Sciennes.
"I have asked Education Scotland for recommendations on how we can realise the benefits of mobile technology for all learners in Scotland, including ensuring how we get the best possible value for our schools, and whether national guidance is needed for the sector."
Mr Russell said that in the existing pilots the local authorities and schools were paying for the equipment, or in some cases, the equipment was coming from manufacturers.
Speaking on BBC Radio Scotland's Good Morning Scotland programme, he said there would be "substantial cost implications" involved in the introduction of such devices on a wider scale and admitted the Scottish Government was not in a position to provide tablet computers for every pupil.
"We're not in that position, and indeed we don't know enough about whether we should be in that position, so this is a learning opportunity for all of us," he said.
At one Aberdeen school, Kingswell primary, concerns were raised last year about the fairness and affordability of a tablet computer scheme which asked parents to pay for iPads for their children to use in class.
Mr Russell said this kind of move was "highly undesirable" and he did not think "any child or family should be disadvantaged".
what do you think?
Teachers should use all tools at their disposal to imrpove standards
My old secondary school has given every child an iPad for the past 2 years. However they are still required to carry A4 diaries and textbooks, and often, the iPad crashes (I own one and am frequently a victim of this). So they've made the bags 3 times as heavy for no reason at all.