[Technology 934] Re: handhelds

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Marian Thacher mthacher at otan.us
Tue Apr 17 20:40:54 EDT 2007

The Technology and Literacy Discussion List <technology at nifl.gov> on
Tuesday, April 17, 2007 at 2:53 PM -0800 wrote:

>One of the biggest issues I'd thought we'd have was with the size of the

>screens, especially for

>using the Inspiration program as it's very visual (flow charts etc.). The

>students don't seem to

>be bothered by this, however. I think they're more used to cell phone

>screens and Game Boys

>etc. than I am. I do find that students think that one screen of writing

>equals a page! So, I often

>have to give them a guideline of, "This should be at least 5 screens

>long" or something like that.

>After a while they understand that the screen usually holds about 2

>sentences and they adjust. If

>you wanted to run spreadsheets, I think the screen size could become an


thanks for sharing your experiences with us, Marilyn! I've been watching
for use of handhelds in adult education for several years, and haven't
seen much. I've pretty much dropped this piece of technology from the list
of things I encourage people to try, and I think the main issue is the
screen size. If we're going to use something cheaper than a laptop, people
seem to be going for the portable keyboard, and focusing on writing.
AlphaSmart has the Dana, which is a palm with a bigger case, keyboard and
screen. I wonder if any adult programs have tried using those.

I didn't think about the problem of the stylus, but I can imagine now that
you mention it! Have you had any problems with kids
losing/trading/forgetting their handhelds?

Marian Thacher

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