[Technology 951] Re: Subject: RE: handhelds day 2

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Denis Anson danson at misericordia.edu
Thu Apr 19 15:47:53 EDT 2007

I've also gone through a number of Palm devices. My experience is that
they have a life expectancy of about two years, and then you need a new one.

I also read a rumor that Dell may buy Palm, so your Palm will be a Dell,
or something like that. I would buy a smart phone today if they didn't
have those silly little keyboards using up the interface. My fingers
cover about half a dozen buttons, and I don't think I could even dial
one, much less type on it. For note taking on my Palm, I use a
universal, full sized keyboard, which allows full speed typing.

Denis Anson

McNutt Jr, William R wrote:


> I just had an experience I thought I would share with ya’ll. Recently,

> my beloved Dell Axim X51 handheld had a stroke, and I had to replace

> it. I ordered a new one from dell.com and got a better screen and more

> memory in the new model. Adding the network capability that I use, it

> came to slightly more than $500.00. My wife bought a Treo smartphone

> that does just about everything my Axim does for less.


> Two weeks later, announced that they were dead-ending the Axim line. I

> can no longer find my brand-new handheld on the dell web site.

> Subsequent looking around reveals that the conventional wisdom among

> the technorati is that handheld computers have had their day in the

> sun. The smart money is betting on the smartphone, like the Blackjack

> and the Treo replacing the handheld for most functions.


> Bill McNutt


> ------------------------------------------------------------------------


> *From:* technology-bounces at nifl.gov

> [mailto:technology-bounces at nifl.gov] *On Behalf Of *Mariann Fedele

> *Sent:* Thursday, April 19, 2007 2:26 PM

> *To:* The Technology and Literacy Discussion List

> *Subject:* [Technology 945] Subject: RE: handhelds day 2


> *The following question is submitted on behalf of Mike Moyle:*


> Marilyn,


> Thank you for sharing with us. Our fifth grade has used Palms for

> several years. They are used primarily for writing but also for math

> facts, organizing assignments, drawing with Sketchy, and understanding

> tessellations. The teachers are about to use them with paam.goknow.com

> Internet so the student can sync with that site when their homework is

> done, and the teacher can instantly see it.


> Our school is considering 1-to-1 technology with tablet laptop computers

> for grades 7-12. The teachers were each given a tablet and four days of

> training this summer.


> I'm trying to decide whether handhelds or tablets are the better way to

> go for Lower School. You've identified the cost factor. If that is the

> primary driving force, the handhelds probably are the best bet. I do

> worry, though, about not having access to the connectivity with the web

> and the ability to create through programs like PowerPoint, Movie Maker,

> etc. It seems that the handhelds have a very narrow focus of abilities

> compared to a laptop or tablet. I don't know, however, if this is a

> completely accurate view. I'd love to hear more about that.


> I was interested to read about your project with creating governments.

> I keep thinking that the technology is only a tool, and it's extremely

> important to make sure we are using it in a way that is helping students

> think at higher levels, make connections, and be creative.


> Mike Moyle

> Lower School Director

> The Principia


> -----Original Message-----

> From: technology-bounces at nifl.gov [mailto:technology-bounces at nifl.gov]

> On Behalf Of Marilyn Williams

> Sent: Wednesday, April 18, 2007 9:19 AM

> To: technology at nifl.gov

> Subject: [Technology 936] handhelds day 2


> Hi all,

> Thanks again for participating in the discussion today. Please send me

> any comments or questions as I'd love to establish a dialogue with you!


> As it closer to school starting and despite two full days of training, I

> was still feeling apprehensive about starting the Palm project.

> Nonetheless, students were back at school a week later and I had to be

> ready to go.

> Our first day, I introduced the fact that we had the opportunity to use

> the handhelds and explained that everyone would need to take home the

> permission form and have it back before we would begin to use the Palms.

> I thought this would give me a week or so of breathing room!

> Of course, they all came back the next day! So, taking a deep breath,

> we jumped in.

> Those first few days were a little chaotic! I did have some basic plans

> developed but, for the most part, we played. We experimented with

> different functions and sent messages to one another. We also saved our

> work and set up categories (or files).


> One of the most helpful pieces of equipment I used was a FlexCam. This

> is a camera that has a flexible neck that can be bent to show whatever

> the teacher is working on. They are often used in science classes so

> all the students can watch a teacher do a dissection or other

> experiment.

> This allowed me to demonstrate which buttons or icons to tap and how and

> where to enter information on a screen. It really was (and still is)

> invaluable.


> Our first lessons were basic how to enter information. We played with

> writing Graffiti, using the built in keyboard as well as the external

> keyboard. A fun game to use when learning Graffiti is called Giraffe.


> As we all became more proficient, I started using the Palms in 'real'

> lessons. At first, it was a stretch to think of how I would use them

> but as they became part of my repertoire, it was second nature. One of

> the earlier projects we did was on government. I divided students into

> groups and their task was to create a society. Each group had a set of

> categories to address such as school, laws, justice, economy etc. Each

> student worked on their section then everyone beamed their portion to

> each other so the entire group had everyone's work. This was a great way

> to keep them organized and if anyone lost their work, they could easily

> retrieve it.


> Daily, we used our Palms for silent reading responses as well as a unit

> on word parts. We kept a list and definitions and examples of literary

> terms and devices. We wrote poetry which worked great as I beamed

> everyone a template and instructions and then they could work

> independently.

> I know I keep mentioning beaming and I should perhaps explain this

> function. This allows a person to just point their Palm at another

> Palm, tap 'Beam' and the data is transferred from one to another. After

> a bit of practice we got so we could beam a piece of data to everyone in

> the class in the same amount of time it would take to pass out papers.

> I would beam to one student, they would beam to another while I got

> someone else started etc.


> It was important for us to organize the Palms in a way that they were

> easily accessible so I set up a series of small drawers which contained

> each person's Palm and keyboard. Students were responsible to make sure

> their Palm was charged and available and, for the most part, this worked

> well. If someone forgot theirs at home, they ended up having to use

> paper and pencil and that was usually enough deterrent that it wasn't

> left at home again.


> The biggest advantage of Palms, for me, was the way it leveled the

> playing field, so to speak, for all my students. I had taught some of

> these students since sixth grade in a resource (pull

> out) block and had never been able to get them interested in writing.

> Now that they had this tool and the example of their peers, they became

> much more engaged and I was so pleased with the progress they made.

> They felt much more positive about themselves as learners as well.


> Fortunately, we had a class set of Palms so everyone had access. In a

> setting without a class set, I might establish a 'Palm learning center'

> as part of a rotation. At that center, I'd probably have assignments

> listed and have students work in a more individual way. It certainly is

> more difficult to incorporate any kind of technology when students have

> to share.


> So far, we've lost only 1 handheld over 3 years!


> Marilyn Williams

> 6th Grade Language Arts/Social Studies

> Kennedy Middle School

> Eugene, OR

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> Mariann Fedele


> Associate Director,


> NYC Regional Adult Education Network


> Literacy Assistance Center


> Moderator,

> NIFL Technology and Literacy Discussion List

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