Handheld computers can really change the way kids work in the classroom. When each student has the technology readily available amazing things can happen! My intent for this blog is to collect and post ideas, comments and resources for all. Please join me!

Friday, September 01, 2006

What the Kids had to Say!

Last year we piloted two classrooms using handhelds on a daily basis. Each student had either a Zire72 or a Zire31. They were not allowed to take them home but as their teachers became familiar with the handheld learning environment and the available software they used them more and more in their daily lessons.
In June I asked the students the follwoing question:
Has the use of handheld computers in the classroom this year made a difference in the way you feel about coming to school?
Here are some of their responses:

  • Well, actually I’m here (in this country) first year and use handheld technology is very easy. The most favorite thing I like to do on a handheld is to write and play games. I think that this year at school was easier because we used handhelds to write poems, stories, summaries and much more. With out handhelds we would write these things on the paper.
  • Yes, it gave me and probably many others another reason to come to school. It is fun but it also gives us a way to work. It teaches us about technology and work. So it did make a difference. Every day we’d learn something new from it. Also try something new.
  • No, because sometimes we are so busy that we don’t get to play games or do work on the handheld. If we take the handheld home and maybe do a project on them then share with the class that would be a great thing.
  • Yes, but like it’s never changed my attitude about school because it’s still the same. I like school and just because they gave one class out of the whole community handhelds I still care about my education. I give a lot of thanks for those people that picked our class for handhelds. They helped a lot. I loved working with them. Thank you and good luck for next year’s class.
  • No, because sometimes we are so busy that we don’t have any time to do fun things on it. Another reason is because I have the Zire31 and I’d rather have the Zire72 because they have better things on it – camera, voice memo, etc.
  • No. I have always looked forward to school and the handhelds haven’t made me feel any different. I was so excited though about using them.
  • Yes, because I really look forward to coming to school. Sometimes I use “Sketchy” and I really enjoy uses the handhelds.Yes, it’s great you learn without talking. You learn with plain technology. You need to charge handhelds so you can have a really tiny walk.
  • No, because using my handheld is the same as doing things on paper.
  • Yes, because if we never had them we would have to write everything on paper instead of typing it and you can take pictures with it.

Friday, August 25, 2006

MassCUE One-to-One Technology SIG - Podcasting

Come learn more about podcasting on Tuesday, September 26 at Norrback School (3pm to 5pm) as Bob Trikakas from Apple Computer explains how you can use podcasts in your classroom and for your own professional development and learning. Check out some podcasts beforehand by visiting my other blog, DebBlogg <http://debblogg.blogspot.com>, and clicking on the links on the sidebar.
Note: It is not necessary to have an iPod to listen to or create podcasts.
A desktop computer can do the trick. Come learn more!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Tony Vincent's Blog

Visit Tony Vincent's blog to find lots of great information. It's so good I've included it on the right as one of my links. Thanks Tony!

this blog

Bloggers:

I have been reading the posts to this blog since Deborah sent the link to me last week. Excellent stuff. Keep it up.

Arnold

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Handheld Computing Video

Take a look at what is going on in some classrooms!


Here's the video I have on my handheld and was thrilled to beam to Elliot Soloway!! Cool stuff! Enjoy!

Sunday, August 13, 2006

LOVE my handheld!

I have been using a handheld for the past three or four years to help me with many of the tasks that we as teachers must do every day. I create class lists, calculate and record grades, do my weekly lesson plans, and write my monthly newsletter on my handheld. In addition, I use it regularly to take anecdotal notes in my classroom that help me asses students' progress and keep track of student accomplishments and behavioral issues.

This past school year I was fortunate to have the use of a whole class set of handhelds in my classroom. Our handhelds were used to complete activities and projects across the curriculum - anything from quick writes, to reading about JFK or Christopher Columbus, to completing math activities using excel spreadsheets. Virtually every activity that we did on our handhelds could have been done with paper and pencil as well, so that a temporary malfunction or a charged down handheld did not hold a student back from working on an activity or project.

One of the most exciting tools we discovered this past year is PAAM, an online application that lets you collect, organize, manage, and print student work done on the handhelds. Without PAAM, some handheld applications cannot be printed without special equipment.

I'm very excited to start the next school year and get my students into using the handhelds right away! We did so much with them last year, but there is so much more that can be done! If anyone would like to hear about some of the handheld lessons we did, or if anyone has any handheld lesson ideas, please let me know!

Meeting Elliot Soloway

I became interested in handheld one-to-one technology in 1997 shortly after I came on board as a Technology Integration Specialist for the Worcester Public Schools. I had read much about the use of handheld technology in the classroom. One of my favorite "gurus" has been Elliot Soloway from the University of Michigan.
This past year (2005-06) I was fortunate to have met Elliot and hear him speak at a conference given by the Massachusetts Elementary School Principals Association (MESPA) about the use of handhelds in the classroom.

I was thrilled to have been able to "beam" my video of handhelds being used in one of my schools to Elliot.









Last year I was able to convince the "powers that be" who are in charge of the budgets to take a chance on purchasing handhelds for an entire classroom. They not only agreed to outfit one but two classrooms! Eurekea!!
I was fortunate to work with two very gifted teachers, who I am hoping will join us in this blog to share their valuable information as we discuss the use of handhelds in the classroom. They did some wonderful lessons and projects with their students throughout the year which made use of the diverse power of handheld technology.

Hooked on Handhelds!


Since 1997 when I received my first handheld computer (PalmV) as a gift from my husband, I have been hooked on them. Back then I was addicted to the calendar, address book and memos. I found those three tools to be invaluable. Since then I depend on my handheld for just about everything except cooking my dinner or making my bed.
In 2002 I attended Palm Education Training Coordinator (PETC) training and as part of the training, received a Zire71 which had a built in camera. Now (2006) I am using the PalmTX with internet access and Bluetooth capabilities. I have even purchased the PalmOne GPS device and TomTom software which has been a great tool in helping me to find many destinations including new routes to and from familiar destinations. I also download books from Audible.com which I listen to when I go for my morning walks. I download books to eReader which I read whenever I have a few minutes here and there. I even like to read before falling asleep at night as you never lose your page, you don't need the light on, and when you fall asleep it will turn itself off after a short period of time.
I often say, "If I lost my handheld computer I may as well stay in bed in the morning because I wouldn't know where to go or how to get there!"