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Discussion: Roundtable
Topic: Handheld Computing


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Subject:   (no subject)
Author: George Reese
Date: Mar 18 2003
Alice,
I think I can understand some of your frustration with these tools. Kids
immediately go to what they know and what's easiest. But there's power there to
do new and different things, particularly if there are probes or interfaced to
collect data. But it's a new way of working and can easily send kids off
task.

That's part of the challenge. A friend of mine uses them with sensors to gather
blood pressure information for an online database. Then students analyze the
data.
http://www.mste.uiuc.edu/tcd/vitals/

I'll point him to this forum and see if he has some suggestions.
-George

On Mar 16, 2003, Alice wrote:

Hi,
My district provided me with a classroom set of Palm IIIc's this fall.
I was bound and determined to find constructive uses for these in the
classroom.
First, I read all I could find on the web on these uses, and extrapolated from
those.

I wrote what I considered to be interesting lesson plans, where the kids used
the beaming technology of the palms to best advantage.

I came to the conclusion that they have no place in the required public school
math courses.

My honors students didn't do homework the week they were able to take them home.
They did, however bridge the digital divide, as they downloaded all the demos
they could find, and beamed the games to each other in class when I gave them
time.
I feel that, now, when they go to college, and their wealthier classmates talk
of playing endlessly with such and such software, they can feel confident that
they have done so too.

As far as other hand held technology, I really believe it is important for
students to understand the basics before they pick up a hand held that does the
work effortlessly.
I feel the same way about graphing software. Students need to make their
mistakes before the computer shows them the no brainer way.  We aren't
developing higher order thinking skills without understanding gleaned from
making mistakes and figuring out what went wrong and how to correct them.


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