An annotated review of an academic paper by Lud Braun and William Kiley
by Jerry Garfunkel

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Handheld Computers and Education:
A Bridge Across the Digital Divide
Bill Kiley, M.S and Lud Braun, D.E.E.
Department of Educational Technology, School of Education
C.W. Post Campus, Long Island University

When I began reading this paper, I was pre-disposed to challenge the notion that ubiquitous computing was the foundation of handhelds (HH's) success in being integrated into the American educational paradigm (whatever that is precisely.)  To me this sounded like an economic argument, a "cost/benefit" analysis of some kind, more appropriately discussed among business people than among educators. When computing power gets cheap enough, small enough, rugged enough, etc., the argument goes, it will then infiltrate our educational system  I believe that there is a precise point in many technologies (and other supportive aspects of life), what I like to call a "threshold," where different behaviors and activities occur on either side of that threshold.  This point is not imaginary;  it is real and observable.   The word for this exact point, this threshold of technology in education, is "ubiquity."   It's often a very subtle, poorly defined point, but it is real and the effects are clearly demonstrable.  But to understand how this mechanism works - why crossing the threshold ever so slightly produces such radical changes - it is important to know, "the threshold of what?"  What is it exactly about this particular little machine (HH) that makes it cross some threshold,, at which time its use as an educational tool becomes invaluable.  I could be frivolous and suggest that perhaps it is the color of the leather case of this cute "toy," or take a stab at any other seemingly unrelated feature of HH's.  I could be obvious and suggest that it is its size, its weight, its ruggedness, its cost, its quantity (availability) - the latter being a euphemism for the popular interpretation of "ubiquitous computing."   But I think this would be missing the most important ingredient that is assumed to be the underpinning of all the other wonderful features of this machine - its educational value. There is a threshold of educational value produced by these HH's that will be crossed and then there will be no turning back.  Unless there is real educational value (nothing less than a new paradigm?), in what these machines deliver, I'm afraid what is produced will be perceived as simply an alternative, albeit "cooler," way of doing what we are doing  now. So where does the real value come from?  It comes from the application of these machines as tools in an educational environment (and other environments). As tools they need educators to build learning applications.  This is what Hi-Ce and Concord and others are doing. The threshold will be crossed when enough HH high valued educational applications are available and demonstrably successful AND resistance by faculty - for whatever reason - is broken.  HH's (and who knows what will follow) will then become ubiquitous in education, through a natural process.  That success (crossing the threshold) will be measured in terms of the amount of education improved, the amount of fun had by both teachers and students,  the amount of teachers' work reduced, the amount of new learning activities that are done as never before (paradigm changes) and most important, the quantity and quality of children learning.
(By this time perhaps, we will know better how to accurately measure these last two objectives.  I doubt it will be a nationally standardized third grade examination;  but I fear it might be.)

As we have seen in the past, ubiquitous computing (ubiquitous "anything") when introduced prematurely or forced on a community that isn't ready for it, leads to disorganization, "distructure" and waste. We saw this happen with the initial introduction of computers into our schools  - a general disaster that we are still recovering from around the country, around the world - with notable exceptions and changing trends, thankfully. It's probably true that this mishandling of the initial introduction of computers into the school curriculum set us back, not merely delayed, the intelligent, well planned integration of technology into our school curricula at every level, for every subject.  It threatened a lot of good faculty.  So be it, we can't change the past, but we can learn from it and heed Elliot Soloway's warning about not introducing a new technology before it has been well planned, before it is ready "for prime-time" (my paraphrase).  When such funding groups as the NSF and the USDE sponsor Concord.org and HI-CE, and others, it is an endorsement of the educational value inherent in HH's.  This funding speeds up the development of the promised technology  - the hardware development, the software development and maybe most important the educational integration.
This same logic is perfectly applicable to other professions - medical, legal, engineering, retailing, etc.  Each of these communities has its own threshold of "VALUE" at which point, the HH technology with its valuable profession-specific applications, becomes ubiquitous and indispensable in their activities (their lives).  I can think of the Engineering/Construction industry as just such an example where the remote availability of HH's (on the construction site wirelessly connected to a site HQ trailer) could change the paradigm significantly.

There was a time in educational technology when educators talked about improving the student/computer ratio from 20:1 to 10:1 or even 5:1. Early advocates of computers in education, Seymour Papert and Lud Braun traveled around the country talking about providing a computer for each child. In those days, computers cost $2,000-3,000 each so it was unrealistic to talk about a computer for every child. That didn’t prevent these wild-eyed visionaries from dreaming about it

A great deal of evolving research and evidence demonstrates that access to a computer 24 hours a day, 7 days a week has a dramatic impact on student educational accomplishments and on student self esteem. This impact is especially true with at-risk students (Laffey, 2003).

24/7 access (not 23 and not 6) may be one of those thresholds that I've written about in other journal entries;  I suspect it is

In the 1980s, companies started manufacturing laptops that became ever more powerful and ever less expensive. The vision of ubiquitous computing was coming close, but still, to this day, our schools aren’t close to that ideal. (I was curious about the original concept of "ubiquitous computing" that came from Xerox Park, Mark Weiser) In 2004 laptops still cost over $1,000 and, although some schools have provided a laptop for every teacher and every student, the cost still is too high for most districts to achieve this goal.

Several years ago, Palm Inc. and other companies started manufacturing and selling personal digital assistants, commonly known as PDAs. These devices cost several hundred dollars and were used primarily by business people as date books and address books, with the additional ability to take some brief notes. Driven by the wide acceptance in the corporate sector, manufacturers began to offer more enhanced PDAs. Within the past few years, as PDAs became more powerful, educators such as Bob Tinker at the Concord Consortium and Elliot Soloway at the University of Michigan, started looking at the potential of PDAs as educational tools for school children. Both of these nationally renowned Educational Technology pioneers have attracted significant Federal funding to explore the use of PDAs in teaching and learning. They have been dramatically successful in these explorations and have started what may be the Millennium in educational computing (does this term have special meaning?) , i.e., the ability of all school districts to provide computing power for every teacher and every student all day, every day, and anywhere. Based upon the advances in processing power, random access memory, the inclusion of expansion card slots, etc., in Personal Digital Assistants we may finally be able to build a bridge across the digital divide and truly provide 24/7 access to computing power for every student, all the time, and everywhere.

B&L see the revolution of PDA's as bridging the dig div. - true
B&L see the revolution of PDA's as ubiquitous computing - this is a subset of the ubiquitous technology I've written about elsewhere - weaving technology into the fabric of our lives - the village broad broadband delivered to everyone, everywhere, all the time. It will change the paradigm of our daily routines.  But I haven't seen yet indications of that new learning paradigm initiated by HH's i.e. doing new things with them (not old things better).  Then again, I'm only just beginning to investigate.
This must be what everyone calls ubiquitous computing.  Or is it?    The concept of ubiquitous technology goes way beyond handheld's and wristwatches.  It goes to satellite coordinated technology integration into our clothing, our homes, our communications, our bodies (health), administration (village services), our security, our privacy (more so than perhaps we have now - at least more precisely defined and secured!).   But both "ubiquities" promise to change paradigms.  Does the popular term ubiquitous computing differ from ubiquitous technology simply in degrees of technology integration into our lives.  I think so.

The advances in processing and storage capacity in PDAs have supported the transition in their identification as mere data storage and retrieval devices to the new and more appropriate status as true Handheld Computers. (!) These new handheld computers, which we will simply refer to as handhelds in the remainder of this article, have become of great interest to educators from both the Kindergarten-Grade 12 and higher-education academic communities. Why such interest by these educators? The following are just a few reasons that contribute to this curiosity:

1. COST (!) - Handheld computers cost as little as $100 with prices dropping every year. This means that a classroom can be equipped with computing power for everyone in the room for as little as $2,500, the price of two laptops! In 2002, for example, Palm offered its m130 handheld computer for $300; just one year later, it was widely available for about $150. As with all electronics, prices dramatically tumble once mass production begins. We project we will continue to see lower prices while simultaneously seeing greater processing and storage capacity. (will they become like electronic  calculators in 1973/74 - ubiquitous! 1972 = $395,  1974 = $3.95)

2. INTEROPERABILITY - Handheld computers now can do word processing, spreadsheet operations, PowerPoint presentations and much more. Utilizing a Palm m130 with 8MB of RAM (Random Access Memory), the user can have four different word processors and 3 different spreadsheet programs resident in the handheld and still have unused RAM remaining. These programs are compatible with Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel, the most commonly used word processing and spreadsheet applications. Using these programs, a student can carry out operations on the handheld and then upload them to a laptop or desktop computer in order to print, to e-mail to a teacher/student, etc. Using the Infrared (IR) technology built into handhelds, data can be beamed to other handhelds in milliseconds. Additionally, many new printers are equipped with IR receivers thus enabling students to beam their documents to a printer and produce their documents without any wired connection to the printer. (simply a smaller pc - not interoperability between HH's other than passing data!)

3. SCIENTIFIC PROBEWARE - Several companies that make scientific probeware for computers now make interfaces to handheld computers, which means we can connect probes to our handhelds and make measurements of pH, temperature, voltage, distance, light, dissolved O2 and many more phenomena. Based upon recent developments in probeware manufactured by Imagiworks, the interface between the handheld and the probes is a small box that attaches to the handheld, the entire system is very small and very portable, making it much easier for students to carry out experiments anywhere with ease. (Data Collection and processing!)

4. PORTABILITY/SIZE - Handheld computers are small compared to laptops. The Palm m130 weighs 4 ounces and the Imagiworks probeware interface weighs another 4 ounces. Together, they measure 3 Inches wide by 5 inches long and 1.5 inches thick. This means the handheld and the interface can be carried easily in a backpack or pocket. Because they are battery operated, they can be used anywhere—in class, in the library, at home, at a local pond, at a traffic intersection, in a local marsh or wetlands area. Such portability moves us ever closer to ubiquitous, anytime/anywhere computing. Additionally, in a study of fifth, sixth, and seventh grade students who were issued laptop computers for their use twenty-four hours a day, almost half of the students reported that the laptop was heavy and difficult to carry along with their books (Lowther, Ross, and Morrison, 2003). (pre-teen hip pocket size and durability!)

5. DATA ENTRY - As noted above, we identified the small size of handheld computers as an advantage. Clearly, their size is a mixed blessing. Because they are small, they are more easily stolen or misplaced; and the screen size of the m130 is only 2 inches square. Before our experiments and research with handhelds, the authors thought that the small screen size was a serious disadvantage. It is indeed a disadvantage to some, but with frequent use of handhelds this perceived disadvantage has dissipated. Because of their size, there is no full-size keyboard built into the handheld; however, there are peripheral folding full-size keyboards available. Using these keyboards makes it possible to enter text or data as easily as with a laptop or desktop. As an alternative to the full-size keyboard, an on-screen keyboard is built into the handheld—the user types by pointing with a stylus at a QWERTY keyboard. A unique data entry capability of handhelds is a writing system called Graffiti; this system enables users to enter data one letter/number/symbol at a time. Individuals who utilize Graffiti on a regular basis become quite proficient at this form of data entry.
Graffiti is still leading edge technology - not mainstream enough -  like networking 2 - 3 years ago.  Handwriting recognition is still too gimmicky - no advantage over paper/pen - not at the "threshold" point.  As for carrying auxiliary keyboard, as I did with my Palm, it detracts from its size/portability advantage.  Soon added to the keyboard will be a satellite modem and a tiny portable scanner and a drumstick size printer and . . .

6. AVAILABILITY OF SOFTWARE - Plenty of software is available for handheld computers. There are listings at the Palm Education Web site (Education @ Palm One) and at the Concord Consortium Web site (The Concord Consortium) there is a myriad of information about educational applications of handheld computers as well as a listing of lots of educational software. Additionally, the University of Michigan HiCE Web site (Center for Highly Interactive Computing in Education) lists a number of free educational software packages. It is anticipated that software for handhelds will significantly increase as both the Palm OS (Operating System) and the newer Microsoft Pocket PC operating systems evolve. Several major manufacturers of handheld computers are utilizing the Pocket PC platform, which has some distinct capabilities not available in the Palm OS. However, the ease of programming in Palm OS has resulted in substantial free-ware, and minimal-cost applications. Appendix A (great appendix) includes a fairly large annotated list of URLs related to handheld computers in education, their applications in the classroom, education-related software and accessories, and success stories from teachers using handhelds in their classes. (This is what I must investigate more thoroughly searching for interoperable collaborative HH games, projects, activities!)

7. DATA SHARING & COLLABORATIVE ACTIVITY - Most handheld computers have the ability to exchange data with another handheld computer through infrared ports on each of the devices; this data exchange is commonly known as beaming. Utilizing this capability, a teacher can develop something on her/his handheld and transmit it to all the students in the class or to selected ones. Students working on collaborative projects and assignments can beam their ideas to other members of their group. Collaboration FINALLY! This is the first reference to HH as other than data collection and organization. There is, of course, a downside to this beaming capability—students can send each other frivolous notes or worse. (Senge: respect the student!) Classroom management protocols on beaming will need to be implemented while other technological solutions regarding beaming are developed. However, as with most advances in technology, the benefits of IR data transfer far exceed the detractors of this capability. CMI, computer-managed-instruction (1970's).  It would be nice to see something like NetOP's multi-client classroom management system work with HH's.  The teacher could "throw up on the big screen in the front of the classroom" any particular student's HH desktop - for demonstration or illustration or monitoring purposes.  Students beware. (This addresses Bill's and Lud's issues regarding "...send(ing) each other frivolous notes or worse.")
Applications like NetOp would help teachers tremendously to control the classroom environment.

8. BATTERY LIFE -Handhelds are powered by batteries; in most cases these are rechargeable. These batteries are capable of running a handheld for days, compared to two to three hours typically for laptops. The extended battery life in handhelds minimizes the problem of students forgetting to recharge their batteries.

9. BRIDGING THE DIGITAL DIVIDE – A significant challenge in the integration of computational technology into teaching and learning has been the cost of the computing hardware, i.e., the computers, as well as the availability of software for all students. The inability of many school districts to acquire and make this technology available to their students has resulted in what has become known as the Digital Divide. Perhaps one of the most significant advantages to handheld computing is the potential of bridging that divide. And while there continues to be a significant difference between the capability and capacity of a current laptop computer and a handheld, the handheld provides computing power on a twenty-four-hour, seven-day-a-week basis for students who currently have minimal access to such computing support. With such access to computing technology, there can be a positive impact on teaching and learning in both the primary and secondary school levels (Norris, 2003). (side effect of low cost!)


Perhaps the central question regarding the acquisition and implementation of the use of handheld computers in K-12 schools is the question, “Does the use of handheld computers in teaching and learning enhance the experience (?) and advance outcomes? If the answer to this question is “Yes” then we should move forward aggressively to make handheld computers available to every student, twenty-four hours a day, seven days per week. If, however, research and evaluation reveal no enhancement of teaching and learning, then the answer to the above question is definitely, “No.” because, then, the pursuit of such widespread implementation would be based upon the fascination with the technology rather than a focus on advancing teaching and learning. Based upon a review of the existing literature, the authors firmly believe the answer to the above question is a very definite, “YES.”

While research into the impact of computers in education has been ongoing for many years, study of the effect of ubiquitous availability of laptops and handheld computers has been a relatively recent phenomenon. Clearly there is a need for further research and publication in refereed journals regarding these questions. Additionally, the mere anytime, anywhere access to handheld computers should not be studied in isolation. To study the outcomes of ubiquitous access to handheld computing without considering related issues could be likened to determining how well one does at carpentry merely because they had been given a hammer of their own. Rather, as with the study conducted by Lowther, Ross, and Morrison (2003), the research also should consider the specific technology-integration training offered to the teachers of the students involved in the study as well as the training provided to the students. The September 26, 2001, edition of Education Week contained an article titled, “Handheld Computing: New Best Tech Tool or Just a Fad?." The following excerpt is from this article: (I believe that the ubiquitous availability of HH's is less a contributant to their integration and acceptance into our curriculum than the relevant applications available.  It's size/mobility/connctivity along with "killer educational applications" will itroduce new categories of learning tools, i.e. interactive!)

Elliot Soloway, a cognitive scientist and education professor at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, said districts are making the mistake of just dropping the new devices into classrooms without making sure appropriate training and curriculum are in place. (This speaks to my earlier point of introducing technology before its time.  I strongly agree with the authors.)

"We're going to make the same mistakes again" that we made with the use of personal computers in education, predicted Mr. Soloway, who has developed educational software for handhelds at the University of Michigan's Center for Highly Interactive Computing in Education.

He's worried that many districts are rushing handhelds into classrooms without adequate preparation. "They don't know what to do with them, or how to set them up," he said. "There's no curriculum." (sounds familiar!  I respect Elliot Soloway very much for not rushing out to the marketplace, inadequately developed applications.  Elliot is both a leading advocate of the new technology and one of its biggest assurors of quality.  The price of this sound approach is delaying the technology - lost opportunity.  To paraphrase an old "wine" commercial, "... no technology before its time."  ES is absolutely correct - as with seniors, their first introduction of the new technology is critical;  it MUST succeed or it will set back the cause for years. Plan the introduction very carefully.)

Note. From “Handheld Computing: New Best Tech Tool or Just a Fad?” by Andrew Trotter, Education Week, September 26, 2001. Quote reprinted with permission of Dr. Elliot Soloway.

Clearly, the acquisition of handheld computers is only one aspect of the successful implementation of their use in teaching and learning.

In our review of literature a substantial number of articles, written by practitioners of educational technology, were discovered. Classroom teacher Tony Vincent's experience in the integration of handheld computers in his 5th-grade class in Omaha, Nebraska, clearly demonstrates the power of using handhelds in various areas of the curriculum (Vincent, T.) ; In her June, 2001, Concord Consortium paper “Handheld Computers in Education,” Carolyn Staudt examines the effects of ubiquitous access to handheld computers by second graders (Staudt, 2001). A fascinating review of the experience of the Orland Park, Illinois, School District that has provided a Palm handheld computer to each of its 2,200 high-school students, was written by Katie Dean in the December 26, 2000, issue of WIRED News. The Palm Company has compiled an extensive list of the success stories from various K-12 schools and districts on the implementation of handheld computing in their classrooms (Education @ Palm).
multiple-HH interactivity and collaboration
(i.e. behavioral transaction processing) or
data collection, organization, processing ?

Compelling evidence as to the impact of handhelds in K-12 teaching and learning can be found in the Fall 2002 Final Report of the Stanford Research Institute (SRI). The report contains the results of a two-year study of the use of handheld computers involving more than 100 elementary and secondary classrooms across the United States. (Palm, Inc., 2002) The following findings of the SRI report significantly support the advocates of handheld computing in K-12 education:

1. 89% of participating teachers found that the handhelds were an effective instructional tool for teachers.

2. 93% said they believe that handhelds can have a positive impact on students' learning.

3. 95% said that their students were "very" (66%) or "fairly" (29%) comfortable using the handhelds.

4. 90% plan to continue using handhelds in the classroom post-study.

5. 72% said handhelds are more easily used in the "flow of classroom activity" than desktop computers.

6. 75% of teachers who allowed students to take the handhelds home reported an increase in homework completion rates.

7. Almost 100% of participating elementary-school teachers and 77% of high school teachers stated that handhelds can have a positive effect on their teaching practices.

In addition, the SRI Report highlights a New York City middle-school teacher who used handhelds with his special-needs students, who in the pre-study period were frustrated with writing assignments. As a result of the implementation of handheld computers with these students there was a significant decrease in student frustration with writing, and students became significantly more efficient at their daily work. With handheld computers, these students enjoyed and even looked forward to their writing tasks.

All impressive stats - no dispute - but I'm still waiting for evidence of a new paradigm for the classroom, not a better one than there is now!

The SRI Report also points out some challenges with present-day handhelds. Among these challenges are: the need for access to more software and peripherals; more ruggedized handhelds; and control of undesirable student activities, e.g., many teachers are concerned about the inappropriate use of the IR beaming capability of handhelds. (so too, the pen can write undesirable notes!  Ban pens?)

In 2003 the Governor and Legislature of the State of Michigan passed a budget that provides $38 million dollars that will, over the next several years provide every sixth grade student with either a laptop or handheld computer. The Governor is so committed to this initiative, known as “Freedom to Learn,” that despite a $1.7 billion dollar deficit within the state, the funds for the computers will not be cut (Murray, 2003).

Are the authors enthusiastic about the potential of handheld computers in the classroom and in the hands of students twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week? Absolutely! Handheld computers pose the greatest probability of bridging the digital divide that exists within our society. (true!) While handhelds may not be the ultimate answer for student technology (we must keep an eye on tablet computers as well as new developments in laptops), but handheld computers will most certainly take a strong place on the educational stage for at least the next few years (and then what do you suppose?  We should be planning now how we will address this issue - strategic change/evolution policy) . Handheld computers may well be the answer to ubiquitous one-to-one computing for every student and teacher. For those educators who for twenty years have anticipated the day when every student will have computing power all day, every day, everywhere, their wait may soon be over!
(Without the proper applications, I'm affraid it won't matter that much.  The distribution of pen and paper didn't bridge the literacy divide?  .  Will the distribution of HH's solve the digital divide?  I think not until the applications that give these little divices their educational value become ubiquitous. 
Ubiquitous computing (capability) may be an irresistible lure that introduces this new inexpensive technology into the classroom too early - but it will be even more disastrous than the introduction of the iMacs without proper planning.   Then, as Bill and Lud fear, perhaps we will have given the kids nothing but a teenage-hormone-enhanced-IM tool. (!)



Great References and appendix, Bill, Lud. 
It will serve me for a long time.  Thanks.

Braun, L., (1990). VISION: TEST: Recommendations for American Educational Decision Makers, The International Society for Technology in Education.

Braun, L., (1993) Help for All the Students, Communications of the ACM, 36 , 66-69.

Center for Highly Interactive Computing in Education. (n.d.). Retrieved April 18,
2004, from http://www.handheld.hice-dev.org ( Lots of good ideas about
handhelds in education from the HiCE folks at the University of Michigan.)

CEO Forum. (2001, June). CEO Forum School Technology and Readiness Report, Year 4. Retrieved April 18, 2004 from http://www.ceoforum.org .

Clark, K. (2003). Impact of Technology on the Academic Self-Efficacy and Career Selection of African-American Students. Information Technology in Childhood Education Annual, 79-89.

Cradler, J., McNabb, M., Freeman, M., & Burchett, R., 2002. How Does Technology Influence Student Learning? Learning and Leading With Technology, 29(8), 46-49,56.

Dean, K., (2000, December 26). Wired News: Schools get a Helping Hand. Retrieved April 18, 2004.

Education @ PalmOne. (n.d.) Retrieved April 18, 2004, from http://www.palm.com/education (Palm’s Website that focuses on educational applications including success stories, software, and hardware available for Palms.)

International Society for Technology in Education. (1990). Vision Test: Recommendations for American Educational Decision Makers. Seattle, WA: Braun, L.

International Society for Technology in Education. (1995). Celebrating Success. Seattle, WA: Braun, L. & Bielefeldt, T.

Laffey, J ., Espinosa, L., Moore, J., & Lodree, A., (2003). Supporting Learning
and Behavior of At-Risk Young Children: Computers in Urban Education. Journal of Research on technology in Education, 35(4), 423-440.

Lowther, D., Ross, S., & Morrison, G., (2003). When Each One has One: The
Influences on Teaching Strategies and Student Achievement of Using Laptops in the Classroom, Educational Technology Research and Development, 51( 3), 23-44.

Murray, C., (2003, September 1). Michigan Governor Won’t Let Crunch Kill Ed Tech. eSchool News, p. 1.

Norris, C., Sullivan, T., Poirot, J., & Soloway, E., (2003) No access, No Use, No Impact:
Snapshot Surveys of Educational Technology in K-12,Journal of Research on Technology in Education, 36(1), 15-27.

Palm, Inc. (2002, September). Palm Education Pioneers Program. Retrieved April 18, 2004, from http://www.palmgrants.sri.com/PEP_Final_Report.pdf (A comprehensive report on a multi-year study of the impact of handhelds on students over a range of grades and subjects. Excellent material here. In PDF format, it is 80+ pages long.)

Staudt, C. Handheld Computers in Education. Retrieved April 18, 2004 from Playspace, Concord Consortium Web site: http://playspace.concord.org/Documents/Learning%20from%20Handhelds.pdf. ( A report by Carolyn Staudt (a pioneer in handheld computing) about her experiences with 2nd graders and handhelds.)

The Concord Consortium. (n.d.) Retrieved April 18, 2004, from http://pie.concord.org/list.php3?PALM_Session=3ee75c461908beb903998dad25e5bb36 (A Concord Consortium site that reviews educational software for handhelds.)

Trotter, A. (2001, September 26). Education Week on the Web: Handheld Computing: New Best Tech Tool or Just a Fad?, 1.

Vincent, T. Planet 5th. Retrieved April 18, 2004, from Web site:

http://www.mpsomaha.org/willow/p5/handhelds/index.html (This is a description

of Tony Vincent’s experience with handhelds in his Fifth grade class.)

Appendix A: List of URLs for Handhelds in Education

(Great Appendix!)

1.http://www.mpsomaha.org/willow/p5/handhelds/index.html This is a description of Tony Vincent’s experience with handhelds in his Fifth grade class.

2.http://www.handheld.hice-dev.org Lots of good ideas about handhelds in education from the HiCE folks at the University of Michigan.

3.http://glef.org/php/article.php?id=Art_955 This is a wonderful article and accompanying Online video about handhelds in the classroom, produced by the George Lucas Educational Foundation.

4.http://pie.concord.org/list.php3?PALM_Session=3ee75c461908beb903998dad25e5bb36 A Concord Consortium site that reviews educational software for handhelds.

5. http://www.k12handhelds.com/cue2002 A PDF file that is essentially a PowerPoint presentation of handhelds in education. Looks at how handhelds apply in science, math, language arts, grade keeping, classroom management, etc.

6.http://usight.concord.org/curriculum/suggestions.html Lots of ideas for curriculum and handhelds.

7.http://www.concord.org/newsletter/2000fall/futureofhandhelds.html A conversation with Carolyn Staudt (an educational technology pioneer from the Concord Consortium) regarding the future of handhelds in education.

8.http://playspace.concord.org/Documents/Learning%20from%20Handhelds.pdf. A report by Carolyn Staudt (a pioneer in handheld computing) about her experiences with 2nd graders and handhelds.

9.http://aa.uncwil.edu/numina/tech%20web%20page/web This is a listing of sites for K-12 and higher education handheld applications. It includes a “PDA Field Guide” which looks at the pros and cons of PALM OS v. Windows CE.

10. http://www.k12handhelds.com/florida/ A Florida teacher-created site describing a number of educational applications, including lots of teacher support materials.

11. http://probesight.concord.org/curriculum/template_section.htm Curriculum ideas for probeware uses in education; published by the Concord Consortium.

12. http://www.handheldlearning.org A good resource of information about curriculum, staff training, etc. with handhelds.

13. http://www.educationworld.com/a_tech/tech083.shtml Description of four schools’ experiences with handhelds.

14. http://www.pdaed.com/features/district230.xml Here is a story about a high school district in Orland Park, IL which has purchased 2,200 PALMS and given them to all their students. Lots going on in this School District.

15. http://www.electronic-school.com/2001/06/0601handhelds.html A good article from www.electronic-school.com about the pros and cons of using handhelds in the classroom.

16. http://www.palmgrants.sri.com/PEP_Final_Report.pdf A comprehensive report on a multi-year study of the impact of handhelds on students over a range of grades and subjects. Excellent material here. In PDF format, it is 80+ pages long.

17. http://cilt.org This is the link for the Center for Innovative Learning Technologies exploring different aspects of handheld computing.

18. http://www.palmone.com/us/education/studies/handheld_ed.html Palm’s Website that focuses on educational applications including success stories, software, and hardware available for Palms.

19. http://school.discovery.com/schrockguide/gadgets.html Kathy Schrock (well-known by K-12 teachers for her great work in Educational Technology and teacher support) provides a link to sites to buy items, teacher-created URLs, etc.

20. http://www.rainbowtech.org/Palm Several URLs about handhelds; these sites were created by teachers. One of the sites is entitled “Handhelds as Mind Tools.”

21. http://www.pdaed.com/vertical/tutorials/buyersguide.xml Addresses lots of questions related to purchasing a handheld (PDA) including how to make a choice, what can be done with it, and where to buy one.

22. http://itd.usd259.com/initiatives/handhelds/handhelds.htm A discussion about lots of new accessories for PALM OS handhelds.

23. http://palmgear.com This is Palm’s online store with information about software, hardware, and accessories for PALM OS handhelds.

24. http://www.learningathand.com Reviews of educational software, discussion boards for teachers using handhelds.

25. http://www.handango.com An online provider of educational software for PALM OS and other handhelds.

26. http://www.freewarepalm.com A large selection of FREE (no cost) software for PALM OS handhelds

27. http://www.palmdigitalmedia.com Peanut Press, a subsidiary of PALM, publishes ebooks from recent novels to books on religion, science, and much more. There are hundreds of ebooks listed, plus there is a downloadable free version of PALM READER for handhelds, for desktops, and for laptops. Most ebooks cost only a few dollars. Some are FREE.

28. http://www.education-world.com/a_tech/tech083.shtml A discussion of the benefits of using handhelds, including several examples of classroom use. Contains lots of URLs related to handhelds in education.

29. http://www.lr.k12.nj.us/ETTC/archives/handheld.shtml Several articles on handhelds in education including one entitled “101 Great Educational Uses for Your Handheld Computer.”

30. http://www.grantstreetsoftware.com This offers a suite of software to manage large numbers of handhelds in classroom situations. The software isn’t cheap (cost ranges from $199 to $499 per package), but they sound powerful and useful for schools that have lots of handhelds to configure or to update.

31. http://www.k12handhelds.com/apps#top Contains descriptions of a large collection of educational applications, including administrative ones.

32. http://probesight.concord.org/ Comprehensive look at probeware applications in education.

33. http://www.concord.org/newsletter/2002winter/monday_lesson.html A look at handhelds used to record student observations during field trips.

34. http://www.eschoolnews.com/resources/reports/hhc/ Good report from eSchool News. It compares laptops, tablet computers, and handhelds in classroom applications.

35. http://playspace.concord.org/Documents/Learning%20from%20Handhelds.pdf Another paper by Carolyn Staudt. This one was published recently (in 2001) and looks at the problems and potentials of handhelds in the hands of kids, and describes a number of educational applications of handhelds.

36. http://www.smartphoneacademy.co.nz/ebooks-are_they_ready_to_come_of_age.pdf An excellent review of the status of ebooks and their potential role in education.

37. http://www97.intel.com/education/odyssey/day_185/day_185.htm Special-ed sixth graders in a NJ school use handhelds.

38. http://www.palmone.com/us/education/studies/study3.html Here is a really nice story about special-ed kids using handhelds.

39. http://cmsce.rutgers.edu/projects/palm/hce-projects.html Here is another really nice story about special-ed kids using handhelds.

40. http://www.goknow.com/Products/PAAM.html...This site describes a new product called PAAM (for Palm OS Artifact and Assessment Manager). It is offered by GoKnow, the commercial arm of the HI-CE Project. PAAM makes the teacher’s job of managing student reports, papers, etc. and assignments to students much easier than by beaming.

41. www.principalm.com/ This site describes a Palm-based tool for school principals and other administrators. Using this tool, the principal can keep files in his Palm of all students in the school, including student names, addresses, photos, phone numbers, emergency contacts, each student’s schedule, etc. Also at this site there is a description of a tool for teachers called Teacherpalm which permits the teacher to store in her/his Palm attendance data, name, address, photo, grades, discipline problems, schedules, etc. for each student in her classes.

42. www.alphasmart.com This site describes the new AlphaSmart Dana which is larger than most handhelds and has a larger screen, but runs most Palm software and has a full-size keyboard. It costs $399 in small lots. It is now available in a wireless version.

43. http://www.techlearning.com/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=14700432 The September, 2003 issue of Technology & Learning has a good article about uses of probeware in science classes. The article is on pp. 40-42. It includes 12 URLs related to probeware plus a description of several science applications of probeware.

44. http://education.wichita.edu/m3/mobility/handhelds/softwarelist.htm. Contains brief descriptions of over 20 educationally-oriented programs for Palm OS.

45. http://education.wichita.edu/m3/mobility/handhelds/curriculum.htm Contains 11 URLs about integrating handhelds into the curriculum.

46. http://www.eduscapes.com/tap/topic78.htm This site contains hundreds of URLs about teacher-support and educational software, educational applications, articles on handhelds, project ideas, GPS ideas, and digital-camera applications.

47. http://www.wirelessgeneration.com/web/ Wireless generation has developed a series of assessment tools for classroom teachers that run in Palm OS. The teacher enters observations directly into the Palm during class and, later, can hot-synch them to a desktop computer which generates individual data about student performance of each student for parents, more detailed results for the teacher, and overall class performance for administrators.

48 http://www.memoware.com Humongous collection of free ebooks (with some for sale as well). There are 18 categories of reference ebooks ranging from Business through Travel, and 15 categories of ebooks in literature ranging from Adventure through Westerns. There are hundreds of free ebooks here.

49. http://www.palmsource.com/interests/education_teacher Article by Jeff Zwieg with a treasure trove of URLs about administrative and educational applications of handhelds. Also lots of comments by educators who have been using handhelds in their teaching.

50. http://kathyschrock.net/power K-12 Educational Technology leader Kathy Schrock’s site “Power in the Palm of your Hand”

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