Palm Awards Education Grants

In its second round of grants from the Palm Education Pioneer (PEP) program, Palm, Inc. is awarding $2.3 million in handhelds to schools to discover the best ways that handhelds can be used to improve teaching and learning. This research will help work out best practices for integrating handhelds into curriculum.

Palm awarded grants to 87 individual K-12 classrooms and nine "research hubs'' for a total of more than 175 classrooms. The first PEP grants were awarded to 15 K-12 schools in January. SRI International's Center for Technology in Learning (CTL) in Menlo Park, Calif., administers the program, and develops and conducts evaluations to study the learning uses, experiences, and effectiveness of Palm handhelds for teaching and learning.

"Research from PEP grants gives educators valuable insight into how handheld technology can be used in teaching and learning. This information helps us to create tools that evolve with the needs of education. We added new research hubs to broaden our research and also extend some studies into the college pre-service and in-service environment,'' said Mike Lorion, vice president of education markets at Palm, Inc.

The new PEP research hubs are school districts, universities and research institutes with the infrastructure and planning in place to help teachers use Palm handhelds effectively. PEP research hubs receive multiple classroom sets of Palm handhelds, and will train and provide ongoing support to teachers. In addition, they will work closely with the SRI International evaluation team.

The PEP classroom grants are split between urban, rural and suburban K-12 schools, both public and private. Individual school projects will cover a wide span of academic area in primary grades, middle schools and high schools. Examples include:

Students at Buford Elementary School in Lennox, Calif., will study social studies and language using Palm handhelds to investigate the lives of U.S. presidents in a Sherlock Holmes fashion. Using eBooks downloaded to their handhelds, students will write down relevant questions, clues, notes and discoveries and beam their findings to each other.

At Goodrich Middle School in Lincoln, Neb., students will use Palm handhelds to create fitness portfolios. Working work with the University of Nebraska's Department of Health and Human Performance, students will use the portfolio to store their fitness goals, daily progress, caloric intake and out-of-school fitness activities.

Sherrard Elementary School in Moundsville, W.Va., will use Palm handhelds to investigate changes to the territory 200 years after the Lewis and Clark expedition mapped it out. The students will work with the University of Idaho and with GLOBE (Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment) team members from Wheeling Jesuit University to conduct scientific experiments using certified GLOBE trainers and GLOBE scientific equipment.

Environmental science students at Cranford High School of Cranford, N.J., will use Palm handhelds in the field to determine the effects of development, human resource consumption and consumer purchasing decisions on New Jersey waterways, agricultural, growing conditions and air cleanliness.

Berkeley High School of Berkeley, Calif., will train lead writers and editors in the use of Palm handhelds for newsgathering, sharing resources and contacts, and fact checking as part of a project to create the Jacket News Service (JNS), a daily online newspaper.

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Dac @ 6/30/2001 9:56:55 AM #
This seems to be just another way Palm can get rid of all this extra inventory. Most likely they are getting a tax writeoff for this too.


Signature? where is it??

RE: Hmmm...
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/30/2001 10:21:30 AM #

Well, why not kill two birds with one stone?

I can see a number of benefits to this sort of program...

  • Get kids used to using a PDA, and the PalmOS in particular.(Kind of how Apple took over the educational market for awhile - kept them afloat during the hard times).

  • Free publicity - in the communities whose schools are part of the program, and in the educational community at large, not to mention the geek/PDA community.

  • "Get rid of" some extra inventory -- though really this just means that the above two points aren't as expensive as they'd normally be.

Seems like they're making lemonade out of the lemons they got.

Apple still leads education
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/30/2001 1:18:44 PM #
Dell has claimed to be a market leader, based on the fact that recently they have sold more than Apple, but in terms of actual market share, Apple wins by a large margin.

RE: Hmmm...
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/30/2001 2:48:07 PM #
I'm going to take my Apple and make applejuice out of it

Greater plan in the works here...
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/30/2001 3:58:23 PM #
Palm has actually supported education for quite some time. While is may seem that they are just dumping devices on the education market, I doubt that they're doling out Vx and IIIc units. In all likelihood, they've given away the more rugged and kid-designed M10x series units. But I digress.

How better to secure your company's future than by getting into mind of the future consumer, and building brand loyalty early on?

RE: Hmmm...
I.M. Anonymous @ 6/30/2001 6:18:19 PM #
A tax write-off may not be very important given the losses being generated. Also a write-off would have been available even if they just dumped their excess inventory. So maybe this initiative is motivated by genuine commercial intentions.

RE: Hmmm...
GrouchoMarx @ 7/1/2001 3:13:32 AM #
Precisely! And that's exactly what they should be doing.

This is a good move. They get to rid themselves of (some) spare devices and parts, get a modest tax writeoff (every little bit helps), get good publicity, get good PR, and create thousands of future returning users. Students, meanwhile, get new technology and actual research into how to use it rather than just wiring every classroom with no idea how to actually make it useful. Everyone wins.


RE: Hmmm...
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/2/2001 4:13:04 AM #
We didn't get S*** for technology in school. The computer lab consisted of one teletypwriter, a modem coupler for an old fashioned handset, and access only to a BASIC compiler. I used to carry around reams of output to look important. Now I carry a Kyocera 6035 and I am important to my organization.

NC too

I.M. Anonymous @ 7/2/2001 2:23:59 AM #
My wife is an elementary teacher in North Carolina and they did a workshop using Math assessments with a IIIx. She liked it, but was wondering what other major programs are out there for teachers. Is palm sponsoring software programs too? We did a search on palmgear and found some stuff, but more?

RE: NC too
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/2/2001 4:06:09 AM #
Try to elimate paper. Use a spreadsheet app for attendance records. Use a database for students test records. For multiple choice tests, I have seen a flash card applet which could be modified. Wouldn't it be neat if students could get the test "beamed" to them, and then they "beam" the completed test back?

are you sure?

mat @ 7/2/2001 9:39:54 AM #
As bad as they're doing, can they afford to be so magnanimous?


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