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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