Palm Highlights Educational Handheld Uses

Palm Tungsten and Zire handhelds are continuing to gain momentum in education as thousands of the handheld computers make their way into classrooms and into the hands of students, teachers and administrators, Palm said today.

"We are seeing an increase in the use of Tungsten handhelds in education, both in administration and in classrooms," said Mike Lorion, vice president of education at Palm. A news release from Palm Inc goes on to highlight some recent handheld deployments in the education field and how they were used.

Newport-Mesa Unified School District Adopts Tungsten E Handheld
In January 2004, 1,000 sixth- and seventh-grade students in the Newport- Mesa Unified School District in Orange County, Calif., will receive Tungsten E handhelds and wireless keyboards to use at school and at home.

"We chose middle school because students are starting their transition from the elementary school environment to the secondary school environment, where organization becomes an important life skill," said Steve Glyer, director of education technology for the district. "If we don't provide life learning skills at key shift points, it's difficult for students to change old patterns down the road. The handheld is a perfect tool. Digital devices are part of their world, and they are very motivated to use them."

The district also is focusing its young handheld users on cross-curricular writing in language arts and social studies. Not only will this help to replace stacks of papers that tend to get lost, Glyer said, but having a personal tool that students can take home allows parents to be involved with their child's work. They will be able to add feedback to a "comments" area and students can beam the note to their teachers via built-in infrared communication. K12 Handhelds, a nationally known provider of professional development and consulting services focused on implementation of handhelds in schools, was a critical partner in designing and facilitating the program. Next year the district plans to expand the use of handhelds to math and science.

Glyer believes this is the largest single deployment of handhelds for students in California, and the district plans to remain on the cutting edge. Another exciting capability the district is exploring is to make targeted curriculum video clips available for viewing on handhelds -- a move Glyer said will give students, especially those for whom English is a second language, a way to learn visually.

Northwest Council for Computer Education Chooses Tungsten E and Zire 71
An innovative professional development program led by The Northwest Council for Computer Education (NCCE) is paving the way for greater integration of handhelds in education. According to the executive director of the program, Tungsten E and Zire 71 handhelds are top choices for educators purchasing handhelds through NCCE when training is over.

"Educators coming through our program have a definite preference for the Tungsten E and Zire 71 handhelds," said Heidi Rogers, executive director of NCCE. "The price is right and the multimedia capabilities are outstanding. NCCE uses them in all of its workshops."

NCCE addresses the professional development needs that educators want, according to Rogers, and they are looking for opportunities to put handhelds to their best use in schools. Workshops are offered in collaboration with K12 Handhelds, Inc., a nationally known provider of professional development and consulting services focused on implementation of handhelds in schools. So far, NCCE has trained more than 400 educators in the Northwest states of Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana. Rogers expects 1,000 to participate in workshops this year.

Paradise Valley District Buys 1,000 Tungsten C Handhelds for Sixth-graders
This fall, every sixth-grader in half of Paradise Valley Unified School District's 30 schools can look forward to getting a Palm Tungsten C handheld with built-in Wi-Fi. The Phoenix, Ariz. district, which has wireless networks on all campuses, is midway into a four-year program that will provide handheld computers to students from fifth grade through high school.

The 1,000 Tungsten C handhelds join a supply of 1,500 Zire handhelds the district purchased last year for instruction and integration into a district- wide assessment program. The district uses its own relational database to create mini tests, or 'testlets,' to measure improvement. The testlets are tied to the goals of the state's standardized tests. Ongoing assessment is an integral part of the classroom experience and is causing a significant cultural change, according to Information Technology Director Jeff Billings.

"Students are buying into assessment, and that's worth its weight in gold," he said. "Palm handhelds remove the drudgery of test-taking, Teachers administer testlets routinely, sometimes two to six times a day, which helps to remove the fear of test-taking. The handhelds allow students to get instant feedback."

"For teachers," Billings said, "handhelds are powerful tools that let them do assessment quickly, and then differentiate instruction. Our teachers call this having a 'teaching moment' because they can respond in real time rather than taking papers home to grade at night and on weekends and then apply their assessments to instruction days or weeks later."

1,000 Tungsten C Handhelds Go to Pennsylvania Education Leaders
The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE), with support from its 29 regional service centers, is providing programs and resources to schools and their communities. The Northwest Tri-County Intermediate Unit recently purchased 1,000 Tungsten C handhelds to support its statewide Principals' Technology Leadership Academy. The academy provides professional development technology training as a way to close the "digital divide" by closing the "leadership divide."

Principals use handhelds for teacher observation and to create schedules, view information from student information systems, take notes at board meetings, exchange files and emails(2) with colleagues and make data-driven decisions.

"With handhelds, administrators can take data with them wherever they go," said Ann Noonen, director of instructional media and technology for Northwest Tri-County Intermediate Unit, the lead agency working with PDE to develop the curriculum materials and the training model to address leadership and technology. "With the Tungsten C handheld, they are no longer tethered to the office. Wi-Fi capabilities allow them to access databases and communicate with others from anywhere on a campus that has an accessible wireless 802.11 network. They are getting a glimpse of the possibilities, and the feedback has been extremely positive."

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When I was in school...

Fammy @ 10/20/2003 12:29:22 PM #
I had to walk both ways, uphill, in the snow.

We had to use "paper" organziers. I had this thing called a "pencil". Teachers used this thing called a "chalkboard".

I really wish I was a student today.

-- Fammy

RE: When I was in school...
hgoldner @ 10/20/2003 3:41:52 PM #
...with no shoes, right?


RE: When I was in school...
ZekeSulastin @ 10/20/2003 6:24:19 PM #
I wish my district had that kind of money ...

However nice the program is, it also teaches students another lesson - that everything will be handed to them on a silver platter. I had to work to get my tech junk ... and they get given it?

RE: When I was in school...
Tungstenman @ 10/21/2003 6:07:57 AM #
I don't think that they are giving the handhelds to the students, they may only be letting them se them for the year, than they have to return them like textbooks. But it will be a long time before ill be able to bring my handheld in to school.

A Palm in one hand is worth 2 PocketPCs
: )
-Steve B.
RE: When I was in school...
Strider_mt2k @ 10/21/2003 7:21:23 AM #
We had coal-fired TRS-80s.

We had one room in the school to store both floppy disks, they were that big.

Prior to that it was "dumb terminal-ing" at 300baud into was was then West Chester State College to play Star Trek, or Space War, or whatever it was called.

The early technological encouragement I received in school made a huge difference in my life.

I envy the kids who are fortunate enough to be living the future right now. It's only gonna get cooler!

RE: When I was in school...
Fammy @ 10/21/2003 11:46:07 AM #
"We had coal-fired TRS-80s."

I wrote my first program on a TRS-80. Ah, the good ol' days.

-- Fammy

I do use it at classes...

shriek7 @ 10/20/2003 1:55:56 PM #
...for taking notes using docs to go, but what I really wanted was an app that could read repligo and/or pdf (or any other compact format) and let me add notes to a page or slide.

Anyone knows something that can do it? perhaps someone could make it happen. :)

RE: I do use it at classes...
euan_rideout @ 10/20/2003 2:06:22 PM #
Normally the recent Documents To Go can provide PowerPoint on your handheld but you can also download Acrobat Reader. You can download this from but here is a link that will take straight to the Acrobat Reader program:


RE: I do use it at classes...
shriek7 @ 10/20/2003 2:11:33 PM #
You didn't understand what I meant. I need an app that READS pdf (or repligo or any other similar format) and that lets me add notes WHILE reading those files like comments to some image.

I know docs to go let me view ppt files and add notes to it but ppt files are huge compared to pdf or repligo. Also my teacher's files are always in pdf format (even when they use powerpoint to create them) and I don't know any way to convert pdf to ppt.

RE: I do use it at classes...
anjrober1 @ 10/20/2003 5:49:56 PM #
the term for this is annotations. you want to annotate a current form of text. mobipocket (nice book reader) lets you do this. You might search around to see if their is a PDF convertor that will convert to a mobi format or a format mobi reads.

lucky 6th graders...

ComputerBob @ 10/20/2003 5:48:57 PM #
i just got my T3 on the 2nd and im only a freshmen in highschool. my mom thinks im crasy to spend that much on it. even the sales man in CC thought i was crazy (altho i was surprised to see a person who even knew what a a PDA was, but thats cuz bestbuy ppl are dum teens) but no i see that im not crazy... HA! thoes 6th graders are soo lucky...
RE: lucky 6th graders...
Torael_7 @ 10/20/2003 6:32:35 PM #
No kidding. Lucky lil' brats. :) I'm a senior in high school, and just purchased a T3 of my own...except my mom heartily approved, thank you very much, figured I might use *it* for organization more than I do my paper planner, and with ADD I need all the help I can get. ;D these days. Yeesh...

RE: lucky 6th graders...
Palmary @ 10/20/2003 9:53:34 PM #
Dear ComputerBob,
Congratulations on your T3. It's a fine choice and I certainly don't think that you're crazy. However, at the risk of sounding prissy, might I suggest you also invest in a dictionary for your Palm?

RE: lucky 6th graders...
Palmary @ 10/20/2003 9:58:40 PM #
Oops, shame on me. I shouldn't read PIC while also trying to work. I realise you were being amusing and I was an idiot. Sorry.

RE: lucky 6th graders...
helf @ 10/21/2003 10:51:24 AM #
That is so wrong. I've had to work oddjobs to get the money for my computer crud.. :)

Oh well. Least I can feel like I earned my stuff :D

free game for small kids

jonecool @ 10/21/2003 9:06:47 AM #
I've used a free program called 'MakeFaces' from for my 4 year old daughter. It's a fun game for small children.

RE: free game for small kids
helf @ 10/21/2003 10:50:20 AM #
And this has something to do with this article.. how?

RE: free game for small kids
jonecool @ 10/21/2003 11:00:10 AM #
Use of a Palm as an Educational aide for small kids. I have a friend who is a school teacher who uses it in their classroom to get children used to using a palm. I use the program also for my 4 year old and she has learned how to use it very quickly. Sorry, I should have mentioned that first I guess :)
RE: free game for small kids
helf @ 10/21/2003 11:03:51 AM #
ooh.. ok then :)

They had to highlight the bad building quality!

T.W.G @ 10/21/2003 10:20:24 AM #
Hi there,

think I'm not the only one.
The building quality of the actual TT2 or TT3 is a crap and differ much from unit to unit as I actually know. My review-unit had a much better quality than my currently owned device.
Can live with that but if you look at Sonys quality Palm has NO chance.

Greetings from Germany



Palm Powered Handheld Reviews from T.W.G at:

RE: They had to highlight the bad building quality!
The Ugly Truth @ 10/22/2003 3:17:47 AM #
The building quality of the actual TT2 or TT3 is a crap and differ much from unit to unit as I actually know. My review-unit had a much better quality than my currently owned device.
Can live with that but if you look at Sonys quality Palm has NO chance.

That's not a very nice thing to say. But I guess that's what happens when you contract production out to the lowest bidder. It would be nice to instead see Sony building Palm's designs. Soon.

Sometimes the truth just isn't pretty™

802.11 costs?

dchev @ 10/21/2003 11:30:28 AM #
Anyone know how much it costs per classroom for 802.11 infrastructure installation?

What kind of access point hardware is typically used?

If access points are shared between classrooms, what is the performance like for 40+ or 60+ user trying to take tests?



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