Comments on: A Successful Experiment with Wireless Teaching

The Stanford University School of Medicine has finished a successful trial of using wireless handhelds to improve the teaching process. Students equipped with Palm m125 handhelds could wirelessly communicate with their professor via Palm Bluetooth SD cards connecting to PicoBlue Internet Access Points. Instead of asking for a show of hands, the instructor electronically polled the class. This is faster and it provides more accurate feedback because students don't have to admit to their classmates that they don't understand something.
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it's been done already

I.M. Anonymous @ 9/14/2002 12:28:31 PM #
old technology. . . who wants to be a millionaire was years ahead with this technology. ;)

Seriously though, an m125 + bluetooth module seems like overkill just to poll the students. I'm hoping they figure more interesting ways to exploit this new technology.

Read the WHOLE Article Before Commenting
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/14/2002 12:46:52 PM #
> This is just a small part of the Stanford Palm
> Project, which uses Palm handhelds in
> numerous ways to prepare students to practice
> medicine in the era of mobile computing.
RE: it's been done already
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/14/2002 1:19:31 PM #
Sorry dude! I was way too busy watchin' saturday mornin' cartoons to read the entire article. Thanks for the tip. BTW, you need to chill out a little. Life is more fun if you take don't take it so seriously.
RE: it's been done already
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/15/2002 7:10:47 AM #
Then go back to your cartoons before you make a bigger ass of yourself.

Very cool

abosco @ 9/14/2002 12:32:19 PM #
That's very cool! Just think, maybe five-ten years from now, this could possibly be a college standard in the classroom! This is actually a very good idea and I'm surprised somebody came up with it.

Bluetooth has definately earned its keep in the market, as it has shown to have many valid uses. I'm glad there is another widely accepted standard in wireless technology!

I apologize for wasting 30 seconds of your life.

RE: Very cool
sfdh66787 @ 9/14/2002 7:40:16 PM #
...yeah lets just hope that bluetooth wont become too bastardized...that would screw it over.

RE: Very cool
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/14/2002 8:31:21 PM #
Excellent use of technology.
Choice of low-end Palm would be the cost savings. Besides there are lots of useful Palm medical software - many free or cheap - compared to PPC.
Unfortunately I think the Bluetooth SD is overpriced.

It should be better once there are Palm models with Bluetooth built-in

I'm amazed they got it to work

I.M. Anonymous @ 9/14/2002 1:16:01 PM #
I found the Palm Bluetooth software unusably flaky on my m500.
RE: I'm amazed they got it to work
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/14/2002 8:33:54 PM #
Its actually fairly stable. Might be the software you use which was flaky. ICQ for Palm beta is one of them..
RE: I'm amazed they got it to work
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/15/2002 3:03:33 PM #
It would hang after the initial connection, trying to sync with my desktop, and the Bluetooth application that came with it crashed regularly. I didn't even try anything more fancy.

I tried upgrading my m500 ROM from 4.0 to 4.1, but the Flash update software does not run on Windows XP or Macintosh OS X (they have been out now for, what, more than a year each?). Also, the release notes for the upgrade didn't state that it contained any fix for this.

I think Palm is having big problems getting their act together on software development...

I wonder why they chose Palm?

I.M. Anonymous @ 9/14/2002 1:36:45 PM #
Why not Sony? They are superior in every way with high res screens, jog dials and all that. And they have a bluetooth memorystick. I think this is a mistake that the so called smart people at stanford will soon regret.

Sony Rules!

RE: I wonder why they chose Palm?
LarryGarfield @ 9/14/2002 1:51:31 PM #
Ah, the trolls are our early today.

Did it ever occur to you that maybe they don't need the horsepower of a Sony? Sony has yet to do a decent grayscale device. And Palm has a much stronger corporate presence, and more serial-end accessories available. And they probably offered the school a huge educational discount.

$$$ = Standard is Smart for using Palm.

This post is ROT26 encrypted. Reading it is a violation of the DMCA

RE: I wonder why they chose Palm?
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/14/2002 2:05:15 PM #
RE: I wonder why they chose Palm?
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/14/2002 2:34:18 PM #
Cost and the Bluetooth MS still wasn't available in the US last I checked.
RE: I wonder why they chose Palm?
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/14/2002 2:38:17 PM #
What I don't understand is the size comparison of the Bluetooth Memory Stick and the SD one. Why the heck is the Memory Stick one bigger than the SD size? The memory stick has far more natural area, what's up what dat?
RE: I wonder why they chose Palm?
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/14/2002 3:29:37 PM #
well, sony's bluetooth memory stick is not (offically) in US. Further, I don't think Sony has the infrastructure to support large corporate/campus use in US. Just like corporate buy IBM and Dell notebooks, but not Sony's...
RE: I wonder why they chose Palm?
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/15/2002 7:03:42 AM #
They chose Palm becuae they wanted their handhelds to still be commercialy available when the class is over.
They didn't want to waste money on a handheld-of-the-moment that doesn't survive the real world.
And they didn't want to spend a mint going beyond their needs.
Sony is a rich child's toy, not a serious biz box.
RE: I wonder why they chose Palm?
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/15/2002 8:56:44 PM #
Has anyone else noticed that Larry Garfield has gotten a lot more belligerent lately? Larry - what's happened to you?
RE: I wonder why they chose Palm?
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/15/2002 10:38:40 PM #
It's called SCUFS. Sony Clie User Fatigue Syndrome. And is a highly infectious area.

M125s do some cool stuff don't they?

Strider_mt2k @ 9/14/2002 2:22:36 PM #
From orbiting the earth (The only handheld certified for use in space.)
To helping advance the use of technology in the classroom.
The modest M125 is earning it's keep in the handheld world.

a waste of resources

I.M. Anonymous @ 9/14/2002 5:10:03 PM #
a waste of resources and nothing new. here, at a med school in the south, we have been using a dedicated wireless polling system for years. usually though, people are too apathetic to press anything.

as for overall use of PDA technology, Harvard is more impressive, with AvantGo-based scheduling and information delivery

also, considering med school costs, it seems silly to use m125's. most med students i know have much pricier PDAs and buy new ones on regular basis, since current capabilities are insufficient (ie battery life, capacity, speed - just try openning a 60mb file in isilo)

RE: a waste of resources
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/14/2002 6:25:53 PM #
I hope you're not so oblivious as to think that _every_ medical student even has a PDA. Maybe the ones in you circle changes their PDA's as fast as they change their underwear. But not all of us are able to do that. My scholarship in particular doesn't have a monthly line item for technology refresh.
RE: a waste of resources
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/14/2002 6:39:24 PM #
Coincidentally, I just polled a 3rd year medical class. 61 people responded, 12 had Palms, 4 had Handspring, 9 had Sony, and 2 had Pocket PCs. That means 34 did not have a PDA.
RE: a waste of resources
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/14/2002 8:35:47 PM #
Or the 34 were to apapthetic to reply to your poll
RE: a waste of resources
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/14/2002 10:45:42 PM #
Not really. Those 34 were trolls, just like you.
RE: a waste of resources
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/15/2002 10:05:21 AM #
Based on my 3rd year class here in Montreal, Canada, I would say on 160 students :
- 90 Palm (m125 (10), m500 (40), m515 (15), m505 (15), others (10))
- 10 Handspring (neo (5), pro (2), deluxe(3))
- 3 Sony (they aren`t officially sold here in Quebec)
- 7 PocketPc

for a total of 110/160 with a PDA. And we don`t have any special PDA experiment in our faculty.

RE: a waste of resources
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/15/2002 12:28:14 PM #
a palm based system has many advantages over a dedicated system. most of the dedicated systems have a limited number of options and thus uses. for example, some have only 4 buttons per student per ?. a palm clearly can use drop down list boxes, true/false, multiple choice, etc. it's also a lot more flexible. and when using a program like AvantGo in can be used both with and without the network connection.

standford has a copy of avantgo and has been talking about and/or working on similiar functionality to that of Harvard for a while now.

standford is doing a ton of innovative stuff on palms. full text books using FireViewer, patient capture at the point of care, lots of good stuff.

RE: a waste of resources
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/15/2002 6:48:18 PM #
Are you people serious? This is a great thing. I cant believe these people with their idiotic comments about miniscule matters like which palm/sony to use. Or people saying that its already been done. Or which is better the Harvard vs Stanford method. Be realistic. They probably had to use cheap PDAs because otherwise certain students are going to bitch and moan. These are the ones who dont know theres a thing called the internet and are generally in the 20th century technologically. As for sony vs palm or Harvard vs Stanford vs the "southern" school...who gives a damn?!! At least they are trying. Maybe the next school will use sony. The point is there are experiments going on and these will lead to better medical learning and eventually better patient care. Some people though just want to moan and whine.

RE: a waste of resources
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/17/2002 1:32:02 PM #
I'm not so sure this is an improvement in learning. It seems to me that the sign of an educated person (especially a doctor, whose education literally can be the difference between life and death for somebody) would have the intellectual honesty to own up to the fact they don't understand something. In fact, some would argue that learning itself consists in identifying what you do not know and then working to understand it. Rigging a classroom full of wireless technology just to circumvent the supposed stigma of admitting that one doesn't understand something seems a little backwards.

Proof of Concept?

Haber @ 9/15/2002 11:33:30 AM #
I assume this experiment is more of a proof of concept than an actual working setup. Spending thousands of dollars on Palms and Palm Bluetooth cards seems a bit expensive simply to salve a hypothetical student's self-esteem.

RE: Proof of Concept?
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/19/2002 6:58:43 AM #
And what's with this "free pencils" nonsense?



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