Colleges Give Palm Handhelds to Students

While many colleges are trying to get students the computer equipment thay need to succeed, issuing all students laptops is an expenisive proposition. Instead, many colleges have turned to handhelds to their combination of portability and low cost.

Earlier this week, more than 1,300 students at the University of South Dakota became the first in the United States to receive Palm handhelds authorized by a university for all first-year undergraduates, law, and medical students. The Palm m500 and m505 handhelds came with a dozen education, productivity, and communication applications.

USD President James W. Abbott said, "Palm handhelds will be an integral part of English, speech, biology, computer science, information technology, medical and law coursework. Just as important, the technology will be used to share information, collaborate and communicate with faculty, administrators and other students."

Central to integrating the Palm handhelds into campus life is the installation of the EthIR LAN and EthIR STAR wireless connectivity systems from Clarinet Systems. These provide high-speed IR connectivity to the campus network for faster transfer of data to the handhelds. Students can receive email, download web clips, schedule appointments with faculty, turn in assignments electronically, share lecture notes, research academic requirements and obtain class materials. Educators can distribute syllabi, course calendars, resource materials and assignments. The IR ports are located in the student center, library, the medical and law schools, and several buildings that house undergraduate departments.

Students in France will have a whole new way to organize their college schedules and busy lives through a special outreach program from Palm, Inc., France Technologie Interactive, and selected partners like iambic, Inc. A group from the Sorbonne University of Paris will be equipped with a specially designed Palm m100 handhelds.

Included with the Palm m100 Série Limitée Etudiant will be Action Names School which allows students to keep class schedules on their device, set alarms for studies and tests, plan their activities and homework, and carry contact information for all their friends and family.

These students are far from alone. Harvard Medical School has a system that allows over 300 of its students mobile access to their class schedules, hospital case log notes, lecture notes with anatomy illustrations, course evaluations, exam calendars and last-minute announcements, and more with AvantGo. They also allow students to enter patient info in their Palm while walking around on rounds.

Illinois School District 230 has started what it calls the "the largest educational deployment of handheld computers in the United States.'' About 1,700 students and 65 teachers use Palm handhelds for word-processing and to collect and analyze data for fitness, nutrition, and science classes.

Earlier this year, Ballard High in Seattle made news with its program to introduce Visors into the classroom. Students are using Visors to take notes in class, track homework assignments, create outlines and write reports, share information, and record their grades. They can also read novels and news, use an electronic dictionary and thesaurus, and study for tests.

Palm Inc. is actively encouraging studies on effective use of handhelds in classrooms. The Palm Education Pioneer Grant Program gives Palm handhelds to K-12 teachers and their students so that they can explore new ways to teach and learn.

Thanks to Kaerrie Simons for her help with this. -Ed

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I.M. Anonymous @ 9/9/2001 11:36:40 AM #
Lucky bastards

very lucky, wish my uni would do something like that

Ah, marketing through indoctrination!

mikecane @ 9/9/2001 12:42:58 PM #
It's very clever. Apple did this for years with the II series and the Mac. But look at where Mac market share is today...

I love the IR kiosk/net idea. Here in NYC, there are quite a few ads on phone booths that will beam a Palm app to you (NYC Street Locator, NYC Haiku, NYC Matchmaker). There should be more of this.

RE: Ah, marketing through indoctrination!
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/9/2001 4:19:48 PM #
That's more to do with Apple's mistake of not licensing programs. Apple still has a strong presence in the academic community.

My school just got a bunch of Apple's rather than PC's

RE: Ah, marketing through indoctrination!
mikecane @ 9/9/2001 5:27:37 PM #
I mean overall market share. It is not what it used to be.

RE: Ah, marketing through indoctrination!
AriB @ 9/9/2001 7:34:04 PM #
Apple didn't want other companies to make macs. They did for a while but they chickened out when those companies made better macs than Apple. Palm on the other hand has no problem with its licensees and I think it's great that consumers have all kinds of real choices in the Palm world

RE: Ah, marketing through indoctrination!
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/10/2001 1:57:15 AM #
Is beaming via IR a good idea? IR's one-to-one, right. So what happens in NYC when there are a bunch of people who want to download the apps?

By the way, are there any websites on that technology -- that ad-to-Palm thing? Sounds interesting, want to read up more about it.


RE: Ah, marketing through indoctrination!
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/10/2001 4:23:58 AM #
Actually, my understanding is that Palm does have a real big problem with other licenseese, because they eat so much into Palm's profits. They only began licensing it out big time when with the threat of the PPC from Microsoft years back. I guess it was better to have a larger presence than to be greedy and want all the profits..Something Apple hasn't learned.

This is all great but REAL Biz Enterprise Market is the key.

I.M. Anonymous @ 9/9/2001 12:58:55 PM #

RE: This is all great but REAL Biz Enterprise Market is the key.
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/10/2001 5:18:30 AM #
The enterprise market is just one piece in the overall picture. I like Palm's strategy of trying to cover all ends of the market. When Palm's push into the education sector for instance gains sufficient traction, they'll be shipping handhelds by the truckload.

Quite a bit is being made about the PPC being dominant in the enterprise, but this might be quite misleading. At least the experience from my own company is very telling. About 500 PPC units were literally thrown in free of charge along with a major computing system ugrade we did recently. This basically what is fuelling the so called PPC erosion into Palm's market. The big PC companies are using their existing leverage in the enterprise market to bombard corpoations with PPC products. I doubt very seriously if they are making any money from this. One irony of this is that quite a few guys I know continue to use their privately bought palms and simply dump the PPCs in the drawers (well guess if you like listening to MP3s on your handheld, then you might think differently...).

There are not too many corporations in the world today that are (numerically) the size of a mid sized college. Besides it's today's students that'll become CEOs of tomorrow. Guess what they'll likely continue to prefer when that time comes...?

Lost and found

I.M. Anonymous @ 9/9/2001 4:41:38 PM #
Well, at least now we know what Palm did with all those handhelds that they couldn's sell! :-)

When consumers won't buy your products, what do you do? Give them away to schools! Ha ha!

RE: Lost and found
GrouchoMarx @ 9/9/2001 11:54:24 PM #
Precisely! This is a win-win for everyone. Palm gets rid of excess inventory. Students get free or cheap Palms. Schools learn how to better integrate them into their curriculum. And you have a very large number of students who will be coming out of college soon with "Palm" etched into their mind, those same students who will not long from now be writing "Palm" on big purchase orders for their companies. I suggested that Palm do something like this months ago. :-)


RE: Lost and found
AriB @ 9/10/2001 12:14:39 AM #
yup there will even be a pink Palm toy for little girls who want to play grownup. That's so cute!

RE: Lost and found
AriB @ 9/10/2001 2:59:50 AM #
he doesn't annoy me but you certainly do. Plus all of the other anonymous trolls that frequent this site and

RE: Lost and found
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/10/2001 10:35:13 AM #
The article said M500 @ M505 these aren't what Palm was overstocked on moron.

Handhelds for Students

Dave @ 9/10/2001 10:36:34 AM #
Check out this site to see how East Carolina University is using the handheld computer in its Handsprings to Learning program.



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