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Home > Computer Articles > Handhelds In The Classroom

Introducing PDA's to Your School

Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) and smartphones, are portable, handheld computers that are used by millions. Also called handhelds, the PDA has the ability to keep track of appointments, do word processing, surf the web, download ebooks, and developers are adding more functions every day. As PDA technology advanced, interest in using the PDA in the classroom grew. Not only do PDAs assist teachers in keeping lesson plans, to do lists, student records, and other data, PDAs are being used by students to help them through the learning process.

Benefits of PDAs in Classrooms

PDAs help students in a variety of ways. Textbooks, homework, special projects, extra credit assignments, and learning software for subjects from English to Geometry, may all be contained in a PDA and used by students. Specialized software is available for the PDA to assist students with disabilities to learn more easily and grow to their potential. PDAs have become an invaluable learning tool for students around the world.

Curriculum & Lesson Plans

As handhelds become widely used in classrooms, more lesson plans are being devised that take full advantage of the PDA's capabilities. Software vendors have developed and continue to develop learning software that encompasses a wide range of subjects and applications. PDAs have the ability to widen a curriculum and enhance lesson plans by keeping data and information at a student's fingertips. Studies also suggest that students perform better and achieve higher grades when a handheld was used during the course of the curriculum.

  • Handheld Mania: A variety of lesson plans that include English, science, social studies, and math subjects.
  • Software to Work with Palm Devices: A resource list of software available for Palm handhelds. Includes a variety of subjects, including language, social studies, math, science, and fine arts.
  • Handheld Software: A resource list of software programs on a variety of educational subjects.

Questions to Ask About PDAs in Your School or Classroom

It is crucial that teachers and school administrators devise a PDA policy before introducing PDAs to the classroom. Usage and financial responsibility policies should be written and given to students and parents. The following issues must be addressed:

  • Who will own the handheld?
  • Who will be allowed to use them?
  • What impact will they have on learning?
  • How will staff be trained?
  • What type of technology support will be available?
  • How will use be evaluated?
  • How will the PDA be introduced?
  • Will students use it appropriately?
  • How will acceptable usage be defined?
  • How will passwords be handled?
  • Will all students have access?
  • Will students be allowed to take the PDA home?
  • What happens in case of damage or loss?

Handheld Resources

Visit the following web sites for more information about using handheld PDAs in the classroom:

One area where schools can save money is by using Used Laptops and other refurbished computer equipment in bulk at a discount. Students on a budget can also shop around for refurbished pda's, smartphones, and netbooks.

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