Lori outlines the handheld pilot project in
Bastrop ISD for 3rd and 4th grade classrooms.

Handhelds: The Way of the
Future

Lori
Lusk

1 Feb 2005 TASA Midwinter Conference,
Austin, TX

Is technology important
for administrators, teachers, and students? Of
course!

What
Technologies?


desktops


laptops

– alphasmarts /
daynas


handhelds

Challenges of
desktops/laptops: cost, size, equity,
simplicity

Handhelds make sense!
cost, size, equity, simplicity

– with
desktops: usually some people, some places (s
squared)

– with handhelds: can be everyone,
everywhere (e squared)

handheld
compared to desktop

– personal versus
shared

– small display versus
large

– less processor power and
memory

– frequent vs occasional
use

– mobile used whenever sensible versus
fixed place, used during school
hours

if you can do it on a desktop,
you can do it on a handheld!

– traditional
productivity (word processing, spreadsheet, database, multimedia
presentation)

– mind mapping, digital
photos, web and email

– printing,
calculator, draw and paint, probes, stories, text
authoring

– course
management


assessment


GPS

handhelds for school
leaders

– roles: chief educator,
communicator, manager, mentor/coach,
scholar

– modeling tech use is
key!

“If you do not have time to
read, you do not have time to lead.”


Phillip Schlechty

Teacher
uses

– access student info, easy to use
tool to assess learning

– keep track of
schedules, grades, assignments

– share data
with teachers

Handhelds are Here to
Stay!

– students don’t have to sahre
them

– availability / accessiblity can have
major impact on things like WRITING

– can
facilitate movement from teacher-directed whole-class instruction to small group
/ more individual activities

– kids can
take more responsiblity for their own
learning!

Math Amigo software
on a handheld

– it looks like a
gameboy

– if you look at the research of
what kids think, they

– they can take it
home

– 3rd and 4th graders are really
having fun, they are showing the “cheats” they
used

– they are showing each other better
ways to work the problem

– teacher is not
involved in this

– this is
HUGE

– self
paced

Lori has 3 kids with all very
different needs, learning styles, learning
abilities

kids need
self-paced

– NCLB requires
this

– with technology you can do this for
a greater extent

Texas long range
plan for technology says that by now we should be at a 1:1 ratio (a few years
ago)

– there are about 20 districts across
the state now that are at 1:1

how
many of you come to your jobs now without
technology?

What can kids do with
handhelds?

– real world
things

– too often when we give them a
laptop, we limit them to “you are going to do a powerpoint
slideshow”

– can graph real data,
etc

Research
says

– 89% of teachers found handhelds to
be an effecitve instructional tool

– what
else scores that high with teachers as an effective instructional tool:
chalkboard

– desktop computers are at abotu
50%

– 72% said handhelds more easily used,
accessed, etc.

75% of teachers who
let studetns take handhelds home reported increased homework completion
rates

– one of the biggest reasons we have
kids not turn in

– big problem is the
homework we assign, also related to fact that kids don’t want to go home and
work with paper and pencil

– research shows
that is not how millenials want to
learn

research says handhelds
facilitate group work and collaboration (esp in
science)

Handhelds in Bastrop
ISD

– Point, Beam, Learn! Project
(PBL)

– started this
year

– one third grade
class

– 3 fourth grade
classes

– picked those grades because of
TAKS

— because we must have TAKS data to
sell it to the school board

— had bond
money left over

kids got Zire 71,
case, wireless keyboard (really
recommend)

– can get for around $45 in
bulk, retail for $75 each

– memory
expansion cards, 256MB, enough to hold worldbook encyclopedia ($9 per kid to
have entire worldbook encyclopedia)


expansion cards are now for sale at Wal
Mart

Elmos for every
teacher

– bought for like $400
each

– also got laptops for teachers and
LCD projectors

biggest
goals:

– implement constructivst principles
in the classroom

– that means kids are in
charge of their learning (this is listed as last objective, but this was the
biggest one)

Not paying teachers
extra for 21 hours of PD, had about 65 apply for program and picked
4

– have 1 elementary facilitator per 6
campuses

parental involvement
key

only about 30% at home have a
computer, only about 15% had
computers

Parent
Meetings

– children are immediately working
on the handhelds

Palm Zire 72 runs
about $200 each, if buy x number you get x
free

– 32 MB of builtin
memory

– rechargable battery, that was very
important (didn’t want to be changing out
batteries)

– have
bluetooth

– bluetooth printers run about
$150 each

Software
chosen

– documents to go (Word, Excel,
PPT)

— that was most expensive: $40 per
kid

GoKnow HLE has lots of great
tools, used to be free but now they are selling
them

MathAmigo is TAKS
software

couldn’t really find any reading
software that could be
recommmended

LOTS of electronic
books

– bought licenses for books in the
library, not trying to replace existing
library

advantages of ebooks: can
change font size easily, can mark pages, make notes, bookmark
pages

other
software

– britannica encyclopedia and
oxford american desk dictionary


encyclopedia is its own card (kind of like swapping
floppies)


Printboy

– various free educational
software programs (there are
kizillions)

lots of free educational
software

other
purchases

– screen
protectors

– screen is biggest thing most
likely to break down

– about $2 each, can
buy clear contct paper from WalMart

– kids
get real excited and write really hard, this protects
them

Also bought tribeam charging
carts (don’t have 22 plugs in each room)


takes about 40 min to recharge all

– use SD
Deply cards (like imaging other
handhelds)

– takes about 1.5 min, fast way
to get these out

– spare styluses (don’t
lose handhelds, but do lose
styluses)

kids constantly pulling
handhelds out of Lori’s hand

now 1
student is writing a novel who was not writing one
before

– her benchmark scores are up
20%

kids only complain now when the
teacher tells them to put them
away

infrastructure needed

– charging carts they have provide slow
internet access

– weren’t ready for
technicians to be freaked out
with

how are you going to teach
ETHICAL USE

– it is not ethical to beam the
answers to Suzy Q in the room next
door

how are you going to store them
and

– can use about 6 or 7 hours per
day

Are you going to let them take
them home?

– huge
discussion

– Lori: you have got
to

– parents are
responsible

– same as with textbooks (law
says you have to, but parents don’t have
to)

my children don’t break their
gameboys

theft/loss/breakage and tech
support

– none of them were trained to fix
palm handhelds, they were not excited to have a new
thing

– don’t have an answer
here

– are you going to fix them or just
get a new one?

To
begin?

– have a vision for the use of
handheld technology to support
instruction

– have a CLEAR
vision

– determine solutions to management
issues (use a team, because you will be alone when the problems hit if you
don’t)

– determine needed
peripherals

– what sofware to
use

– buy
it

– provide quality staff development all
involved

have 4 teachers involved,
all very enthusiastic

– started this
project with 4 very different teachers, are approaching use of these devices
very differently

– some teachers use
handhelds all the time, others just have defined times to use the
handhelds

h2TLA Professional
Development

– TASA handheld
academy

– offers 2 day handheld academy for
administrators and lead teachers

– for
$575, receive a handheld and training (2
days)

– TASA makes around $10 each on
this

– if you havev 25 people that want
this training, TASA will bring this to
you

Contact Lori or Judy de la
Garza

cost $450 per kid for
everything, for 120 kids

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