Handhelds in the Classroom : A Web Tour

Are you interested in using handheld computers in your classroom? Whether you’re new to handhelds or you’ve been using them for a while, the following Web sites will provide you with new ideas on how you can make the most of these versatile tools.

Applications For Enhancing Student Learning Outcomes

Here are some ideas for software applications that will help your students improve in all areas of the curriculum. Although our descriptions below are necessarily brief, we strongly urge you to click on those links that sound appealing. You will find really exciting ideas for each product mentioned, and very often even more products just as exciting.

Mobile DB4
Quickly and easily create databases on your PC desktop and then hotsync them to your Palm. Fields can include text, multiple choice items, numbers, calculations, dates, time, checkboxes or labels. Multiple users can sync data to the same database. Tables of information can be printed from within the program or you can export to a program like Excel.

Quizzler Classroom
This is a suite of solutions that includes Quizzler Pro, Quizzler Maker, Math Wiz, and Gradebook. You can create multiple choice, flash cards, true & false and reverse questions. Math Wiz quickly creates math quizzes. Gradebook allows you to review quiz results that are beamed back to you. Quizzler is free and it is all your students need. To see how to use it in class, visit the Educators’ Guide.

You can use this program to make outlines, organize information, take notes and track student progress. You can make outlines on the Palm or on your PC, save them as templates, and even add images and notes. Their website has lots of outlines available for download.

WordSmith is a full—featured word processing program with a doc viewer and an enhanced memo pad that is very student friendly. Documents made with Word on your desktop can be added to the Palm through the hotsync process, and vice versa.

Free Software
The best price is always “free†and here you’ll find a wide variety of free products for a variety of education purposes. There are several pages to browse, but as always read carefully before downloading.

A sensor interface and software make up this solution for collecting various types of data. Combined with your Palm and sensors you can create a mobile laboratory. The software allows you to display data as a line graph, bar chart, or table. Cost: $249 (includes sensor interface and software)

Applications For Managing Handhelds In Your Classroom

As an educator you want to be able to use the handheld to make the most of your instructional day. These applications can be very helpful.

BeamPRO allows you to beam multiple files all at once. You can beam program files, .doc files, contacts, dates, etc. all with one tap. This helps you to quickly distribute information to your students.

PrintBoy allows you to beam your file to an IR or Bluetooth enabled printer. They also make InfraReady, a portable IR adapter that connects to the printer parallel port. It comes bundled with a single user copy of PrintBoy. The BTReady adapter creates a Bluetooth ready printer. They do offer volume discounts for education.

PDA Manage!
This is a desktop software solution for setting up and managing a classroom set of Palm handhelds. You can organize applications into workgroup sets, prepare assignments and set due dates in the calendar. They also have developed other management solutions that come on SD cards. SD Deploy! is used for configuring or making a ghost image, SD Assign! makes it easy to set up hotsync names, SD Express! distributes documents, applications and assignments once they have been initially configured, and SD Remove! removes unwanted items from the Palm.

Lesson Plan
Lesson Plan creates a plan book on your Palm. This makes it easy for you to carry your plans with you wherever you go. You can enter information using Grafitti or a keyboard. The PC Version allows you to enter information on your desktop and then sync it to your Palm. You can print your plans from the desktop version. Printing from the Palm requires PalmPrint software from Stevens Creek.

Handy Randy
Handy Randy is a random name or number generator for the Palm. It keeps track of which names/numbers were picked so that they are no duplicates. This is a great way to call on students.

Road Scholar
for tools and applications to help students organize their assignments and help them excel in any subject.

Additional Resources

Here are some sites offering great ideas for using handhelds in your classroom. They are also a great source for support in using handhelds in an educational setting.

Learning @ Hand
This site is run by GoKnow, a spin off of the University of Michigan’s Highly Interactive Computing in Education group. Click on “Reviews†for information on useful programs for the classroom. You will also find an archive of lesson plans for using handhelds. Join the discussion board to get answers to your questions and share ideas on using handhelds in the classroom.

education @ palmOne
This is the official palmOne Education site and there is loads of information and useful links. Check out and sign up to join an education ‘â€Webinar†to hear firsthand from educators who are using handhelds in the school setting. Here you can find thousands of applications that can be useful to educators. Success stories from elementary through higher education can be found here. Some very useful education quick guides are available for download in PDF format.

Intel’s Innovation in Education — Learning with Handhelds
There are three sections to this site that can help you get started and keep going with handhelds. First there is a section that will help you to understand handhelds and make decisions on what to purchase to get started. The next section deals with using handhelds to manage your school and classroom. The third section deals with using handhelds to foster the teaching and learning process. There are instructional examples from successful classroom projects. The lesson plans available on this site can be downloaded to view on your handheld.

Email: Karen A. Vitek