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Frequently Asked Questions

What was SRI International's role in the PEP program?
SRI International's Center for Technology in Learning (CTL) was administering and evaluating the PEP program. World-renowned for its expertise in designing and evaluating educational technology, CTL has invited innovative teachers to explore the use of handhelds in the classroom.

What is Palm, Inc.'s role in the PEP program?
Palm is committed to education excellence and building the role of technology in education. In order to understand best-of-practice teaching and learning, Palm is supporting investigations of technology use in the classroom to assist educators and inform researchers, developers, and hardware manufacturers.

When will there be another round of grants?
There are no more plans for more grant competitions.

What is the difference between PEP research hubs and PEP classroom grants?
Research hubs are school districts, universities, colleges, national centers and research institutes with the infrastructure and planning already in place to help teachers use the Palm handhelds effectively. Research hubs received from 5 to 15 classroom sets of Palm handhelds and will train and provide ongoing support to teachers. In addition, the research hubs will work closely with SRI's PEP evaluation team.

PEP classroom grants allow individual teachers to apply for a classroom set of Palm Handheld Computers that will be used in a project.

Was it possible to get money as well as hardware through the PEP program?
No. The PEP program was limited to hardware grants. Preference has been given to teachers who already developed existing ties with research and technology programs, since we understand the importance of additional support when introducing any new technology into the classroom.

What is expected of Palm awardees?
Palm awardees are expected to perform self-evaluations and to report on their project results. Additionally, some awardees attend workshops where the use of Palm computers in the classroom is discussed.

What model of Palm computers was granted?
Most grants were Palm IIIc Handhelds.

How were awardees chosen?
A panel of experts identified by SRI reviewed all proposals. Proposal review was based on criteria outlined in the PEP Application Guidelines document.

What are the start and end dates for the projects?
Round I awardees are conducting their projects sometime during the period from February 2001 to May 2002. Round II awardees will conduct their projects during the period June 2001 to May 2002. We expect most awardees to implement their projects over the course of two semesters. Round I awardees may implement their projects for two or three semesters. By implementing projects over two or three semesters, teachers will have the opportunity to develop and refine their classroom innovations.

Who was eligible to apply for a Palm grant?
The Palm Education Pioneers program was only open to K-12 teachers in the United States.

Why wasn't my proposal selected?
The response to the PEP program was overwhelming, and we received over 1,200 proposals. Because we were able to fund only 85 grants, we had to turn away many excellent proposals.

PEP grants were chosen on the basis of feedback from our reviewers, as well as the desire to have awardees be representative of the diversity of K-12 education. This included choosing a diverse set of grade levels, curricular topics, school locations, and school demographics.

How can I use a Palm if I only have Macs?
The Mac software can be downloaded for free from the Palm Web site:

The m100 does not come with the cables needed to connect to Macs, so cables need to be ordered.

How do I re-charge the Palms?
The Palm units can be charged without having to connect them to the computer — you can just plug the cradle into the wall, place the handheld in the cradle, and it will charge.

Will there be any other training sessions? How else can I get information?
We do not have any other training sessions planned at this time and we are not offering any other training/education opportunities. There are books and web resources that may be helpful to you; check online or in your local bookstore.

How can I get help with my Palm?
There is support available on the Palm web site:

I am a teacher and want to receive training. Is there a program for that?
Palm has an Education Training Coordinator (PETC) Program for educational institutions. See

Is there a program for colleges?
Palm offers a Campus Developer Program for high schools and colleges that teach Palm programming. See for details.

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