Science Projects in your Palm
Concord Consortium's Probesite offers a wealth of ideas on how teachers can use handhelds with sensors to enrich science learning. For example, using software and probes from ImagiWorks, students can use sensors to measure their environment, and immediately see data graphed on their Palm handheld. Data gathered in the field can be moved to a desktop computer later for further analysis in a spreadsheet or other program. Another interesting example is Expedition ES, which enables students to make maps in the field, with only a handheld and string.
Handheld Design Awards for Education
In 1999, the Center for Innovative Learning Technologies hosted "Handheld Design Awards for Education."
The grand prize winner, Geney, simulates the results of cross-breeding different fish. The second prize winner, Due Yesterday, allows students to manage their assignments and classes, keeping all of their school information in one easy-to-access place. More awardees...
With the right software, your Palm can become a powerful
graphing calculator. Graphing calculators have become increasingly
important in mathematics learning, because they allow students
to investigate mathematical ideas more rapidly and more thoroughly.
A wide range of graphing calculator software is available,
including the Design Award winner iGraph,
the pedagogically sophisticated ImagiMath,
the full-featured powerOne
Graph, and the powerful CplxCalPro.
for Highly Interactive Computing in Education at the
University of Michigan is developing a suite of educational software applications for the Palm platform. Led by Elliot Soloway, they are on their way to developing the cool dozen education applications.
While planning your Palm project, be sure to look over the large collection of freeware, shareware, and commercial educational software, categorized at sites such as:
The National Science Foundation has awarded
grants to a number of researchers who are exploring learning
with handhelds. In addition to hosting design awards, The
Center for Innovative Learning
Technologies (CILT) awarded seed grants to a series of
innovative handheld projects. The
SimCalc Project has produced a free prototype version
of its software for introducing middle school students to
calculus concepts, called MathCars.
San Diego State University's "Integrating
Math and Pedagogy" project has produced an interesting
collection of fraction visualization applications for the
Palms will become an important tool for assessing student
learning. Palm-based assessment could make it easier for teachers
to grade quizzes and for students
to practice at home. Applications for the PalmOS are currently
developed, for example: Andrew Eiler, a computer science student
University, has built a Palm-based
quizzer application, and is looking for
collaborators or users; Review
Master is a commercially available product for
testing; Scantron has developed assessment tools on its Classroom
site, a teacher can develop tests on the Classroom
Wizard site and have the
students take assessments on Palm handhelds; Kaplan provides
self assessment tools like flashcards for its Kaplan
to GO! downloads.
As technology develops further, connectivity with other peripherals
becoming more of a viable undertaking. EFI has made sharing
notes easier by
developing the eBeam ImagePort,
a portable electronic whiteboard that is able to beam what
is captured on a whiteboard directly into a Palm handheld.
Bachmann Software has developed a software suite called Printboy
Deluxe for creating and printing documents or scribbled
notes for the PalmOS. It uses the Palm handhelds infrared
capabilities to communicate with an infrared capable printer.
Software has been developed for the task of grading and sharing
grades as well. Gradebook2
Integrated allows both teachers and administrators access
to information on a school's student information system from
their Palm handhelds.
In the last few years there has been a significant amount
of research conducted on the use of handheld computers in
the classroom. The CILT Ubiquitous Computing Theme held a
workshop in February 2002 on the use of handheld computers
in the classroom. One result of this workshop was the following
listing of some of the important research carried out in this
In 6 ways to use a PDA in the classroom, Joel Heffner suggests that teachers could "beam" notes to their students using the infrared communications capability built into every Palm handheld. This could save time, and make sure students have accurate notes.
The PalmOS supports reading electronic texts, as well as writing and notetaking, which could support a wide variety of educational applications in the language arts. For example, CopyWrite, a Design Awards winner, helps students to form letters correctly. In addition, the availability of Palm-based dictionaries and thesauri could make PalmOS computers an important resource in English and foreign language classes.
A broad array of text can be read on Palm by using software.
At Memoware you can
get their ebook reader
along with various texts. Qvadis
also provides ebook content and a reader
for download. Another source for downloading reading material
is AvantGo. This web
site is a portal for downloading news and information off the internet.
Although we are not yet aware of any participatory simulation
software specifically for PalmOS yet, this is a promising
category. Participatory Simulations allow students to experience
a dynamic process from a personal perspective, and learn from
taking a role in a complex chain of events. Pioneering work
on Participatory Simulations is under way at the MIT Media
Lab and a project shared between Tufts and Northwestern Universities.
National organizations are supporting curriculum reform
efforts through documents that set broad principles and
objectives. The National
Council of Teachers of Mathematics declares technology
to be "essential" and their Illuminations Web
site provides a wealth of examples. The National Academy
of Sciences publishes National Science
Education Standards. The International Society for
Technology in Education has established National Educational
The Wireless Handheld Future
Although not supported in the PEP grants, an important future
direction for the PalmOS is towards wireless connectivity
to the Internet; your handheld will become your anytime/anywhere
on-ramp to the Internet. Symbol technologies has brought this
vision to pilot classrooms, and has an interesting white
paper. Another company exploring this area is MindSurf.
To add to the Idea Bank, please email us at PEPideabank@palmgrants.sri.com
Idea Bank Policy: We highlight pedagogically inspired uses of handheld devices, with example products that support those uses, as well as informational resources that can guide teachers
in appropriate uses of this technology. We do not intend to list every product
that might be used in a classroom setting; only innovative USES. For an educational product directory see Education@Palm.