I am most disappointed. I haven’t had my new Dell AXIM x51v for 2 weeks yet and it’s out of commission. Yesterday, in it’s case, it was accidentally knocked from the table (~24 inches high) and the screen cracked. This is the third, count them, first, second, THIRD AXIM that has a cracked screen for me. (I’ll share a photo soon) I understand the first, a AXIM x3i, it was my daughter’s playing that damaged the used device. Whiff! The second one, an AXIM x30, was and still is a mystery. I had used it, placed it in my computer bag, and went to the office. When I arrived, I pulled it out and found a crack in the lower left section of the screen. Whiff! This third Dell, a AXIM x51v, was functioning okay and I was just getting it to where I wanted it (apps and settings installed, etc.). I had taken a note, put it in the cheesy slip cover that Dell provides and a minute later it fell the 2 feet to the floor. I couldn’t believe it! Worse yet, there is a district that is looking to purchase this very model anyday now, for student use! I’m thinking this is going to be a big problem. These things are handhelds, we all fumble from time to time, why are the AXIM’s so fragile?
On a related note, I still have my Palm Tungsten T2 that is now my old reliable. I wasn’t wild about it at first, but it has served me well between AXIM’s. Why have I missed this reliability? Oh, and if you are thinking whether my T2 has taken it’s lickin’, the answer is yes.
This is a cameraphone shot of a Symbol device running Pocket PC (Windows Mobile) to take orders at Aja Noodle Company in Perinton, NY. The waitress takes orders on the device and they are wirelessly sent to the kitchen where the orders are processed immediately. I have to say, we didn’t wait too long for our dishes at this place. Which was a good thing, my stepson and I were headed to Eastview Mall to check out a few shops, including the Apple store.
We arrived at the mall and headed directly for the Apple store to check out the latest and greatest devices and to play with some of the new Macs there. When I inquired about a piece 0f software that contained some relevant history content for my stepsons, I noticed the worker had a mobile device in his hand. This was precisely the same device I had seen at the restaraunt not an hour before. Funny thing was when I asked him what operating system it was running (Windows Mobile) he promptly told me he hated it and it was a piece of junk. I find it funny that the Apple store would use a device running Windows. Maybe not, as their machines can now run both Mac and Windows.
If you have seen handhelds in action in places other than schools send me an e-mail (photos welcome and encouraged) at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If administrators, principals and technology specialists are unsure of where the world of mobile computing is headed they need look no further than World Wide Web Consortium’s (W3C) Mobile Web Inititative.
“The Mobile Web Initiative’s goal is to make browsing the Web from
mobile devices a reality”, explains Tim Berners-Lee, W3C Director and
inventor of the Web. “W3C and mobile industry leaders are working
together to improve Web content production and access for mobile users
and the greater Web.”
Community members are supporting standards for authoring web content for use on mobile devices. This sort of movement is a clear sign that content providers are seeing the value of ubiquitous computing.
‘m wondering how many administrators and principals are walking around their schools with Treos, or similar handhelds, accessing and sending e-mail, checking student databases, browsing webpages, getting answers to questions and problem solving. These are things that we try to get our students to do.
It is becoming very easy to get access for students. Access to computers, even in urban and rural areas, is made much easier with a handheld initiative. Here is something I heard about when I met Elliot Soloway and Cathie Norris of Go Know, Inc.…
Nova5000 offers schools a price performing solution for all of their computing needs, in the classroom, in the lab, at home and for outdoor activities by combining powerful computing performance with patent pending data logging functionality. National Science Foundation research demonstrates that probeware functionality can substantially improve student achievement in mathematics and science. The Nova5000 is the perfect device for 1:1 initiatives, science classrooms and general student computing.
This tool could add to the list of schools and districts that are going 1:1. This tool is very versatile and has functionality for any content area in school. Makes me wish I were a student again.
Earlier this week I had the opportunity to attend a workshop at Erie #1 BOCES where we looked at the Handheld-Centric Classroom. The presenters were none other than Dr. Elliot Soloway and Dr. Cathie Norris of GoKnow, Inc. I got so much out of this workshop, I couldn't possibly put it into one post. I decided to post what I learned in chunks related to what the good doctors spoke about.
I can't say enough about the down-to-earth discussions I had with Dr. Soloway and Dr. Norris. Dr. Soloway was real, understanding and very curious as to what the group thought were some reasons why handheld computers were not more prevalent in our schools. Despite Dr. Soloway's correct statement, "they are not handheld computers, they are computers!", I choose to continue to refer to them as handhelds or handheld computers because they are not prevalent in schools at this time. Unfortunately, many teachers see them as just personal organizers or only good for games. We simply must to a better job on getting the word out to administrators, teachers and students.
Dr. Soloway suggested that there has been "precious little" impact of technology on K-12 education. I have to agree. Every where you look districts are throwing wads of money into hardware for classrooms. Has this method really changed anything? Even with the major money being thrown around they can't throw enough to reach the holy grail of technology integration, 1 computer per student . The typical ratio of students to computers is 5:1 (9:1 in urban areas) and is far from 1:1. Dr. Soloway and Dr. Norris believe as do I that handheld computers are the solution. (Remember they are computers)
A great idea is how some teachers are getting sets of handhelds, at very low costs, by looking for older used units. What's so great about this idea is that for just getting started with handhelds you don't need a high end unit. Many of the older (+/- 2-3 years) are capable of running most applications that are used in a classroom. Many of these applications can be found at Tony Vincent's web site learninginhand.com.
I want to publicly thank Michelle Okal and Jeff Dolce of Erie1 BOCES for inviting me to attend this workshop. Check back for more in the next few days as I run through the rest of what I learned from this great experience.
Thanks to Ian Marsden for his post Pocketcasting??? which informed me of the AudioBay application and Tony Vincent's post on the Learning in Hand forums whom Ian read it from. Gotta love the breadcrumb trails! Ian calls this Pocketcasting I believe because you are not using an iPod to do record (let's face it how many are with the new iPod?). We are using our PocketPC handhelds!
I have decided to call this Pocketcasting – as opposed to the usual Podcasting which has connotations that “casting” can only be achieved through the use of an iPod. I guess you could also name it Palmcasting if this can be achieved using a Palm OS device. What about Mobcasting when doing it from a mobile phone or SmartPhone (we already have moblogs)?
AudioBay is a one stop shop for basic creation of podcasts (i.e. – Sorry, no bells and whistles or mixing in music). I believe this tool is in its infancy and is a great way to get students to practice reading, conducting interviews, capturing class time, and whatever else you can dream up. Students can just record & send their file automagically to the VoiceAtom feed that the teacher creates.
Seems AudioBay also acts as an podcatcher allowing users to listen to podcasts to which they subscribe . I like FeederReader, but haven't mastered FeederReader's podcatching features yet (lack of time and effort at this point). I'd like to try this one, because as much as I like FeederReader, it's not as too kid-friendly.
I've been looking for something like this, well, I'd say for some time now, but it isn't really. Handhelds just seem like a natural fit for some types of podcasting (i.e. – students conducting interviews). I often think of those microcassettes that reporters used to record interviews in the field. What's a microcassette?
I had to try this so… drum roll please… My first official podcast… err… PocketCast!
There has to be some simple blogging apps out there for my Dell Axim running WM 2003. I’m looking (or will continue to soon) for an easy option to the WordPress dashboard feature. I’m not knocking it afterall it is free and I like it. I just think I’d like to try something else a little easier for the kids, you know? I’d love to see a classroom full of kids moblogging to share ideas and thoughts. Think about that… kids moblogging from the bus stop, the cafeteria, school plays, field trips… anywhere, anytime, awesome! I want to do it.
Recently on his forum at Learning in Hand, Tony Vincent posted about a woman who describes herself as “fast and furious” because of the speed in which she types on a handheld using software called TenGo. TenGo ($$) is available for both the Windows Mobile and Palm operating systems. For the purposes of this moblog [see my About page] this might be quite handy.
I wonder if anyone has used this in a classroom yet? While being fast & the furious may not be desired, how do students take to this?