Handheld computers, also called personal digital assistants, are making their way into more classrooms. In past years, handhelds were more commonly used among administrators to keep track of meetings, and by teachers to log student scores. But the handheld is now becoming more common as a classroom learning tool. Teachers are using them for math calculations, science projects using probes, and writing, and students are eating it all up, experts say.
Here are some books to help administrators show teachers how to use handhelds in class and actually create lessons around this technology:
How to Do Everything with Your Pocket PC
McGraw Hill - Osborne $24.99
This book joins the company of the publisher's editions of How to Do Everything with Your Palm Handheld, Fifth Edition, and How to Do Everything with Your Dell Axim Handheld. These books include black-and-white pictures of handhelds and screens, and everyday tips such as how to read books, write, save, edit and format documents, watch PowerPoint presentations, produce databases to store and query data, add handwriting, drawings and recordings to documents, and connect to desktops with infrared, Ethernet networking or modem.
Pocket PC for Dummies
John Wiley & Sons, $21.99
This book offers various tips and demonstrations, from what you can do with a pocket PC to reading eBooks, sharing photos with a digital camera, and understanding all the basic tools of the Pocket PC. It also has step-by-step instructions for entering information into pocket PCs, keeping an address book, keeping a mobile calendar, understanding synchronization and backing up PC files.
Handhelds for Teachers & Administrators
Tom Snyder Productions
With pictures of screens as well as teachers who use handhelds in class, this book offers an easy-to-use guide for Palm OS and Pocket PCs, how to use handhelds' built-in programs, and dozens of lesson ideas from teachers across the nation. It also has reviews of hardware and software, a glossary of handheld terms, and advice on funding and grants. It also answers why an educator should even want to use a handheld computer in class.
In a separate section it offers details about classroom management such as how to synchronize handhelds, charge them, and store them. Teaching with a handheld computer is also explained.
Pocket PC Computers: A Complete Resource for Classroom Teachers
ISTE publications, $44.95, non-member
Here are four reasons why every teacher and curriculum developer should have this book. It offers:
Tips, insights and lesson plans for teachers just starting with handhelds
Real-world experience from pioneering educators, researchers and technology experts
Step-by-step instructions for Pocket PC programs and popular educational applications
Tips on how to find and evaluate handheld software and accessories.
ISTE also publishes Palm OS Handhelds in the Elementary Classroom and Administrative Solutions for Handheld Technology in Schools.