Read about the "little wand" & more!

Reading a NewspaperYou know how I love to give you online reading material. Let me share two recent newspaper articles. If you don't feel like reading each article, you can just check out some quotes and my comment below.

December 27th's The Daily News Record has a story from Luray, Virginia called In The Palms Of Their Handhelds: Teachers In Luray Add PDAs Such As 'Palm Pilots' To Help Students Better Learn In The Classroom. Here are some highlights:

  • The first sentence is an attention-grabber: "Look carefully into Eric Benson’s third-grade classroom at Luray Elementary School and you might mistake it for a conference room."
  • I've never heard the stylus referred to as a "little wand" before reading this article. That's cute and better than calling a stylus a stick.
  • "Benson said the little machines have added an exciting twist to the class and made them more eager to learn."
  • Hopefully the students at Harrisonburg High School will not literally be using Palm Pilots. A Palm Pilot 1000's 128k memory, 16 Mhz processor, and Palm OS version 1.0 will run only a fraction of the 30,000 applications for the Palm Operating System (which is currently in version 5.4).
  • "Rockingham County Schools don’t plan to use PDAs for classes yet. Joe Hill, director of technology for Rockingham schools, said he’d like to see more education software on the machines before purchasing any." Joe is right: there's not software for everything, but when I train elementary teachers on handhelds, the amount of free Palm software usable in education often overwhelms them.
The second article is from December 22, 2005. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has the article Hand-held Computers Sharpen Pupils' Skills.
  • The first sentence is a cute one: "At W. Robert Paynter Elementary School in Baldwin Borough, second-graders Emily Jurczyk and Christopher Karpuszka were beaming, and not just with childhood joy."
  • Instead of "little wand," this this article calls the stylus "a special writing instrument."
  • "She said the young children were taught to handle the computers as though 'this is your baby.'"
  • "Mrs. Noel said the children were so enamored of the hand-helds that some asked for them when they wrote letters to Santa Claus." [I think it's great when someone named Mrs. Noel talks about Santa!]
  • Both of these articles include a hyphen in the word handheld. Is a hyphen really necessary? The only time I see a hyphen in handheld is in newspaper stories...