Amber Lizak from Leads Elementary School in Pennsylvania presented a poster session at NECC titled, “Learning in the Palm of Your Hand: Integrating Handheld Technology.” I stood by as she explained to interested conference-goers what she does in her fourth grade classroom with handhelds.
I recorded Amber with my LifeDrive as she told other educators about how her students’ use handhelds. Once again, being in a jam-packed hall, there is a lot of background noise. Hopefully you can tune out the background and focus on the great things Amber has to say.
- She has 30 handhelds and keyboard and 20 students, so she has “room for things to go wrong.”
- Students use handhelds for every subject. She uses them mostly for reading.
- Amber’s school has paid for GoKnow’s Handheld Learning Environment and she uses FreeWrite quite a bit.
- She always gives students a choice of using a handheld or using paper. Almost always they choose to use a handheld.
- Amber stores the handhelds in numbered cases.
- Tony chimes in and tells Amber about making Mad Libs with Gone Mad!
- Students use beaming for writing a lot. They use bold, underline, and italics to show proofreading mistakes.
- There are lots of math games and she uses them for centers.
- Amber has a couple of Veo cameras for the Tungsten E (that they don’t make anymore). Students use the camera to find examples of different kinds of angles in the real world.
- Handhelds keep students motivated and interested.
- She uses FlingIt to send web pages to her students.
- Handhelds are nice to take outside to record data – no flying papers blowing around!
- Amber finds it easier to use PAAM to grade student work rather than collecting piles of worksheets. PAAM can organize students’ documents in way that makes it easy to evaluate.
- Amber makes print-outs of anything she grades for parents to review.
- She likes the Tungsten E model, which is no longer available.
- She has been using handhelds for three years now. She started with Palm m100s.
- The extra handhelds in her room set come in handy.
- Amber does not have a web site. Tony encouraged her to share what she does on the Internet!
- Amber apparently has a great grant writer for her district.
- She loves to meet other people who are using handhelds and get new ideas.
- Click here for a list of the software Amber uses.
Click here to listen to the recording (16 minutes).