Crazy Little Things Called Palms

Janis DavisJanis Davis and Connie LaRue, fromOlathe District Schools in Missouri, presented "Crazy Little Things Called Palms" at the SuccessLink Handheld Conference. Olathe has been using handhelds for five years and now has 5,000 Palm handheld in their district and they are more than willing to share the resources they developed. They use handhelds in all grade levels, but their 1:1 implementations are all in high school. The resources are listed on this site: www.olatheschools.com/palm. Here's the description of the session:

Learn how to navigate our website to quickly download fully-functioning software, hardware installation guides, instructional software videos, and basic handheld tutorials. Gain access to our secure video site that shows step-by-step Palm repairs. Participate as we format several types of media for use with the free TCPMP player. Come away with so much knowledge that you can't wait for the school to start!
Here are some highlights from the 90 minute session:
  • Olathe replaces handhelds every three years.
  • Check out the Guide to 100+ Free Handheld Software Applications.
  • They upgraded to Documents To Go Premium because it has spell check. More advantages of upgrading to premium is that you can open native PDF files and graph data. Dataviz gives a deal for large purchases.
  • They used the method of "disappearing ink" to make a document with questions and answers. Then make the answer color white. When you want to see the answer, then highlight where the white answer is and you can see the answer through the highlighting. Here's an example in Word from Olathe students.
  • Janis demonstrated how to view comments from Excel in Sheets To Go. Unfortunately, you can't add comments in Sheets To Go, you need to do it on the desktop and then sync it over. Then the comments can be used like flashcards: information pops up when you tap the little red dot in the corner of a cell.
  • Here's a 5 minute 12 second video on using eReader Pro. With the extra pro options, perhaps the money to upgrade from free eReader to eReader Pro is worth it.
  • QuizWiz is free software that works similar to Quizzler. It doesn't have nearly as many options as Quizzler. Also, when the user taps the wrong answer, QuizWiz displays the correct answer immediately in a pop up window. I like how Quizzler forces the user tap the right answer before moving on.
  • Olathe has put together a slide show with what they consider essential hardware. Carrycasesplus.com can make Palm carrying cases with foam for about $40 each!
  • Olathe has a series of videos with directions for repairing Palm handhelds, including replacing digitizers and batteries. The page is password protected so that students do not attempt these repairs. Janis invites you to contact her for the password.
  • The TCPMP (The Core Pocket Media Player) is a free audio and video player for Palm and Pocket PC. Olathe has a guide for using the player and for converting videos into a format for TCPMP.