It changes more the way they learn I guess. I am still teaching the same content, but as you can see, they're on task. With an english assignment that is usually fairly bland, you know, identify the pronouns and the sentances and so forth, but they said hey can we put this on our Palm. Here they are excited, they've got their keyboards out they are typing. You just dont get this kind of excitement from paper and pencil. I don't know what it is. It's like you can go home and work on your computer you can be there for hours, but if someone gives you paper and pencil it's like no, I don't want to do this. To me that's one of the key things about the Palm is that they just get motivated to work and they stay on task.
The difference is that the technology is a leveler, an equalizer. Everybody's letters look the same. They are legible. Myabe someone's handwriting isnt that good. Maybe their spelling isnt that good. Now we don't use Spell check yet but we would like to. I think we are going to get that next year to where they can do their own editing with Spell Check. Maybe that's one of the keys there that
it levels out the ability. Everybody is going to look the same regardless of their talent as far as handwriting goes.
Being that this is our first year, I think we are just scratching the surface for what we can do here.I'm still learning how to access PAAM and to utilize it as a way to keep track of their work.
We don't do every assignment on Palms, but we could. We are just putting our toe in the water testing it out. You can do this, you can do that...
Sometimes it boggles you with the amount of applications that youv'e got on the Palm. It makes a difference that everyone has a handheld. The kids will say can I get on the computer and I will say no because we have four computers. As soon as I let four on everybody's clamoring, saying "When can I get on?" It's almost impossible to do anything with four computers now. Accelerated Reader testing is a big deal on the computers, because it's when you get finished with your book go take a test type of thing. But if it's like, here's an assignment and we only have four computers, forget it - it's not going to happen.
With everybody having a Palm in front of them there is nobody being denied access to the technology. That's a huge deal.