Handheld, Wireless Computers: Can they improve Learning and Instruction? Cell Phones and PDA’s hit K-6 Are PDAs Pedagogically Feasible for Young Children? <ul><li>Summary </li></ul><ul><li>Personal aspect </li></ul><ul><li>Summary </li></ul><ul><li>Personal aspect </li></ul><ul><li>Summary </li></ul><ul><li>Personal aspect </li></ul>Conclusion
<ul><li>Reports show that handheld, wireless computers, once used by business professionals to keep track of appointments, contacts, e-mail, and the Internet, have found their way into classrooms and schools across the United States. However, there has not been much research to study the effects of these new technology systems in the classroom. </li></ul>What did students think about using HWCs in delivering of instruction and which instructional strategies were found to be more useful from a student perspective? ” more than 76% of the students liked taking online pre- and post-tests because of immediate feedback and the possibility of knowing how much they knew before and how much they learned after instruction, 60% liked the Student Response System(SRS) due to its immediate feedback and anonymity of response. More than 30% liked the file-sharing capability when using handheld computers. “
In the article Handheld, Wireless Computers: Can They Improve Learning and Instruction,” written by Moaleem, Kermani, and Sue-jen Chen, the positives and negatives of technology are discussed in regards to the use of PDAs inside the classroom. A school received a grant in order to buy handheld computers for class in order to study the effects on learning. The question at hand was whether or not they would enhance or take away from the environment of learning in the classroom. The researchers worked hard to create units where the instructors and students would be able to use their PDAs. The students would take pre-tests and post-tests on the internet before and after a class. This allowed students to see what they knew before hand, and what they had learned through the lecture. Another activity that took place was peer editing. Students would work on a group question, and then beam their information to another group for instant feedback. Finally, there was a program called Student Response System (SRS) that allowed them to post questions and ideas to the instructor for feedback. These questions and ideas were immediately posted on a projector for all to see and to be discussed. Mahnaz Moallem, Hengameh Kermani, &Sue-jen Chen (2005). Handhelds, Wireless Computers: Can they Improve Learning and Instruction?. Computers in Schools. The Hawthorne Press, Inc. Vol 22. 93-106.
In other words research was used to find a way to use technology to apply principles that define good learning. But for this article I questioned a lot. How could they assure that every student would be using the technology for learning and not for personal use? Doesn't it cause more distraction in a classroom? More research could be done or the model could be "perfected" to prevent these things at question from occurring. I believe that the use of this technology has great positives and can be beneficial to learning, AS LONG AS IT IS USED APPROPRIATELY. The speed of feedback from the use of this technology, is most helpful in my mind. I enjoy being able to email professors to get answers to my questions. From the text I found in interesting that the technology was used to give pre and post exams. I find this helpful and resourceful. I also agree with the results that more students would interact because I feel that I would be more apt to interact in classrooms where discussions answering questions that I may have over material because I would feel better prepared. " The point was not to investigate whether a specific use of HWCs is instructionally effective. Rather the goal was to identify how and in what ways we could use this new technology to apply research based principles of good instruction or condition of learning to improve student performance."
Cell phones and PDA’s are are common in high school and are now making there way into the elementary and middle school scene. In 2005, MobileYouth Tracker estimated 200,000 US Children age 5-9 carried cellphones and since the number has increased greatly. This is due to parents wanting to ensure safety and communication with their child and due so by providing a way of doing so. With this, concerns are now araising in the educational field.
The problem with the invention of this technology is that cheating during tests and texting during class is becoming an issue. PDAs are allowing children to communicate with on another during class when listening to the instructor is most important. They are able to access the internet and view sited that would otherwise be blocked if accessing the internet through the schools resources. Cameras on the phones and handhelds are also an issue. Harassment issues for inappropriate pictures that can be taken in the bathrooms are becoming a real problem in some areas. Cell phones and PDAs are starting to be confiscated and even banned on the school’s premises to help deal with the issues. But some are reluctant to pass this ban due to the perception of it being a tool of safety. Richard Dodds (2005). Cell Phones Hit K-9. Education Digest. Vol 70. 52-53.
“ Over 7 million aged 10 to 14 have cell phones, a number hitting 11 million in the next two years. Knowing this, cell phone companies market more aggressively to youngsters, offering decorative phones that download Internet music.” I was amazed to read this statistic. I had no idea this many children between 10-14 yrs had cell phones. I was also surprised to see that cheating during tests at this age was also a problem. The fact that parents buy such expensive phone for children this age, to where they can access the internet and what not is a shock. If a parent is concerned about the safety then a simple phone works. Learning is essential. If safety is disturbing learning then something needs to be altered. A parent must not only be concerned with safety but also what their child is learning and taking in. Learning is vital to young minds. It is the foundation where the principles of subjects are taught. Children have short attention spans as it is and with extra disruptions, this is even at more risk.
<ul><li>Increasing numbers of P-12 educators are exploring the role of handhelds as an instructional tool . Characteristics such as cost, form factor and portability add to the attraction of this technology. Other factors such as student motivation to complete school work and on-task behaviors also increase with the use of PDAs. More than 90% of the teachers in this study reported that handhelds are an effective tool. However, a review of the literature revealed a paucity of research on the uses in kindergarten and early elementary years. A major concern regarding handhelds for young children focuses on their lack of motor coordination. Additional concerns about integrating handhelds as a learning tool for kindergartners centered on age-appropriateness.Some suggest that early childhood education principles, ensuring that learning is child-initiated, child-centered, exploratory and supportive of social interactions should be matched with the technology. Whereas others argue that the ability of children to control and direct computing activities, making it the learner's technology rather than the teacher's technology. Additional studies are needed that explore the various ways young children interact with and respond to these devices. </li></ul>
The features of a PDA--its small size, game appearance and interactive components motivated and attracted children in learning and maintaining focus. The operating system of a PDA, which requires simpler steps in overall manipulation than a desktop computer, also may be more suitable for young children. But in result the “cognitive load” in their working memory may be decreased. In this project, children were able to use Note Pad, which allowed them to be actively involved and in control. For teachers and classrooms with small budgets, this function may be a good starting point in the early childhood classroom. The children quickly grasped the use of “reversibility” and the function of the keys and icons. Mi Chang Young, Laurie Mullen, &Matthew Stuve (2005). Are PDAs Pedagogically Feasible for Young Children?. The Journal. Vol 32. 40-42. Need assistance on what PDA is helpful or how to use it ? Examples and activities for PDA use In class grading using PDA’s
“ When the researcher asked, ‘If you wanted to learn more about one of those pictures [on the PDA], what do you think you would do?’ Three of the four children responded that they would push, or touch, the icons with the stylus, while one child didn't know.” I was shocked to know that a child would know to push the icon with the stylus to see more over it. It also surprised me to know that the children knew that one is able to maneuver from programs and back to homepages. The memorization of knowing where the icons would take them also shocked me. I was surprised that this technology was easily operated by a child. At first I thought that using a PDA would create more of a headache due to having to spend excessive amounts of time teaching the children how to operate the technology but I was wrong. I now believe that these technology tools would serve a great purpose in the lower aged classrooms as well .
In conclusion, after reading all three articles, I am more aware of the costs and rewards of using PDA’s and handhelds in a classroom. I believe when given a more basic PDA to children, it can stimulate there learning quite well and be an effect means of teaching. The use of this technology in an upper level grade is also effective and quite useful to one’s learning. Although when thinking of using this tool, one must also look at the costs. These tools are sometime distracting and can be manipulated. But when the rewards out way the costs, then the use of the technology would be beneficial. These articles show the costs and rewards among different age groups. They are helpful in providing the different ways of learning and how to use this tool to better help in the classroom.