April 2002
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Students Calculate the Benefits of Palm Computing
By Crystal Hyde, Grade 11, Garden Valley Collegiate, Winkler, MB

A computer in the palm of your hand! They're called P.D.A.s, or Personal Digital Assistants, and they can go with you anywhere. All you have to do is to charge them when the battery runs low.

Students in Garden Valley Collegiate are experiencing this mobile technology first hand as they use P.D.A.s in their daily classes. When the students are finished in school each day, they can take the P.D.A.s home and continue to work on their activities. This semester at G.V.C., the classes using the new tools are Math 40SA, taught by Mr. Michael Dyck, and Software Applications 30S, taught by Mr. Al Doherty. Use of the P.D.A.s was introduced at G.V.C. in the fall of 2000, and they continue to be a big success.

Based on his classroom experience, Mr. Dyck believes that P.D.A.s should be used in all classes. The students in his math class are using them to replace the TI-83 Plus calculators in their classes. While the P.D.A.s are more costly than TI-83 Plus calculators, the calculators can only be used in Math and Science classes while the P.D.A.s can be used in any class.

For the math students, there appear to be no disadvantages in using P.D.A.s in the classroom. They are easy to operate and they have many programs that are helpful to learning. According to Mr. Dyck, the Palms can handle spreadsheets, databases, writing, and calculations and are proving to be a very intelligent investment.

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