In the summer of 2003 under the joint sponsorship of the Institute for Schools (ISOF) of the Future and Hostos Community College a workshop was offered for faculty that focused on the potential uses of the Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) in a classroom environment. Out of the ideas shared at this workshop several concrete proposals surfaced that eventually led to the projects that you will find detailed in this presentation.

ISOF funded four projects, three of which are presented here, providing a PDA PalmPilot m130 for each participant and an additional twenty PDAs for student use. The development phase took place during the fall of 2004 and the implementation started in the spring of 2005 as a pilot.

In this site we attempt to demonstrate that the Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) is an excellent device for assessing students in basic mathematical skills, familiarizing student with collecting and analyzing scientific data, improving time management and organizational skills, and training them in professional health care practices. We share the preparation and evaluation required of faculty, the input required of the students, and the student reactions to this projects. The PDA offers many significant advantages as a technological device which facilitates teaching and learning. Among these:

  • It is a powerful device for which a great variety of software is available.
  • It is pocket-sized and comparatively inexpensive cost makes it very practical.
  • Data collected can be analyzed in the handheld environment or later downloaded to a computer by "synching".
  • Data, quizzes and assessments can be delivered and collected easily through "beaming". This “beaming” activity encourages greater classroom interaction than you normally have with laptops or desktops. • Scientific probes and Global Positioning System (GPS) devices can be interfaced with the PDA, and software is available to analyze the collected data.
  • The PDA’s convenient size, appearance, and operation appeal strongly to the everyday student experiences with electronic game devices.

The faculty and staff involved in the projects are all from Hostos Community College.

  • Professor Kathleen Donohue, M.A., Professor of Nursing
  • Dr. John Gillen, Ph.D., Professor of Biology
  • Dr. Loreto Porte, Ed.D., Director of Instructional Technology and Professor of Mathematics
  • Mr. George Rosa, M.A., M.Ed., Multimedia and Adjunct Lecturer of Biology
  • Mr. Elkin Urrea, M.S., Multimedia Specialist
Copyright 2005 Hostos Community College
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