While some school districts in the US are dealing with record budget cuts, the students and teachers in the Olathe Unified School District in Olathe, Kansas get another 2,300 Palm handhelds to play with thanks to a recent purchase. Today’s purchase of the new Palm TX PDA’s now doubles the school district’s current inventory. The Olathe Unified School District is considered one of the most technologically progressive school districts in the state.
“Olathe Northwest was a brand-new school when we started our handheld program, and we wanted to provide some kind of one-to-one access to technology,” said Rita Lyon, executive director of technology for the district. “The cost of laptops was out of our reach, but Palm’s handhelds justified the cost. We will continue to expand the program in order to provide either one-to-one access or classroom sets of handhelds to all four high schools in the district.”
“We are planning to have Wi-Fi access throughout our campuses, so it won’t be too long until students have access to information anytime, anywhere in the buildings,” said Lyon. “Most other Wi-Fi enabled products are out of our price range, but the Palm TX plus the keyboards purchased under Palm’s Education Purchase Plan offer us an affordable solution and a way to place the technology into more classrooms and into the hands of many more students.”
Lyons said that some students are given access to the new handhelds 24 hours a day, seven days a week while other students will only be able to use them in the classrooms. So what exactly will the new handhelds be used for? Lyons explains that the new PDAs will be used for word processing, spreadsheets, and presentations as well as for access to eBooks and other high-value applications.
Now we just need to convince the school administration that iPods are needed in the classroom and we will be all set.
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