Saturday, June 12, 2004

PalmInfocenter.com: Rio Grande School District Outfits Students With Handhelds: "The Rio Grande City Consolidated Independent School District in Texas has more than 2,700 handheld computers in use in second through fifth grades. School administrators have found that the handhelds both motivate students and help them prepare for the state assessment exam.

Now, with the addition of 1,000 Zire 71 and Tungsten E handhelds from palmOne, the Rio Grande City Consolidated Independent School District at Fort Ringgold has more than 2,700 handheld computers in second through fifth grades. And if Superintendent Gonzalez has his way, all 10,000 students in the district will be using handheld computers within the next two years. Plans also are under way to provide Tungsten C wireless handhelds to administrators in the central district office and to bring wireless access technology to all 12 district campuses.

'We now consider handhelds a necessity,' says Gonzalez. 'Students love using them, educators say they can't do without them, and parents are asking when the first graders will get them. You can't beat them in terms of affordability and application.'"

""From what we have seen, handhelds increase motivation, reinforce writing and improve spelling. With thousands of curriculum and productivity applications available for handhelds, my goal is for handhelds to replace the heavy backpacks students carry today."

........On a larger scale, the district has implemented a comprehensive assessment using handhelds from palmOne and Tango assessment software from Liberty Solutions, a Texas-based consulting and system integration firm. The software captures data quickly and creates profiles of each student in the school district. Educators populate the profiles with data collected from daily work; homework; assessments taken using handhelds; assignments; homework; and projects in reading, writing, grammar, math, science and social studies. The information helps schools to prepare students to pass the state test, which ultimately helps the district meet the accountability requirements set by the No Child Left Behind act. "
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