Archive for November 9th, 2007

Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) are small handheld devices initially designed for use as personal organizers.  They can store documents, spreadsheets, calendar entries, games, databases, and lots of other resources normally associated with a laptop or desktop computer. PDAs are relatively inexpensive and highly portable, and are designed to utilize small, low-bandwidth files and applications.  They are able to perform limited PC tasks such as word processing and spreadsheet analysis, and newer PDAs are capable of Web browsing and e-mail functions via wire or wireless connected to networks.  Also, they can synchronize with desktop computers and laptops to download Web sites via channels and work offline.  Furthermore, PDAs offer infrared communication, allowing data to be transferred across short distances between devices without the need for networks.  The latest developments offer wireless connection via mobile phone networks or Bluetooth, and many combine phone and PDA functions in one unit.

PDAs are changing the way people access and work with information. These devices are becoming smaller, cheaper, better, and more connected.  The intuitive interface, portability, and wealth of third-party software applications make the PDA a great educational tool to enhance teaching and learning in and out of the classroom.  The use of PDA can provide students with a very dynamic and interactive learning experience.  It helps students access and study the course materials at anytime, anywhere.  PDA gives the students more flexibility in where, when, and how they interact with the educational materials, and allow students with different learning styles and special needs to learn successfully.  The use of PDA technology enhances the classroom learning experience and allows students and instructors to participate and collaborate in ways that would not be possible in a traditional classroom.  I think teachers should take advantage of the emerging PDA technology to encourage exploration, stimulate learning, and enhance lifelong learning.

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