Digital Imaging
Portable Keyboard
Other Devices
Teacher Tap Links
Handheld Device Selection
There are many handheld devices available. Before you purchase, determine your needs. Consider how many students you have and how the equipment will be used.
Each teaching and learning environment is different, pick activities that will benefit your classroom the most!
Ask yourself about your teaching & learning environment:
What hardware, software, and peripherals do you currently have available?
How do you use these resources?
What are the constraints or barriers to using these resources?
What tools and resources do you need to fill the gaps?
Are you better off with multiple tools or a single tool with many components?
PDA with attachments or separate camera, GPS, audio recorder
Learning Outcomes
What are the essential questions your students will be addressing?
What tools will help your students address these questions?
What activities will your students be doing:
write, read, calculate, organize, graph, map, visualize, record, practice, translate, etc.
What learning style areas need particular focus for this activity?
text, audio, visual, motion
How will a device help you and your students do better work?
Ask yourself questions about specific devices:
Ease of Use
Is it easy to learn to use the device and teach it to others?
Is it easy to set-up, use, and share the data from the device?
How will this device work with my other devices and computers?
Will it connect directly to my computer or printer?
Will software need to be installed to use it with other devices?
Will I need cables or is the device wireless such as infrared?
Does this device connect to particular hardware (Mac/PC) or software (Word)?
Does this tool promote collaboration and sharing such as beaming?
Software Options
What options are available for adding software components?
Is this software compatible with software you already use?
Can memory, storage space, modules, or other expansions be added later?
What ports or options are available for connecting to other devices?
Can components such as attachments be shared among different devices?
Is this device durable enough to use with the students?
What's the expected lifetime of the device? How soon will it need to be replaced?
Electrical Requirements
Does the device use standard or rechargeable batteries? Is this a problem?
Does the device have accessories or requirements for recharging?
Does the device require a power outlet?
Do the benefits justify the price?
How much will the device cost with all hardware, software, and accessories?
How many devices do I need to do the work and what is the total cost?
How does the price compare to alternative devices with similar capabilities?

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Graphic courtesy of Handspring -
Created by Annette Lamb, 05/02.