Thursday, July 28, 2005

Plucker V1.8 (freeware)

Ok, so now I am really excited. Plucker is a wonderful application that allows you to save web pages to your handheld. Why am I excited about this? Well, think about the teacher who has a classroom set of handheld computers. She can use Plucker to download a web page, including its linked pages (you can decide how many levels you want to download), beam the file to her students and they can use the offline site to do their own research. Benefits include no off-task browsing and student access to online content without having to go to the computer lab.

There are two components to Plucker: the Plucker desktop which allows you to select the web content you want to download and the Plucker viewer Palm application that allows you to read the web content once you have hotsynced. You can beam the Plucker files to another Palm from within the Plucker viewer.

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Name Picker V1.2 (freeware)

Name Picker is a fun little program that can be used to randomly select a word from a list of words. The way I use it is to raise the "level of concern" in my classroom by using it to randomly select students. To do this, first create a list of students in your Memos. Each student's name should be on a separate line. Then, open Name Pick on your Palm and locate your class list. Click Start to select the first name. Click Choose Again to select the next name.

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Snap (freeware)

A quick way to create Palm screenshots is to use an application called Snap. To use Snap you need to have an SD card to store the images on.

Open Snap, click the Enable button and uncheck the Auto disable box. This allows you to take as many screenshots as you like without having to open Snap each time. You should see "Snap Key" and it is defaulted to Power. What this means is that when you want a screenshot, you have to click the power button. You'll here a beep, then wait a few seconds for your Palm to process the image (your Palm is not frozen, so be patient!).

To use the image, transfer it from your SD card to your computer.

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Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Moose Update

I'm visiting with some awesome teachers here in Montana who are doing a terrific job learning about handheld computers. We are using Tungsten E2s and have so many programs we are installing that we need to delete some files to make room for more.

One of the tricky ones to delete is Moose. According to the author of the program, you will need to delete Moose. Then, make a soft reset by pushing the reset button and then delete the following files:

flite
cmulex
cmu_us_kal16
usenglish

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Friday, July 15, 2005

JotLog V 2.0 (freeware)

JotLog is a very cool little program that can be used for vocabulary instruction. Essentially, students can make up their own dictionaries by entering a word and its definition. The really cool part though is that students can also draw a symbolic representation of the word. Why is this important? According to my friends in our local vocabulary dream team, "One of the best ways to learn a new word is to associate an image with it. In controlled studies it was found that instructional techniques employing the use of imagery, produced achievement gains in word knowledge that were 34 percentile points higher than techniques that did not. This would include using graphic representations, pictures, and pictographs as well as creating mental pictures of new words and even act out their meanings."

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