Personal Digital Assistants to support classroom learning

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Technology never stands still. No sooner have schools got to grips with the interactive whiteboard than the latest gizmo is advancing on classrooms, this time in the form of handheld personal digital assistants (PDAs). There are a number of these small portable devices demonstrating varying degrees of sophistication: the latest versions come with inbuilt digital camera, video recorder, Wi-Fi access and satellite navigation. Yet, according to Phillip Collie of online educational resource, schools have been slow to appreciate the potential of the new technology. 'In terms of uptake, it's very early days yet,' says Collie, who believes it will be another five years before PDAs are adopted wholesale by schools. 'It's a question of technology restrictions, pedagogical issues and cost.'

Many primary schools don't have the technical knowledge, wireless capability or financial resources to introduce PDAs into the classroom. And, from the teacher's standpoint, it's yet another set of skills and lesson plans that need to be squeezed into a busy day

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