Students use their devices
for a variety of things. Some use them simply for the look of having
one, some play games, and others use them for more practical school
applications. Based on what they use them for, students tend to have
different devices. Often, students receive devices as gifts from
family, so the choice on what they will use them for actually decides
I find most students use
Palm OS based devices. There are a few reasons for this. Palm
OS devices tend to have the name ("Palms") that people are used
to hearing, and often draw attention. Another thing that draws
attention to these devices are the price tags The cost of owning a
Palm OS device is low. A low priced device will be bought by many
students. There is no doubt about that. Overwhelmingly, the
devices I see most are the Palm m1xx (100, 105, 125) series. Why is
this? They are the cheapest devices on the market. They are
small, with a sleek design (especially when you compare them to the Palm
III series devices and the Visor Solo and Deluxe). Many students
that have these simply use them as an address book and planner. I
actually doubt that many of them even plug them into their computer.
Palm OS devices also tend to have the battery life that student
like. Long. It is easy to forget to charge up your device at
night, and with some devices, if you don't recharge them, you won't be
using them the next day.
Students generally use the
Palm OS based devices for an address book and planner. Students that
know a little about computers are able to find specialized software to
help them keep track of events and activities better with there device, as
well as perform other personal information management (PIM) tasks.
There are a select number of students that actually use their devices to
take notes on in class. The students that use their device for
notes, often have become good at using the
Graffiti input method. Some students prefer to use a keyboard to input there
notes, though in some classes this can be more of a bother then a help.
There are less students that
use a Windows CE (Pocket PC) based device. An extremely small number
of students use Handheld PC's (clam shell devices that have an attached
keyboard). Though in some cases I think an HPC could be a good idea,
they tend to be to expensive for students. Students that use Pocket
PC's tend to know a little more about computers. They often use
there device for more then just an address book, planner, or note pad, and
use more of the multimedia functions (such as MP3 and video
playback). Games are also another application you will see more
often being played by a student with a Pocket PC then a student with a
Palm OS device. Since the Pocket PC's also tend to be more
expensive, students tend to use these devices more frequently and knew
what they wanted to use it for when they bought it.
What do you want to do with
your device? Do you think it will mainly be an address book and
planner, or will you being using more multimedia rich applications?
How much money do you have to spend on a device? Answering these few
questions can help you to narrow down selecting a device. Students
need to look around their classrooms and see what other students are using
their devices for. Talk to them. They will know if they think
the device they are using was a good buy or not worth the price.