Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Help Sought

One of the things we are working on at present is to generate some activities to include in the new edition of New Literacies. An obvious candidate here is to invite readers to think of bad examples of uses of new technologies, and to explain why they are bad and why they would never do them.

So, for the chapter dealing with wireless applications in learning we have the fabled example of teachers being encouraged to take up wireless palmtop computers to use for keeping the roll. The class list is on the palm and the palm is wireless networked to Commandante HQ. It's so easy and efficient. You just put a mark in the box beside the names of those who are there (or not) -- and the stylus is excellent for this. Then just ping it down the wire. Job done, everyone has the information. Given a good wireless network it will work in the playground too, for those occasions when you see kids skiving off.

We had liked that one a lot until it got topped by a beauty from Texas. We are talking the Texas of No Child Left Standing here, rather more than the Texas of "Texas Instrucments" -- although that demarcation line may be disappeariing.

So, an academic in a northern state posts a request to a listserv: "I am looking for suggestions for software related to Literacy that can be used on PDAs. Any help is greatly appreciated." In no time at all the first response comes in: "In Houston, teachers use a Palm for the administration of Texas Primary Reading Inventory (TPRI) and its Spanish counterpart Tejas LEE. The software comes from Wireless Generation (www.wgen.net)."

No, we didn't forget to make the link 'live'

Now, we know there are scores of other examples out there. All donations greatly appreciated.

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