More on PDAs

I’ve been thinking a bit more about PDAs and thought I would share/reflect for a bit. Apologies if this rambles – I’m in that sort of a mood today.

Registers – At the moment I need to either ferry my laptop across the school twice a day for registration, or try and commit it to memory AND remember to submit the details electornically later. Suffice to say I’m not the most popular member of staff with the front office right now. A wifi enabled PDA would definitely help.

AfL – A colleague of mine makes quick notes in his planner during lessons (it could be a simple traffic light for effort or attainment in a specific area). I’ve tried taking a more batch-like approach at the end of each day but this takes up a minimum of 20-30 minutes and means I can’t grab those members of staff who slope off fairly quickly and it means I have to try and remember the events of the day for hours at a time. With a PDA would it be easier to make a quick note as I walk round? Easier than picking up my paper-based planner? Maybe…

Contact – I read one blog (which I now, of course, cannot find) which described the process of setting up a number of smartphones to be given to SMT/SLT which could be used to help them keep in contact throughout the day. This is far beyond the scope of what I can do with one handset but it’s an interesting idea

Style – If I was to go for this idea, then what style of PDA would I want? One that looks like a phone (e.g. Nokia N95), on that looks like a ‘traditional’ PDA (e.g. iPhone, XDA, MDA, iPaq, etc.) or more of a blackberry style? I have to say I’d prefer the ‘traditional’ look with a large slab of touchscreen and very little else.

Blogging – How could I use this device to aid my new blogging/creative teacher post? Well, I could blog from anywhere – but I’m very rarely away from a desktop or laptop anyway. I could prowl the corridors, looking for unsuspecting pupils to be coerced into writng something – but almost all rooms have a computer in them anyway and expecting a child to quickly formulate reflective, insightful thoughts AND get to grips with either an onscreen keyboard or handwriting recognition simultaneously would be pushing it I think. And getting somehting with a built in keyboard would mean either a blackberry styled device or somehting with a slideout/clip-on qwerty keyboard.

Would I want it to be a phone or is that unimportant? Well, originally it was the phone/PDA combination that kicked the whole idea off, and it would save on having to find another phone and carry another device. I don’t think I can justify making it a requirement though, especially if it’s not coming from my own budget. And SIM-free phones are much harder/more expensive to come by.

Lots of thoughts, but no decision as yet. On major sticking point is the price of these things. I’m too polite to ask for a budget but the £4-500 devices are surely well out of the question, especially as I’m due a new MacBook next year as well.

The contemplation continues…

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2 thoughts on “More on PDAs

  1. Anonymous says:

    Any progress? You can get unlocked iPhones on ebay for 300 🙂

    how about exploring a device which is capable of running skype / voip on the school network to communicate with colleagues?

  2. I’m still procrastinating – I’m good at that!

    One colleague suggested an iPod Touch – cheaper than an iPhone but still does all the wifi stuff. My only worry is the lack of third party apps – web apps are surely only useful if you;re online and the wifi at school can be patchy at best.

    I do like the idea fo using Skype within school though – or even some kind of SMS alternative. Something to explore for certain.

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