Your technology director has given you a budget of $10,000 for the purchase of handheld devices in your library. Using the prices in Chapter 5 of Courtney as a general guideline, what would you purchase and why?
Many options come to mind when making a $10,000 purchase for handheld instructional devices. My assumption when making this purchase is that the campus already have some technology resources such as computers, wireless Internet, and typical software. Below I will describe the usage of these item choices and the reasons why.
In making this choice I took into consideration its many features and how to utilize them in the school library setting. The smart phone enables the librarian and/or librarian assistant to communicate with students and other faculty by using text, email, simple web access, and other media. In communicating with others, the librarian could offer help in troubleshooting with any technology equipment or with research. The ratio to teachers and students to librarians is low. This handheld device allows the librarian to be available to others throughout the school day and can better utilize their time by allowing help at the patrons' fingertips. I would purchase 3 smart phones at approximately $300.
Portable Media Players
I can just imagine the many interesting projects a student can create using the portable media player. It has great features similar to a media player but with video recording capabilities. Its larger screen, some have a touch screen, is great for displaying pictures, reading text, and viewing videos. One awesome benefit is the large storage capacity that can range up to 60 GB. I would purchase 4 portable media players at approximately $450.
A plus to this handheld device is that it can read ebooks, which are downloadable books. I envision this feature being used with special needs students or students that are in need of reinforcement. You can imagine viewing a child's face while they are listening to the story come alive with animation in the reader's voice. It can also be used to view pictures and play audio files. I predict this type of handheld device will have other features added on like 3-D ebooks. I would purchase 8 ebooks at approximately $400.
These are perfect to have available in a teacher's hand while they are browsing around the classroom full of students working on research projects. It can connect to wireless Internet and are conveniently portable. You can provide support to your class by showing a teacher tube video, a pdf file, or let them hear audio files. Another great options for student use is when a class may be completing a group project. The students wouldn't need to be at the computer station or lab, but rather be in their comfortable cooperative learning group and the Internet tablet be stationed within their group. I would purchase 3 of these at approximately $550.
Portable Gaming Device
When I think of portable gaming devices I think of the PSP or Nintendo DSI and children spending too much time on the most popular games that are all the trend at the moment. This device and it's popularity with student could be used as a venue with instructional games. The makers of portable gaming devices provide a wide variety of games including educational games such as Spelling Challenges and Hot Brain. I would purchase 4 portable gaming devices at approximately $200.
Ultra Mobile PCs
Can you imagine walking around with a desktop computer? I can't, but the Ultra Mobile PC functions as a desktop computer in the size of a handheld device. It has a full-sized keyboard, medium sized screen, wireless Internet capabilities and can include Windows software. A great feature is that it has a good amount of storage and memory. It's small size benefits when traveling. Students and teachers can use this device to complete a variety of functions such as viewing video, hearing audio and reading various files. Due to this device being fairly new and it's high price, I would purchase 1 at approximately $1,500.