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Stretching the school IT budget further - using the AlphaSmart 3000 portable word processor

Barbara Landsberg
This is a 20 minute presentation. Schools often feel pressure on their IT budgets. How can we stretch our hardware budget further to benefit more students? How can we give more students access to computers for more of the time? The AlphaSmart 3000 IR is a simple, portable and affordable computer companion which offers many advantages to schools making these decisions. This workshop will step participants through the features of this low cost "classroom-toughened" word processor as an alternative to using high cost multimedia laptops and desktops for simple note taking and keyboarding skills tasks.

Several AlphaSmarts will be available for hands-on experience of the following features: transfer of text documents to a computer for final compilation and editing; use of infrared transfer of information - which does not require connection of cables and is "error-free"; downloading of files from a home or school lab computer for additional work in classrooms or out in the field; KeyWords typing tutor program which allows touch-typing classes to proceed for up to eight separate students on each AlphaSmart, with monitoring of progress and printed speed and accuracy reports for each student - freeing up labs of computers for students requiring computers for more complex computing tasks; Co:Writer program on the AlphaSmart which offers additional supports for the student who struggles with composition of written work.

The workshop will also briefly discuss the types of students who benefit from access to the AlphaSmart. These include those students who experience difficulty with handwriting and problems with organising their written work.

Please cite as: Landsberg, B. (2002). Stretching the school IT budget further - using the AlphaSmart 3000 portable word processor. In S. McNamara and E. Stacey (Eds), Untangling the Web: Establishing Learning Links. Proceedings ASET Conference 2002. Melbourne, 7-10 July.

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Created 22 July 2002. Last revision: 22 July 2002.
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