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Afterschool Curriculum Choice: Technology Resources

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Curriculum Details for
Learning in Hand

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Resource Description
Staff, Planning,
and Costs
Standards, Research, and Evaluation

Learning in Hand

This collection of nearly 50 lesson plans for different age groups offers a rich variety of ways to use electronic handheld devices in learning across the curriculum. Educator Tony Vincent has created the Learning in Hand Web site to share resources with teachers who are interested in using handheld devices, such as Pocket PCs, Palm Handhelds and iPods, in innovative ways to enhance learning: putting technology directly in the hands of young people. The lesson plans are straightforward, easy to follow, and standards-based. Educators will find links to free downloadable software on the site that can open doors to a range of possibilities. The site also provides links to additional support for educators, from basic tech support to assistance with implementation.

Content Focus:
Handheld Technology, Math, Science, Social Studies, Art/Drama/Music, Language Arts

Linkages to:
Health/Wellness, Spanish

Grades/Ages: Grades 1–12

Costs: Free
The costs shown were accurate at the time of the review. Please check the publisher's web site for current prices.

Publication Date: 2003

Developer Contact Information
Tony Vincent
Learning in Hand
Omaha, NE

Design Overview

Handheld computers offer an opportunity for immediacy and mobility outside of the computer lab. Because much of the same software available for PCs works on handhelds, young people can use them to write, draw, journal, investigate, and collaborate. The integrated lesson plans available on the site were created to capitalize on this range of options. Each lesson includes links to the free downloadable software required for the activities. One lesson, to give an example, prompts a team of young investigators to go out on a nature trail and use their handhelds to create a database of the organisms they discover. In another lesson, educators facilitate a process wherein young people write their own story, beam their writing to another student for editing and review, then create story maps or storyboards using a sketch program.
  • Activity Types: Hands-on learning, problem solving, collaboration
  • Materials/technology required: Palm pilot or Pocket PC
  • Program Length/Duration: Varies

Instructional Approach

Handhelds are conducive to self-directed, individualized learning, though applications and available software also allow for collaborative learning opportunities. The lesson plans were specifically designed to employ critical thinking, multiple intelligences, constructivism, differentiation, and metacognition. Supporting experiential and project-based learning experiences, the activities involve creating a product, playing a game or using real-world tools to solve problems.

Consideration of Special Student Populations

Although the developer does not directly address special populations on the Web site, handhelds are accessible technology tools and are used to motivate and engage youth with different learning styles.

Online Training for Afterschool Staff
The Afterschool Training Toolkit is available online free of charge.

The following resources can be used with the online Afterschool Training Toolkit to give you the resources you need to build fun, innovative, and academically enriching afterschool activities.