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Handheld PCs in the Hands of Students

Techstination feature for Thursday, April 19, 2001

Handheld computers... in the hands of students. I'm Fred Fishkin with Bloomberg Bootcamp. It's the hottest trend in classroom technology. Instead of having students sitting in front of big computer screens... or notebook computers... .issue them a handheld they can take with them everywhere. A company called Mindsurf Networks has been deploying the technology in schools around the country. Half a dozen public schools in New York City... and more than a dozen in California are just a sampling. Mindsurf VP Dean Kephart... says they're more economical..

"These devices are much more affordable than purchasing a laptop, so we can get to more kids. And the point here is getting to one to one computing. That's really the goal. So every kid has access to the tools all the time."

And they fit easily into a student's backpack. The Mindsurf program currently uses Compaq iPaq PocketPCs... .equipped with wireless network connections... .

"We install a wireless infrastructure in the school, a wireless network with transceivers in each classroom"

Kephart says by using portable keyboards... kids can do all kinds of work on the handhelds... .

"From working on papers to doing their research on the Internet. We even use e-books quite heavily."

The package includes insurance against loss or breakage. You can find more information at Bootcamp, I'm Fred Fishkin, Bloomberg Radio...