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Pilot Project for Handheld Computing Set

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Pilot Project for Handheld Computing Set

Emily Gayer, a junior nursing major from Mineral Wells, W.Va., tries out a Compaq Pocket PC. Cedarville University plans to distribute Pocket PCs to selected faculty and students in the Winter Quarter for a trial run. If handheld computers are found to enhance the educational experience, Cedarville will consider a campus-wide implementation.

by Public Relations Office

December 7, 2001

Cedarville, Ohio—With the proliferation of handheld personal computers, educators are considering how devices such as Palm handhelds and Microsoft Pocket PCs may offer cost and size advantages when compared with traditional notebook computers. A new pilot project at Cedarville University aims to discover if handheld PCs will be beneficial and cost-effective in the Cedarville educational environment. Cedarville’s Handheld Computing Pilot Project will distribute 100 Compaq Pocket PCs to select faculty members and students for use in early 2002. Liberal arts faculty and students will use electronic copies of classic literature, dictionaries, and other search tools, while business faculty and students will use special versions of Microsoft Word and Excel. Both groups will use the Pocket PCs during class discussions as well as in receiving supplementary material, assignments, syllabi, etc. Laridian’s PocketBible and New International Version of the Bible software will also be built into each Pocket PC. According to Dave Rotman, director of computer services, “With our strong emphasis on the integration of faith and learning, we are looking forward to having an electronically-searchable Bible in the students’ hands during class.” He continued, “The searching capability will be an invaluable help in class discussions regarding ethical and moral issues.” The PocketBible will also offer biblical reference books and multiple translations of the Bible. Cedarville will assess the project by reviewing student performance and student evaluations of instruction in both pilot and non-pilot class sections. Students from the pilot classes will be surveyed for their opinions on the technology. If handheld computers are found to enhance the educational experience, Cedarville will consider a campus-wide implementation. The idea for the pilot program came about through the findings of Cedarville’s technology planning committee, which had noted the rapid growth of handheld device usage in the corporate environment. The University has a long history of commitment to information technology, as evidenced by its 1992 decision to network the campus and place a University-owned computer in every residence hall room. Currently the University provides more than 1,100 computers in the residence halls in addition to the 800 computers in classrooms, laboratories, and offices. The campus network is supported by a set of 30 file servers providing access to more than 150 software packages. Internet access is provided through four T-1 lines. The University’s technology leadership has been recognized by EDUCAUSE and Yahoo! Internet Life. For information regarding Cedarville’s Handheld Computing Pilot Project, contact Rotman at 937-766-7905 or rotmand@cedarville.edu. Located in Cedarville, Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited Baptist university of arts, sciences, professional, and graduate programs. Offering 100 areas of study to approximately 3,000 students, the University features an award-winning campus computer network and a worldwide Christian ministries program. -30- “PocketBible” is a trademark and “Laridian” is a registered trademark of Laridian, Inc. Microsoft is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries. Other product or service names mentioned herein are the trademarks of their respective owners.