Handhelds with portable keyboards

This post was written on a Palm Tungssten E2 handheld computer with a wireless Belkin keyboard. I typed it in an application called Documents to Go which lets me exchange Word files with my desktop.

Belkin’s wireless keyboard uses the infrared port on my PDA.

The wireless keyboard takes a little practice to set up correctly. I had to experiment with angling the mirror and wiggle the keyboard so all signals bounced properly.

I’m noticing a few key-repeat issues. Every so often a letter is repeated. A related issue is the infrequent missing letter: I type a letter but it never shows up.

The Belkin keyboard works smoothly but the key pitch is slightly smaller than I’m used to (a good thing for younger students?).

Positives: My PDA screen is easy to read, even with the small text size. High resolution screens help in this area, no doubt. I am also generating a ton of text, almost as fast as I could on a full size keyboard. Note taking?

The keyboard and PDA take up little room on a regular school desk. Students could easily have a textbook open along with all the technical gadgetry.

A word about misuse: I think misusing a PDA with keyboard in class is much harder than a laptop. I have no mouse. To use the stylus on the screen right now would be obvious.

A drawback: ipromptu sketches are all but impossible in this scenario. In math or science class, this combination would be difficult to function with. History and English, on the other hand, are well-suited to typed notes.

Possible misue scenario: beaming notes back and forth. It’s a high tech verssion of an old classroom management problem.


One thought on “Handhelds with portable keyboards

  1. Pingback: Megan Golding: Teacher, tech writer and webhead

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