Forest City, IA ¡. Starting April 22nd, Liv Anderson, a sophomore at Forest City High School, cannot use a pen and paper for four weeks. Instead, Anderson will use a newly released 3 ? pound Tablet PC computer that can be used as a laptop with keyboard or as a pen based "slate" computer using a special digital-pen to navigate and take handwritten notes.
Forest City, IA ¡. Starting April 22nd, Liv Anderson, a sophomore at Forest City High School, cannot use a pen and paper for four weeks. Instead, Anderson will use a newly released 3 ? pound Tablet PC computer that can be used as a laptop with keyboard or as a pen based "slate" computer using a special digital-pen to navigate and take handwritten notes. She will be using HP's Compaq Tablet PC T1000, the smallest and lightest Tablet PC currently offered. Introduced in November 2002, the Compaq T1000 has taken the early lead among Tablet PC manufacturers with over 75,000 sold.
This bold experiment was a challenge from her father Rolf Anderson, a national speaker, consultant and author on the topic of technology and the real estate industry. After seeing her father's new Tablet PC computer in February, Ms Anderson asked what it would take for her to earn one. So, for the next four weeks, Ms Anderson will take her new Tablet PC to school and use exclusively to take notes in class, scan any reference material handed out, manage her school activities and assignment schedule and complete any homework given using her Tablet PC. Anderson will also journal her experience daily and post to her personal website, www.LivAnderson.com. She will finalize her project with a summary review and conclusions to be published on her fathers' website and submitted to other for publication.
"This is not an experiment to prove a "paperless world" is possible, rather a test to see if this new breed of computer that has been welcomed by businesses, will find a niche in the educational system", Rolf Anderson explained. Use of traditional laptop computers by college students is currently considered the norm. However the clamshell operation and keyboard only method of input limits where and when it can be used effectively. The new Tablet PC design, combined with pen based entry adds an entire new scope of possibilities for growth.
Anderson first visited with High School Superintendent Dwight Pierson for his approval and support of the project. "We are also very interested in how it plays out", Pierson commented. "The unique design of a Tablet PC with pen-based navigation and the added capability to write on the screen as you would a piece of paper could have tremendous applications to the education industry", said Pierson. "It could also bring a new set of problems."
Liv Anderson, age 16, is a veteran when it comes to technology. "My dad has been speaking about and testing new computer technologies for over 18 years and I always asked for his old equipment when he got new", grinned Ms. Anderson. "Over the last six years I've had several laptops, many digital cameras and had wireless Internet at home. My dad always called me his "techno-geek" daughter".
With as little disruption as possible during a class, Ms. Anderson will use her HP Tablet in many ways. Examples include:
Use her Tablet in slate mode to take handwritten class notes for study and review for tests.
Use various calculator software on her Tablet for any math applications or studies.
Type or write any homework assignment that can be printed at home, in the computer lab or emailed to her Teacher.
Access the Internet for research, when allowed, using the built in wireless modem.
Use her micro portable paper scanner to transfer homework assignments and reference material handed out in class to her Tablet for access and storage.
Learn how to efficiently file her class notes and reference material scanned for later review.
Use Microsoft Outlook to manage her school calendar and homework due dates.
Use Microsoft PowerPoint and her Tablet for any presentations required in class.
Use the "Windows Journal" software to daily journal her project notes in her own handwriting.
For "off time" or when appropriate, use her Tablet to listen to her extensive collection of music files in the MP3 format (headset required on school property).
Ms Anderson will use the battery operated HP 450 portable printer for printing needs while at school and also use the Visioneer Strobe XP portable document scanner to take any printed homework or reference material and scan into her Tablet PC for completion and/or review at a later date
There are many other issues to be studied along with the technical aspect of the project. Questions Ms. Anderson will have to give thought include:
Will she be concerned about what her friends think?
Will there be any concern or worry about security of her Tablet when on school grounds?
Will there be an overriding fear of dropping her Tablet?
What will she say when her friends and other students ask if they can take a test drive of her Tablet?
Even with 5 hours of battery life, will it be an extra "burden" to be constantly monitoring the power left and plan for recharge time?
Closing thoughts by Anderson, Pierson and Anderson provided different
Superintendent Pierson added, "We will have to address the issue of high school students wanting to bring a computer into the classroom. We will have to take a new look at the issues and rewrite or write policies to govern their use. Will it cause a split in the student classes of the "haves and have nots? We're not sure. However, we need to be prepared for either scenario of students bringing computers to class or our providing computers to every student. On the other side, if the teachers, students and administration could communicate by computer, maybe, just maybe, the savings of paper cost and staff time to prepare and distribute information by paper could pay for the school providing a Tablet PC to every high school student. A bold statement, but it may not be far down the road".
Mr. Rolf Anderson responded next to the question of what he would get out of the project. "First, it will be fun to work with daughter on this project. We get along very well. Second, the project will be a real life learning experience for Liv, concluding with an in depth summary article that will take much thought and skill to write. Last, did I mention that she will be an indentured servant to me for many years?"
When asked what she would get out of this experience, Ms. Anderson winked and slyly said, "I get to keep the HP Tablet PC!"