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ICT diary: hand-held wireless computers

Many industry experts believe hand-held wireless devices could be the cheapest, most effective way to put a computer into the hands of every child.

In most schools, the hard-wired PC is still king, but wireless computers have encroached far enough on the world of desktop computing to be an attractive alternative.

At Bedford high school, head of technology Kathryn McCauley has installed Apple's iBook wireless laptop solution. She says: "The main benefit is that the network is not fixed in a room; it's a bookable facility that moves to where it is needed."nbsp;

Reay primary, St Mark's primary and Henry Fawcett primary schools in Lambeth, London, are taking part in a project to trial the Psion netBook at school and home. They have chosen Psion because it is far easier for young children to carry it in their satchel between school and home than a heavier, bulkier laptop.

Software for hand-helds is better developed for administrative tasks than curriculum studies, but education applications are catching up fast. Alongside note-taking, field research, graphing, calculator and mobile communications, hand-helds are adding content such as encyclopedias and software for classroom quizzes.

Debbie Davies

This is a shortened version of a review that appears in Friday magazine in this week's TES

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