Saturday, February 04, 2006

Synch or Swim?

Another important thing to get started when utilizing handhelds in a classroom situation is a synching routine. I didn’t get into one until late in the school year. For the first few months, I was the person synching handhelds on at most a weekly basis. When some students began to report “missing files” I figured it was time to get better at synching. Since we had Go Know’s PAAM (management system), as long as I was logged in while synching, the files on my handhelds would go to an online area where they are now stored. This is a wonderful resource to have on hand. I can log into PAAM from home and review work my students have done on their handhelds and not worry about having their T5 with me. I even have the ability to type comments online to students that they can view when they log into their accounts.

My system of synching isn’t hard to learn. I have one student who is always early to class, so I chose her to synch the handhelds. She comes in to class about 15 minutes early each morning and synchs 8 handhelds a day. This allows the handhelds to be synched every third day, since I have a total of 24 sitting in my classroom. When they synch quickly on any given day, she just continues. I created a log for her to use. The handheld numbers are listed down the left side and the there are several columns she uses to record the date she complete a Hot Synch. She continues in one column until all the handhelds have been synched, and then she starts a new column. It works out great and she has synching down to a fine art. I’m going to have her train two other students who come in early so the Hot Synch can continue if she is absent.

You can access my synching log at Preziosi's Pride.

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