Can the Palm Pre work in the classroom?

I was checking my email last Friday and was excited to see the an email from Sprint about the new Palm Pre. If you have been following the buzz about this phone, you already know how gadget geeks have been salivating over this upcoming smartphone since it was unveiled at CES earlier this year. I admit, that I, too, have been drooling over pics at the official Sprint site.

All of this started me thinking: if - and that is a big IF -I were to plunk down the money for this phone (as of now, Sprint has not announced a price yet), I would need it to function for my personal life and in the classroom.

Personal use of the Palm Pre looks pretty sweet. It looks like my dream phone -- one that can sync information into the cloud. Like many, I am a heavy user of Gmail, Google Calendar, Reader, etc. What bugged me about my Centro is that there is no way to sync my Google calendar or Gmail contacts with my Palm software (without paying hefty subscription fees. Boo Goosync!) But the Pre will be able to sync wirelessly and intuitively to my cloud information. At least that is what I am hoping... And all this with (finally!?) updated multi-touch hardware and software that can is worthy to be put in the same category of the iPhone. I even downloaded an WebOs emulator, but it has been removed from the site. It works pretty well though and wetted my appetite for the Pre even more...

The Pre may be up to the classroom challenge as well; but we will have to see what applications will become available through the Sprint/Palm WebOs application store. In the past, the Palm platform has had quite a few programs that worked well in the classroom environment: Quiz Buddy, Inspiration, grading scales, outliner applications, just to name a few. But is it worth it to use a smartphone in the classroom instead?

Then I came across the following post from the Learning is Change Blog about "Strategies for Mobile Devices in the Classroom." Very interesting links including a blog solely dedicated to using cell phones in the classroom. But what really caught my eye were the sites TextMarks (even if you just used it to post school closings or emergencies would be great) and TextTheMob (which would work fantastic if you have a Smartboard!) Very cool stuff. Has anybody used these sites in the classroom? Has anybody used cellphones with K-2 students in the classroom?


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