Before you think you just ran across a blog that hasn't been updated in years because of the picture of a Palm IIIc, keep reading. This week, my principal asked me to focus on helping students brush up on their multiplication facts during our two-week intersession. I remembered how much fun my students enjoyed using Palm Handheld PDAs in years past, but the ancient classroom set of Palm IIIc devices I had won in a grant several years back were collecting dust on their chargers. Even though I had concerns about lost styli, outdated firmware, and the fact that I hadn't tried to sync a Palm device in over three years, I hesitantly reached into the cobwebs and pulled out a freshly charged Palm IIIc.
After a failed attempt to locate the Palm desktop CD that came with the device nearly a decade ago, I found Palm's desktop manager for Windows XP at Palmone's website and downloaded and installed it, plugged in my cradle, performed my first hot sync in years, and was immediately transported back to 2001. No... "Gone" by 'N Sync didn't spontaneously start playing on my computer, but that old, familiar three-toned, ascending trill reverberated in my ears, indicating that yes, the PC and Palm were back on speaking terms. Then, there was the issue of software-- No problem. I downloaded a few trial basic math fact applications from Handango.com, taught my students how to beam apps to one another, and my students were instantly engaging in fun math games like Missle Math, Herbert's Math Time, Bunny Math, and Math Champ. This week, I found a new appreciation for old technology and a special place in my heart for trial apps! Just because it's old, doesn't mean it's broken. I'm so glad I didn't sell these things on e-bay like I wanted to last year.