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Handheld Devices - need advice


From: Patricia Knott (pknott_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Tue Jul 31 2001 - 11:43:10 PDT

Dear List,

I teach High School and we are required to give, on the first day of class,
very explicit instructions to the students on class requirements and just
how each area of those requirements will be graded. Assignments and
projects are easy to document, but I always also have a component for class
participation. The principal always wants to know how this is judged and
recorded. The only way I know to do this is through personal observation and
some kind of mark in my daily attendance book. I do not want to have some
kind of rubric for day to day participation. I don't understand why teacher
observation is not valid.

Any how, I'm thinking of getting a Palm or similar device to make such
recordings. I really hate the idea, but if part of my grade is that the
student participates and contributes, I need to have some kind of
documentation that I can't be accused of making up after the fact. God how
it kills me that the teacher's legitimacy has been reduced to this, but some
of you may know what I'm talking about, especially on the high school level.

Do any of you use a hand held device to make such entries? Is it worth my
investigation or will this just be another thing that takes my time. Another
thing that takes my time from giving human contact with my students. My
grades have never been questioned, but I find I get more and more paranoid
about marks I give. And when a parent calls the principal with a question,
you better believe it your word on the line, you are the one that needs to
produce the evidence.

Anybody doing this? Any recommendations for a device?
Just curious