Winston-Salem State experiments with handheld computers – Winston-Salem, N.C

Winston-Salem State experiments with handheld computers – Winston-Salem, N.C – Brief Article

Ronald Roach


Last semester, Dr. Matthew Hafar incorporated pocket PCs, which are handheld computers or are considered personal digital assistants (PDA), as part of the learning tools used by his students in the music classes he taught. Hafar is a music professor at Winston-Salem State University (WSSU) in Winston-Salem, N.C.

“I basically volunteered my class for this experiment. Now, I don’t have to write assignments on the board. I can write them on my PDA and transfer the assignment through infrared to my students’ PDA right in the classroom,” Hafar says.

Hafar is one of several WSSU professors participating in a pilot program sponsored by the historically Black university’s Center for Innovative Teaching Technology Learning and Evaluation (CITILE). WSSU plans to have Compaq iPAQs, a popular handheld computer, in use by all students and faculty as a teaching and learning tool by spring 2003, according to school officials. The school’s technology plan calls for transforming the entire campus into a wireless networking environment so the iPAQ technology can be used in the classrooms, the libraries and the residence halls.

“I envision that one day when we are working in class and we come across a composer we are not familiar with, or music or musical terms that are unfamiliar, we can access Web sites from the classroom to find the information we need rather than having to wait and go to the library or deal with bulky computers,” Hafar says.

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