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Method for an embedded classroom digital assistant Disclosure Number: IPCOM000007517D
Publication Date: 2002-Apr-02
Document File: 3 page(s) / 77K

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Disclosed is a method for an embedded classroom digital assistant. Benefits include improved functionality.

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Method for an embedded classroom digital assistant

Disclosed is a method for an embedded classroom digital assistant. Benefits include improved functionality.


              Some point-of-sale terminals are slave computers although they are typically wired in place. Some personal digital assistants (PDAs) are available with very specific functions, such as tracking the shipment of packages by route carriers. Many schools have computer rooms where desks or tables are covered with PCs. Automated teller machines and other similar devices handle simple transactions and are slaves (in a sense), although they are not battery operated, not used for education, and not part of a desk.

              Conventional computing platforms include desktop and laptop computers. They are general-purpose machines that run a variety of applications and require extensive computing power, graphics, and storage. Many common classroom tasks do not required the computer’s extensive capability and could be served quite well by a relatively limited computer. Low-end handheld PDAs offer more than enough CPU power and versatility to take on a variety of classroom tasks, such as drills, multiple-choice and other tests, and individual computer-based training. However, PDAs might be removed without authorization from a classroom.

              Some schools (mostly colleges) require laptop computers. However, the lack of standardization can be a problem. Many students have difficulty affording them. Theft and accidental damage are acknowledged problems.

              Conventional computer use in schools is typically limited to specialized computer labs and some laptops/wireless LANs in a few college classes. Several reasons for this situation include:

§         Expense of having a computer per student

§         Likelihood of theft or vandalism

§         Bulky occupation of valuable desktop space

§         Standardization and expense if students must buy their own

§         Classroom control should games/viruses/messaging/etc. distract students

§         Difficulty/expense of power distribution and networking

§         Restrictions to desk positioning and room flexibility



              The disclosed method includes a device that is a limited-use PDA embedded into a school desk. All of a classroom’s desktop PDAs are controlled by a cla...