Wednesday, July 04, 2007

How I blogged at Lake Powell

I didn’t want bring a laptop computer to the lake and I really didn’t want to try and write by hand then transcribe the chicken scratch I call writing. So how did I manage? I used the NEO by Alphasmart and I have to tell you it is one impressive little machine. This particular machine I have had for a few years but have never used it much. Mostly because I have access to power for my laptop, where ever I am. However, at Lake Powell, power was an issue but not for this little machine.

I will not go into all the technical details but I will provide a link to the
Alphasmart web site. With that said, the machine sports a full “normal” keyboard as well as 40 characters by 4-row LED display. The only thing it does not have is a backlight, which is okay; I shouldn’t be blogging in the dark anyway.

In a day or two I will plug this machine into my computer at home, pull off this article along with the other I wrote and post them on my blog. I may even add another paragraph or two, to give you the full picture of how this machine can be used. However, at this point, I would say to anyone reading, if you think you or a student cannot write on an
Alphasmart, you have not tried.

At this point, I am even considering keeping it with me so I can capture thoughts in my head as they happen. With a 15-second boot time, I think it might just work.

Now that I am home, I pulled the
Alphasmart out of my backpack to download or transfer the two articles to my desktop computer. I turned on the Alphasmart, opened the file I wanted to transfer, plugged in the USB cable to my computer then to the Alphasmart. Next, I launched Word 2007, then pressed the Send button on the Alphasmart. As I sat back, I watched my words appear on my screen. Talk about cool!

Once Word had my writing captured, it was re-read, edit and publish.

As a parting comment, I have to give this little machine kudos for cool and convenient. Powered by 3 AA batteries and its quick boot time, this will become a very convenient tool for me to put my thoughts about Education Technology down on cyber paper. Now if I could come up with some thoughts.

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