Tuesday, May 07, 2002

PDA Preview!

Today, our hospital library hosted a pda preview from 10:00-1:30!
We will be hosting one at the University of Illinois at Chicago Library of the Health Sciences Peoria on May 23
during the same time. My pda partner in crime, Peg Burnette, and I are hosting these previews. The preview
was a kind of open house for medical staff to come and view the pdas and the modules. We demoed the
power point on the handheld using Margi presenter-to-go, the keyboard with Documents to Go, the digital camera, and
the voice recorder. We did not have a big crowd, but the people that came all had different interests and we
were able to spend some time with them discussing pda applications. The most popular application seemed
to be the Documents to Go with the keyboard followed closely by the amazing Margi presenter-to-go for
presenting Power Points and handheld applications. Peg and I were discussing the fact that when we started
this project, we assumed we would be doing training for the handhelds the same way we had been doing
Internet and database training - in small groups. What has happened in this project is a demand for customized,
one on one training from five minute orientations to 1.5 hour in-depth applications training. Peg said, and she
said I could quote her, "People want the training when they want it on what they need to know when they need
to know it!" In our experience over the past year, even the power users do not use all the available applications
for a handheld computer. The power users may utilize much of the power of a handheld computer, but not all of it.
Others may use an application or two or three or four. It is much like all the resources in a medical specialty
we have put on each handheld. For instance a cardiology or pediatrics pda may have 4-6 different e-books
or reference works on them. We are finding as people check them out that few try all 4-6 resources. Most of them
try two or three. Even when people are interested in seeing and trying all the applications, they end up using
just a few select apps. What is your experience in training on pdas and the various applications?

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