In the classroom teachers across America are trying to invent new ways to make the lessons interactive so that the concepts can reach the kids easier and as such help them learn better. One way to do that is to introduce handheld devices. If there is the funding, teachers could get handhelds for the whole classroom to use. These devices can have a lot of impact if used correctly. If they have internet connection, then the children could do research for projects on them.
One way I think I would use handheld devices is to have a collective group activity. Each child could add their own solution to a math problem and then somehow all the handhelds could be connected so that others can see it too. This would work well for group competitions. The first group to figure out the problem first would then “post” their results on the collective board.
Also for group projects the children could input their ideas and research to a group effort and then have the easy collaboration of effort because all the information they gathered is right there in front of them. Then each child can input their ideas so that they can all say they participated. Also these devices would make the children want to participate because it is something new for them to do, at least for now!
One caution with this is that it may be easy for them to get off track. So I would add a way for me to see what each handheld was looking at and have a way to control, to keep them on the right track. Also have protection so that they do not stumble on inappropriate sites, or purposefully go to bad sites for them.