When the idea of introducing computer labs on wheels hit an unexpected rough patch in nine schools of the Vancouver, Wash., School District, Terry Allan, the district's resource coordinator for technology, was able to shift gears in a hurry and keep the pilot program on track.

The idea for the rolling labs began as the district was narrowing the scope of its application for a ComTech grant, a state-matched funding program that uses federal technology dollars.

The plan was two-fold: The district wanted to bring mobile computers to its elementary and middle-school classrooms to ease the scheduling problems that go with traditional...

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