A Michigan University professor and a team of researchers are developing a suite of educational tools for handheld computers that will be available for downloading at no charge. The tools are expected to be ready by September.

"We're designing and we're building," said Elliot Soloway, professor of education and computer science at the university. "We call it the 'cool dozen' that you've got to have."

Many ed-tech advocates believe that, with their low cost and portability, handheld computers—also called personal digital assistants, or PDAs—hold great promise for schools. But a lack of educational software for handhelds has hampered their deployment in classrooms


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