Ninth-grade teachers and students at a Maryland high school are piloting a handheld computer that offers the same functionality of a laptop--including playing movies, recording sound, and surfing the internet in color--for half the size and price of a laptop.

River Hill High School, in Clarksville, Md., is a development site for Mindsurf Networks, a software company that is creating educational applications for Compaq's iPaq Pocket PC.

Together, the two companies are working to

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