Despite their small size and more limited computing power, handheld computers can improve classroom teaching practices and aid in student learning, according to more than 100 teachers who were given the devices through a $2.3 million grant program from Palm Inc.

In a study of the Palm Education Pioneer (PEP) program's effectiveness, independent research firm SRI International surveyed participating teachers and students, made a small number of site visits, and looked at data collected from 86 grant projects in all. The results from the study were released March 6 at the Florida Educational Technology Conference

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