Handheld devices and laptop computers are now seen as essential school supplies for students from coast to coast--but many schools have only just begun to take the steps necessary to obtain the educational benefits the devices can provide while blocking their potential for inappropriate text messaging, photo swapping, cheating, and chatting.

In the heart of Silicon Valley, Calif., Palo Alto High School junior Anna Luskin freely uses her cell phone between classes. Senior Sean Slattery taps notes into his personal digital assistant (PDA) as his teachers give lectures.

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