There are few things I know for certain about the state of technology in today's schools, but I'm pretty sure about one thing: Instant messaging by students generally is not allowed.

I know it's not allowed because our eSchool News Online polling data tell me so. During the 2004-05 academic year, we conducted dozens of weekly online polls linked out of our "Tools for Schools" eMail newsletter. These polls are far from scientific, but they do give us a sense of what educators are thinking. And no poll in 2004-05 had more lopsided results than

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