The Katy Independent School District in Texas has about 60,000 students. During the 2009-10 school year, the district used bond funds and federal e-Rate funding to create a program that put the Incredible Droid from Verizon into the hands of all fifth grade students at a single elementary school.

The calling and paging features of the phones were turned off, and students were allowed to use the phones both within and outside of class. Students were encouraged to use Edmodo, a secure social learning network for teachers and students, to share ideas with peers, ask questions, and post answers. The phones...

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