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There are some astonishing new facts about mobile technology:


Chirag Patel never knows what may come down the line in his job as a computer refurbisher. But he knows what to expect when work on the equipment — mostly top-of-the-line desktops and laptops from manufacturers such as Dell, Hewlett-Packard and Lenovo — is done.

Cell phones were banned from most schools years ago, but after the Columbine High School and 9/11 tragedies, parents started pressuring some school boards and administrators to reverse the bans. On its surface, allowing students to have cell phones under the guise of improved school safety may seem like a “no-brainer” to many board members and administrators. But an in-depth analysis suggests that while students having cell phones may make parents feel better, it actually could create a less safe situation in a school crisis.

As cell phones—with ever-expanding possibilities of texting, Web browsing, and game playing—have multiplied in recent years among teenagers and even preteens, so have the concerns of teachers and administrators about the distractions these devices can cause. A survey of students and parents earlier this year by the group Common Sense Media found that almost 70 percent of schools around the country ban student cell phone use during the school day.

Harvard law professor John Palfrey's new book examines the lives of digital natives.


Living and Learning Arcade

Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh Charter School

A Living Arcade

A video-game type of environment will draw more students to become proficient in reading and math.

Handheld computers can leverage the power of technology to enable all students to succeed, including children with special education needs. They are cheaper than laptops, are more portable, and have more memory and power capabilities than handhelds possessed just five years ago.