When you look at the case study it is obvious that it required some forward thinking, but also some regard for practical considerations (i.e. long-term viability, community outreach and communication, infrastructure). I like how they referred to the phones as mobile learning devices (MLDs), disabling the calling and texting features so students could concentrate on the tasks at hand. The decreased discipline issues can probably be attributed to this decision along with the increased level of student engagement.
A critical step in building success was the decision to bring early adopters on board first so they could help with instructional technology design and to provide models for other teachers to incorporate in their classrooms. What is interesting for me is that Katy ISD is at the same stage as my school board (i.e. introduction of SMART boards) when they decided to embark on this initiative. The fact that the MLDs helped to differentiate learning comes as no surprise and neither should the improved academic results. For me, it just provides further evidence of what students are capable of achieving when they are actively engaged and empowered in the learning process.
What is also clear about the case study is that the MLDs were merely the tools by which Katy ISD were able to achieve their objectives of changing the way students were learning and the ways in which teachers provided learning opportunities.
In the case study, I would have liked to have seen some examples of the instructional strategies and technologies they employed in their classrooms to engage the students. The Digital Citizen (@RChids) and iPads in Primary Education (@dmandrews15) do a really good job of documenting the pedagogical considerations that are required in order to integrate technology to enhance learning.