As a further move to bridge the digital divide, children from low income families are to be given portable computers and internet access to learning materials. Funding will come from a new 5 m pound allocation to the National e-Learning Foundation announced in the Chancellor’s pre-Budget Report.Local Foundations, based at a local school or group of schools, will be developed across the country. They will be innovative partnerships with local charities, businesses and parents working together. At each school groups of children will be given individual access to the internet and computer learning with their own laptop.
The benefits claimed for laptop learning include increased levels of detail and accuracy in pupils’ work, improved standards of presentation, greater collaboration and greater motivation. Personal control of a laptop also appears to encourage a growth in pupils’ ownership of learning. A survey of teachers found that 87 per cent felt laptop access resulted in an increase in the quality of students’ work and 65 per cent believed laptop access improved students’ learning and understanding of instructional content.