One hundred primary pupils in south London have been given a portable computer in a project to determine their impact on raising achievement.
Psion has given the netBooks to 9 and 10-year-olds in three schools of Lambeth's education action zone (EAZ) for a year. Pupils will be able to take the netBook computers home as well as use them at school. And Warwick University will conduct an evaluation of the trial.
The netBooks are well suited to primary pupils, being smaller and more rugged than laptops and with a long battery ife. Aimed at the corporate and education markets, they have a touchscreen and offer Net access, email and a word processor. They cost about pound;800.
Support and training for teachers was a key element of the trial and two specialist consultants had been employed to help them, said Dr Tim Coulson, the Lambeth EAZ director.
He said the netBooks would improve pupils' writing abilities as well as their familiarity with information and communications technology.