ABSTRACT

From their arrival on the scene, personal computers were credited with the capacity to change the ways in which children learn in schools, replacing the traditional passivity of classroom learning with ‘an empowering sense of one’s own ability to learn anything one wants to know’ (Papert, 1982). In its ‘Vision for the Future of ICT in Schools’, Transforming the Way We Learn asserted that ICT, through appropriate and effective application, would enable ‘pupils of all abilities to take greater control of their learning’ (NGfL, 2002: 8). Reports from government agencies (e.g. Becta, 2003b) claimed as one of the key benefits of ICT, alongside increased commitment and self esteem, ‘increased independence and motivation for self-directed study’, suggest - ing indeed that the new levels of access to the Internet afforded by broadband connectivity would help pupils to ‘explore independently and to achieve their own goals’ (Becta, 2003a: 3).