Essex is the latest education authority to urge parents to make tax-deductible contributions to a charity so schoolchildren can have laptops.
Its e-learning project aims to provide a "digital learning device" to all 200,000 of its school pupils by 2007.
Nottingham City education authority is also refocusing its efforts on a new project and hoped to agree a deal later this week.
This involves an intelligent, web-based way of delivering learning materials to students and tracking their progress.
Meanwhile Oxfordshire County Council have put out a tender for a Content Management System to allow sharing of teaching resources between schools.