This article is based on aproject aimed at generating practicalsuggestions based on research findings abouthow new technologies might be used to enhanceL1 literacy attainment in disadvantagedsettings. The project involved designing,implementing and researching an innovativeapproach to curriculum and pedagogy using newdigital technologies in language and literacyeducation within classroom settings involvingsmall groups of ''disadvantaged'' learners. Thepaper reports activity and findings from one offour study sites. It focuses on four Grade 9boys seen by their teachers as troublemakersand at risk of failing in English. Theresearchers draw on current conceptual andtheoretical work associated with the emergenceof an Attention Economy theory to design acollaborative activity around constructing awebsite, and to identify and analyse positiveliteracy learning outcomes associated with thepedagogical approach taken. The authors showhow this new perspective on attention informs acritique of conventional approaches to schoolorganization and classroom learning, and how itcan be used to envisage alternative approachesto understanding and teaching students whodisplay literacy learning difficulties atschool.