Motivation is hard to measure quantitatively. According to the headmaster at the Cardal school, there was never any problem with desertion or any high level of absenteeism, but the latter was reduced this year (i.e., the kids were absent less than in other years). The teachers also tell us that students seem more motivated and that, in particular, they enjoy it when it's time to work with laptops.
On the other hand, additional motivation comes up when the kids take their computers home and show their parents what they have done and what they have created. In this sense, there's generalized perception that the project is helping to bring families "closer" to the school. Edith Moraes, director of the grade school, says that she's very happy that a long-existing trend is reversing itself - where it seemed that the school was going down one path and families down another.
In any case, these results are extremely preliminary given that the Cardal experience has special qualities due to it's enormous level of exposure.
We could have a new reference point in the next few days, when massive laptop distribution begins in other schools in Florida.