Coronavirus: Appeal issued for used laptops
Campaign by Camara Education Ireland and TCD aims to help Deis students during pandemic
Trinity College Dublin and not-for-profit charity Camara Education Ireland have called on the public to donate laptops
Camara, which provides technology to improve education opportunities, and Trinity Access issued the appeal as part of their Tech2Students campaign.
The campaign, which is initially focused on Dublin, aims to address the digital divide exposed by the coronavirus outbreak by distributing donated laptops to pupils at Deis schools.
Organisers say Leaving Certificate students will be treated as a “first priority”, and it is hoped the programme will be extended across Ireland.
Donated devices need to be usable, and the programme is accepting devices that were made from 2015 onwards. The public can also make a financial donation through the programme’s website. All donations will go towards purchasing or repurposing laptops for students.
ESB staff volunteers will provide logistical support by collecting the donated computers from homes or businesses across Dublin and will deliver the refurbished laptops directly to students.
Camara Education Ireland and Trinity volunteer engineers will refurbish the laptops and will securely wipe all data from the hard drive before installing a fresh copy of the Windows operating system. Each device will also be disinfected.
Camara Ireland CEO Marianne Checkley said: “We believe no student should be at an educational disadvantage due to the Coronavirus pandemic. We are appealing to homes and businesses to donate any laptops they have which are no longer used.
“Through our partner, Trinity Access, we are in contact with 20 Deis schools that have identified students in need. Our long term partner, ESB, has kindly offered to make staff volunteers available to transport the technology, and support the promotion of the campaign on social media and radio.
“Our overall goal is to get Tech2Students operational across Ireland to assist all those Leaving Cert students who urgently need technology at this crucial time in their education,” Ms Checkley added.
“Students are doing their best to continue with their education through this difficult time and those without access to a laptop are at a particular disadvantage,” said Dr Cliona Hannon, Director of Trinity Access.
“We believe students and teachers in our partner schools are willing to take on the challenges of remote teaching and learning but they urgently need the right hardware now. This can either be old devices we can repurpose or contributions to enable us to buy laptops.”
Human Rights Watch recently stated that closing the digital divide was ’critical’ in the Covid-19 response and called on governments and companies to act to mitigate disproportionate hardships that poor and marginalised populations experience
Individuals or businesses looking to donate to the Tech2Students campaign can log on to www.tcd.ie/trinityaccess/tech2students