Volunteers needed to transform Old Laptops into New to Help School Students in need!
Are you available to volunteer in helping in a wonderful transforming old laptops into new’ initiative that aims to benefit school students and others whose financial circumstances do not allow them to buy new laptops? If so an online training course under the Tech2Students scheme being organised by Camara and the Access Centre NUI Galway is taking place from 2.30pm to 4.30pm on Monday. To book a place contact me as soon as possible and a set of instructional notes will be sent to you in advance.
The closure of schools last March due to COVID-19 led to a seismic change in Irish education as online teaching and learning became the new normality. However this shift exposed a considerable technology gap in society with many families not being able to afford the laptops that have now become an essential device for their children to access and download online educational courses and teaching materials. In other homes, children that are in their Leaving Certificate year have had to share a laptop with their siblings and parents. As a result of this smart device deficit and with problems associated with broadband connectivity, many young people with financial difficulties are encountering serious learning barriers and have been locked out of education as a result.
To come up with a solution last spring that could help students in their time of need and to face up to the challenges of providing the necessary secure equipment, the technical personnel at our workplace of the Insight SFI Research Centre for Data Analytics compiled easy-to-follow guidelines that reimaged laptops by wiping off all data and installing free open-sourced operating systems and other key software. I was so happy at the time that we managed to help a lot of young people continue their educational studies unhindered by providing fully functional and suitable smart devices.
Insight is now working within the Tech2Start programme led by the Trinity Access Centre, Camara and coordinated in Galway by the brilliant Imelda Byrne, Aidan Harte and team at the Access Centre of NUI Galway to offer a similar but expanded system nationwide.
Furthermore if you have laptops that you no longer need and are willing to offer them to this initiative, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org