Since its conception in June of this year, Essex based charity Every Child Online (ECO) has received hundreds of preloved Laptops and PCs from local business owners and IT Managers. ECO has refurbished them and handed them to schools. This week, The Gateway Learning Community Trust (The GLC) located in Tilbury and Chadwell are the latest recipients of these donated computers.
The GLC aim to provide every child from Key stage two access to a device, they intend to develop students digital literacy to allow pupils to become safe, inspired and confident online, becoming a digital citizen within our community. “Computing is a vital part of everyday life” comments Viki Reid, Deputy CEO of The GLC. “Computers will become an integral part in our pupils’ futures, without support from organisations like ECO, we will struggle to provide the online educational tools our pupils deserve.
The world of technology has made such great strides in the past few years to create meaningful learning from home a reality for so many, for some underprivileged pupils, there is a genuine danger of being left behind.
The Sutton Trust, an institution set up to support social mobility amongst young people, ran a poll which discovered that 34% of pupils do not have regular access to a laptop or computer at home, and pupils attending independent schools were twice as likely to take part in online lessons every day, compared to their disadvantaged peers.
The effect of this “digital divide” between the wealthiest and most disadvantaged pupils in our society will be long-lasting and highly damaging. The Education Endowment Foundation predicts that school closures are likely to reverse progress made to close the gap in the last decade since 2011. The median estimate indicates the gap between disadvantaged and non-disadvantaged will widen by 36%. A decade’s worth of progress, my fall to the wayside as pupils without regular computer access have fallen behind, and with a continued lack of access throughout their time at school, stay behind.
ECO is calling on all business owners, IT managers and members of the public to consider donating their old PCs and laptops (obviously new ones are very welcome too). If you’re planning to upgrade your IT equipment, or maybe you have shelves full of older PC’s, laptops and monitors, and you’re not sure what to with them, please donate them to ECO at www.everychildonline.co.uk.
Any PC or laptop no older than ten years old is ideal, preferably clean and in a working condition. Sunrise Technologies, an IT services business and regional sponsors of Every Child Online, can collect company donations, and securely wipe all company data. Sunrise carry out a full disk wipe using US DoD 5220.22-M Standard three-pass wipe processes and provide donors with a confirmation certificate, this is free of charge.
ECO then upgrade the hardware/software if required and pass your donation on to the Schools that desperately need them. The school will then loan out these computers to underprivileged kids on lockdown or who are self-isolating. Donating your Laptops and PCs will make a considerable difference to a child’s future.