Tech2Students project goes nationwide with call for laptops, donations

Trinity College Dublin and Camara Ireland are today kicking off phase 2 of their award-winning project Tech2Students (T2S) and this time it’s going nationwide.

In September, T2S received the Innovate Together Award from social innovation fund Rethink Ireland which will allow the scheme to deliver 3,000 devices to vulnerable communities nationwide as part of the National Access Plan.

The scheme is asking the public and businesses to get involved by donating their used laptops and Chromebooks or by giving a financial donation that will allow it to purchase refurbished laptops for second-level students, those in direct provision and disadvantaged students in adult education.

The T2S campaign was developed in April 2020 by Trinity Access (TCD) and Camara Ireland in response to the digital divide experienced by students in DEIS schools that was exacerbated by COVID-19. Phase 1 raised over €300,000 euro and delivered over 1,000 devices to DEIS schools, but the scheme was left with a list of over 60 schools and organisations that urgently need digital devices for their students.

The digital divide remains a huge problem for second-level students, those in direct provision and adult learners in marginalised communities. Some 58% of students in DEIS schools lack access to broadband or a suitable learning device.

While students are in school now, many classes have had to isolate due to COVID-19 cases, meaning that some students are learning remotely from classrooms within their school.

Educators now believe that online learning and assessment is here to stay.

If you or anyone you know would like to donate a device please fill out this form and a Tech2Students team member will be in contact with you. T2S is accepting donations at its workspace in Dublin and can also facilitate monthly collections in the Dublin and Galway city and surrounding areas. Please contact the scheme at [email protected] if you have any questions and/or would like to get involved.