College fights digital poverty with laptop lending

A college in the Northeast is set to help improve digital poverty by lending a laptop to all of its new full-time students.

In September, each of the 4,500 students starting a full-time course at Middlesbrough College will be loaned a Microsoft Surface device for use both at home and on campus.

Once they complete their college studies, they will be given the option to purchase the laptop for a nominal fee.

Numerous researches have indicated how deep the digital divide has become as a result of the coronavirus. The Commission for Social Mobility state of the nation report 2021 found that, when the lockdown struck in March 2020, only 51% of British households with incomes between £ 6000 and £ 10,000 had internet access from home, compared to 99% of those with incomes over £ 40,000 .

And in December 2021, a survey by the Teach First education charity revealed it only 2% of teachers working in disadvantaged communities said their pupils had adequate access to the technology they need to work from home.

Read more: The Digital Poverty Alliance begins the second phase of its Tech4Teachers project, providing laptops to educational staff lacking adequate hardware

“Like most schools and colleges, the Covid-19 pandemic has forced our students to learn from a distance. However, some just didn’t have the technology to do it, ”said Zoe Lewis, principal and chief executive of Middlesbrough College.

“As we distributed 700 laptops to student homes to make sure they could keep learning, we knew it wasn’t a long-term solution. We need to level the playing field to ensure that every young person has equal opportunities in our college. “

In addition to collaborating with the Microsoft Education ProgramTeesside Institute is trying to fight digital poverty by working with local broadband providers to ensure that all students without wifi at home are provided with a free connection.

“We need a strong digital foundation that includes skilled people, easy-to-use and secure hardware, and systems that communicate with each other via the cloud,” added Lewis. “By having these three things in place, we will achieve our goals.”

College fights digital poverty with laptop lending

Source link College fights digital poverty with laptop lending

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