No student should be left offline: this project aims to secure 5,000 donated laptops or €1 million for devices needed for young people around the country who are disconnected from their teachers and other students during remote learning due to COVID 19.
RTÉ has joined forces with Trinity College Dublin’s Access programme and Camara Education Ireland to launch a new call for their ambitious Tech2Students initiative, aiming to secure 5,000 donated laptops or €1 million for devices for students who need them most around Ireland.
Since its launch in April 2020, Tech2Students has been repurposing laptops and Chromebooks for Leaving Cert Students from disadvantaged groups including those in DEIS schools and Direct Provision, as well adult learners in vulnerable groups, and in youth groups like Foróige and An Cosán.
This week, RTÉ joined the initiative to amplify the cause, bringing An Post on board as delivery partner alongside programme partners ESB, NUI Galway Access Centre and Rethink Ireland.
The Tech2Students campaign was developed by Trinity Access and Camara Ireland in response to the digital divide experienced by students in need. The pandemic shows that the digital divide is real and remains a huge problem for second-level students, those in direct provision and adult learners in marginalised communities, with 58% of students in DEIS schools reporting a lack of access to broadband or a suitable learning device.
Announcing the new goals for the Tech2Students project, Director of Trinity Access Dr Cliona Hannon said:
1 in 2 Leaving Cert students in many DEIS schools do not have access to an adequate device for online learning, which puts them at a significant disadvantage. This is one practical way we can support young people by connecting them to learning and to each other.
100% of funding donated to the initative is being used to buy refurbished devices. If you wish to donate, please visit this site.