May 21, 2024


Unlimited Technology

Milton Keynes business backs laptop donations campaign for schools

A campaign to encourage businesses to donate unwanted laptops to schoolchildren has been backed by City Fibre in Milton Keynes.

Child working on laptop

© Credits: Bermix studio on Unsplash
Child working on laptop

They have supported the Laptops for Students MK campaign started by It’s What’s Next IT to ensure that children in the area have digital access to educational resources.

Many schools now have an online homework system, where it is essential students have access to a working laptop. They are also encouraged to research their subjects using the internet, meaning that having digital resources is now more essential than ever before.

The laptops donated to the campaign are wiped and refurbished before being distributed to schools in the Milton Keynes area to benefit children who need the equipment most.

The City Manager at City Fibre Jean Gowen said:

“We always knew there would be a digital world. We know that homework’s been online for a while but even if they are doing manual homework, the research element and having a laptop is really crucial so I think it’s just something you would assume everyone would have access to.”

a young boy using a laptop computer sitting on top of a bed

© Bermix studio on Unsplash

Gowen added that the donations are having a huge impact on children’s learning, and is urging others to support the campaign. She said:

“Don’t be frightened if you’ve just got one laptop because that’s one more child that’s got access to the internet and the digital environment so every little helps. It would just be great to get the target amount of laptops met and people having access to that environment.”

The impact of Digital Exclusion

The pandemic has fast-tracked the digital world for many people, and it may be difficult for some families to keep with the technological demand.

Herts for Learning states on their website:

‘There is an unintended consequence of the drive to distance learning, in the widening of the disadvantage gap as a result of the technology available in homes. 42% of young people in large families (5+) share at least one device with someone else in their household. 58% say they are sometimes or often unable to go online for this reason.’

Additionally, research by the University of Cambridge shows that just 51% of households can afford to pay for internet if they are earning £6,000 and £10,000 a year. The effects of not having access to a computer or internet can also later impact people’s chances of employment.

It has also been found that digital poverty can lead to social exclusion, and that young technology users also tend to have increased levels of self esteem compared to those who don’t have digital access.

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