Many of us have laptops, tablets and mobile phones that we no longer use - they still work but we don’t know what to do with them. Help is at hand! The first phase of a new scheme called Devices4Schools has been launched this week.
Devices4Schools facilitates the donation by staff and students of unwanted laptops, tablets and mobile phones to local schools. Although schools are set to return in March 2021, there are still many pupils whose education is suffering because they don’t have access to appropriate equipment.
Devices4Schools provides support in two ways:
- Providing clear guidance and technical support for preparing devices for donation
- Putting ‘donors’ in touch with a local school registered for the scheme
Why is Oxford University doing this?
It is difficult to estimate the full scale of the problem, but according to the Oxfordshire Community Foundation, as many as 10 per cent of school children in Oxfordshire are at an educational disadvantage because they do not have a laptop or tablet. This translates to thousands of pupils whose life chances and future opportunities are being compromised, even without the pandemic.
Our scheme will complement other national and local schemes providing technical devices for disadvantaged school children, helping them achieve the future they deserve.
How do I donate my devices?
The first phase of this initiative is aimed at University staff and students who have a personally owned laptop, tablet or mobile phone that they would like to donate to Oxfordshire schools.
Our guide How to prepare IT equipment for donation explains how to:
- check that your equipment is suitable
- make sure there are no licensing issues, and
- securely wipe your device to remove personal data/account settings etc.
This web page links to a document with more information about the scheme which also outlines where you can take your devices when you are happy they have been wiped. In the first instance, the scheme is working with a trust in Abingdon. Please ensure you follow government guidance on travel before setting off.
If you would like further information or have a device to donate and would like some assistance, please do contact the Devices4Schools scheme at firstname.lastname@example.org
Next steps for the Devices4Schools scheme
In the future we hope to extend the scheme so that Oxford University departments and units can donate unwanted machines and have them securely processed. The University is in discussions with Oxford City Council, Oxfordshire County Council and the Oxfordshire Community Foundation to this end, and about expanding the scheme to help more schools across the county.