RTÉ has launched the Tech2Students campaign to get laptops to students who need them most around the country. An initiative by Camara Education Ireland and Trinity Access (TCD), Tech2Students seeks to bridge the digital divide so no-one gets left behind as learning continues online in 2021.

We're calling on businesses and individuals to make a donation with the aim of raising 1 million euro or 5000 laptops.

Go to techspace.ie:

Donate your old laptop or chromebook (not more than 5 year old)

or

Donate money

Partners also include: An Post, ESBNUI Galway Access Centre and Rethink Ireland

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Petula Martyn on Morning Ireland talks to students who have received laptops, helping them to continue to learn online.


GREAT! HOW DO I DONATE MY LAPTOP?

Go to techspace.ie  Fill out the form. You will be contacted by the Tech2Students team.  They will send you postage labels and postage instructions. Or you’ll be given a link to print your label at home.  Wrap and package your laptop and charger securely and affix the labels provided. Go to your local An Post office with your packaged laptop. An Post FreePost will deliver your laptop to Tech2Students.

WHAT HAPPENS THEN? 

The Tech2Students team will restore the laptop to factory settings at their workshop and securely wipe all data from the hard drive using a certified process. A fresh operating system will be installed and they will then deliver the refurbished laptops directly to schools and organisations allowing under-represented groups to excel in their studies, whatever the next few months bring. 

HOW LONG WILL THAT TAKE?
 On average after you deliver your laptop to the post office, it will have been refurbished and delivered to a deserving student within two weeks.

WHO ARE GETTING THE LAPTOPS?
They will go to students in disadvantaged circumstances who need this technology to continue their education and study for their exams. These include those in direct provision, Irish travellers and mature students from lower-income socio-economic areas.  Principals, teachers and youth workers from anywhere in the country are free to apply on behalf of the students who need them.

FAQs

My laptop is really old. Can I still donate it? 
They are looking for old devices but they do need to be usable. For this reason, they are accepting devices which were manufactured in 2015 onwards.  They want Chromebooks but not tablets

My laptop isn’t working / can’t connect to the internet / is missing it’s charger: Can I still donate it? 
Sorry, but the device should be functioning as they do not have the capacity to do any hardware repairs.

What about my private information on my laptop? 
The disk on your device will be completely erased (reformatted, in fact) before it is passed on, so all your files and information will no longer be available on the device. If you wish you can pre-wipe your laptop at home. Either way, it will still go through the secure process at the repurposing centre (based in Trinity East, Dublin 2).

Will I get my laptop back when the students have finished using it? 
No. Laptops will not be returned but will remain in the possession of schools/organisations and can be used by many more students in the years to come. 

I don’t have a spare laptop but I’d like to donate money, is that possible? 
Yes! Go to techspace.ie and donate. All donations, large and small, are welcome and 100% of your donation will go towards purchasing or repurposing laptops for students. 

I don’t have a device but I do have a monitor / keyboard / mouse / headphones etc I would like to donate, can I? 
The number one priority is getting devices to students but if you have equipment that would support student online learning, they will gladly accept your donations. 

DIGITAL DIVIDE FACTS 

  • Progression rates to further and higher education for students in DEIS (Delivering Equality of Opportunity in Schools) schools are traditionally significantly lower than non-DEIS. For example students from the most affluent parts of Dublin are up to 14 times more likely to progress to university than their counterparts from some schools in the city’s most disadvantaged areas. 
  • School closures during Covid19 appear to have particularly affected learning, wellbeing, motivation and engagement of Leaving Certificate and Junior Certificate students, with more severe impacts being reported among DEIS schools. 
  • Risks of learning regression among students from low progression areas is now a serious concern. 
  • Teachers reported frustration at not being able to protect vulnerable students as they normally would in a classroom setting.
  •   Teachers who reported a lack of a dedicated IT infrastructure were more likely to report a low engagement among their students. 
  • 5th Year students have been particularly affected, having lost substantial class time to complete the Leaving Certificate curriculum.

Donate now at techspace.ie