The Covid19 pandemic is having a devastating effect on education. It has highlighted a “Digital Divide” that affects many students without home access to the internet. To counter this, Newport City Council has helped many learners to access the internet at home. However, surveys across Newport secondary schools reveal that thousands of learners remain without such help. The ongoing pandemic, the introduction of further lockdowns and more school closures underline how desperate the need is for internet access.
Newport Uskmouth Rotary’s Laptops 4 Home Learning Project aims to upgrade used computers to benefit students at home. The first tranche of refurbished laptops has already been issued to Newport Secondary Schools but the project is at an early stage.
There are three key elements:
• Appeals for local people to donate laptops they no longer use.
• Modification of those laptops to Chromebook standard.
• The need for financial sponsorship for laptop upgrade costs.
Anne Jackson-Bass, retired headteacher and Newport Uskmouth Rotarian, said “The “blended learning” strategy is reliant on students having internet access at home. Those who don’t have this are falling far behind. This hinders their learning hugely.”
Mark Tucker, headteacher at The John Frost School, said: “The school was delighted to receive the Chromebooks donated by Newport Uskmouth Rotary. The equipment will have a significant impact improving disadvantaged students’ access and their engagement in learning at home.”
Those who wish to donate their old laptop should email their contact details via firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange for collection, modification by Rotary’s technical associate, Microsmith Electronics of Newport, and delivery to schools. Newport Uskmouth Rotary welcomes interest from individuals, commerce and industry for sponsorship. This is a great opportunity to foster a partnership between Rotary, schools, commerce, charities and the City Council, to benefit students in need and support their digital learning. Donors can also donate via www.laptops4homelearning.club
The John Frost School
Head Girl, Eleri, and Head Boy, Rhys, receive two Chromebooks at The John Frost School
Llanwern High School
Thumbs Up from Year 13 students! Iwan Hooper receives a laptop from Newport Uskmouth Rotary President, Keith Minton. Deputy headteacher, Sian Smith, said “The provision of these laptops will be of great use to the students who need them most.”
Llysweri High School
Lana Dowler, Scott Jones and Dayle Davies hold the laptops, watched by headteacher, Neil Davies. Allison Harries, assistant headteacher, thanked the Rotary Club for all they are doing to help learners.