The overall goal of this ambitious programme is to give children and young people the best start in life by offering support for those families hardest hit by poverty, deprivation and health and race inequality. This of course includes tackling the digital divide when it is clearly a contributing factor for children not being able to consolidate and continue their learning at home. These are the children who are in danger of being left behind and not having those chances that education brings.
Thanks to an existing partnership between Manchester Mental Health Trust and Community Computers, Community Computers has donated 18 refurbished and licensed Surface Pro laptops to three schools in North and Central Manchester who are on the frontline of tackling the digital divide to Make Manchester Fairer.
These laptops have found their way into the homes of under resourced families and they are already having an impact. Supporting the children to access home learning on programmes such as Timestables Rockstar, Purple Mash and the learning platform Century. Children can also access their class dojo page so they know what is happening in school and show parents how many dojos they have earned which they weren’t able to do this before. The laptops have also helps supported parents, enabling access universal credit, to job search successfully and practice for ESOL exams.
What the children say;
“My mum tells me to go and do my homework and I can just go and do it now. I could never do that before”
“I use it for Purple Mash and Times Tables Rockstars. My older brother uses it for his assignments too and we help each other”
“The laptops help me to learn new things and I can look up things that I have been learning in school too”
“I use the laptop to learn new things about what we are learning in school. It is good that I can look things up”
“I help my mum to look things up too because her phone is not working, she is using it to help her find a new job”
Response from a family member;
“I am so happy and grateful we have a laptop. It has helped me a lot, as everything is online now a days”
Response from a school staff members;
“My student has been really worried about not being able to do her home work, but since having the laptop her home work is always complete”
“Getting the laptops has had a positive impact on the children. They can now engage in home learning activities and research and consolidate knowledge”
Adrian Nottingham from Community Computers states; “It is so rewarding to be able to take the redundant IT equipment from a health provider, refurbish it, and then make it available through our schools to the families most in need and most at risk of digital exclusion. This partnership working can bring about a powerful and immediate effect, but we know that tackling the digital divide early on will have long lasting and life enhancing benefits.”