Appeal issued for old laptops to help students study from home

16 Apr 2020

Image: © Casper/

A new campaign is making an appeal for disused laptops to give to students who don’t have access to technology during the coronavirus pandemic.

With school students across the country now studying from home while restrictions are in place during the coronavirus pandemic, Camara Education Ireland and Trinity Access at Trinity College Dublin have launched a new donation campaign.

Called Tech2Students, the campaign is asking the public to donate laptops they don’t use any more, which can be given to students who don’t have access to technology at home. With support from ESB, a priority is being placed on laptops that can be donated to Leaving Cert students to help them study ahead of their exams, which have been rescheduled for later in the year.

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Camara Ireland and Trinity volunteer engineers will disinfect all laptops before restoring to factory settings, wiping all data from the hard drive, and then loading the laptops with a new copy of the Windows operating system. ESB will then deliver the refurbished laptops directly to students, allowing them to continue their studies.

‘No student should be at an educational disadvantage’

“We believe no student should be at an educational disadvantage due to the coronavirus pandemic. We are appealing to homes and businesses to donate any laptops they have which are no longer used,” said Marianne Checkley, CEO of Camara Education Ireland.

The campaign’s organisers said they are in contact with 20 public schools that have flagged students most at need of laptops.

“Our overall goal is to get Tech2Students operational across Ireland to assist all those Leaving Cert students who urgently need technology at this crucial time in their education,” Checkley added.

Dr Cliona Hannon, director of Trinity Access, said students without laptops are at a “particular disadvantage” at the moment.

“We believe students and teachers in our partner schools are willing to take on the challenges of remote teaching and learning, but they urgently need the right hardware now,” she said.

“This can either be old devices we can repurpose, or contributions to enable us to buy laptops.”

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic