The University of Waikato has made the largest single donation of technology equipment to Waikato schools in recent history, consisting of more than 80 laptops, desktops, iPads, and peripherals.
The equipment had been decommissioned by the university, as it replaces its digital technology assets on a five-year cycle. With the large number of student computer labs, teaching spaces, and staff desktops and laptops, the opportunity presented itself to repurpose this technology (rather than simply disposing of it) to contribute back to community schools.
Such donations aren't unprecedented, as many of the university faculties have great relationships with local schools and charities and have made their own technology donations over the years. However, this was the first time a pan-university donation from across all units, divisions and centres has been made.
An already established donation programme coordinated by Michael Keightley at Fraser High School was identified, where Michael accepts donations not only for his own school but actively distributes technology of every conceivable format and function to partner schools from Hamilton to the Coromandel.
Michael and his team of dedicated young students take older technology, rebuild and refit it with the latest software, then deliver it to the primary and secondary schools that are most in need.
Michael has built up an extensive list of Waikato schools over the years, recently building up lists for the Bay of Plenty and Coromandel as well. He tends to limit the number of items each school receives so there’s enough to go around.
The schools are always very grateful for the donations. See the comments from some of the school representatives:
“Waikato University recently donated 21 computers to our school. This donation was so timely and it was gratefully received. We will use the computers in classrooms to address issues of student inequity, as providing technology can be a hard ask for some families.” – Paul Petersen, Bombay School Principal.
“We are a large rural full primary school with close to 400 children, and have been a BYOD school for the last five or so years. We know that there are families in our community that just can't provide a personal laptop for their child(ren), and Pirongia School is adamant this will not hold any child back and we do everything we can to make school owned technology available.
“We appreciate the businesses that donate their unwanted technology to schools; not just ours but all schools. It is a very thoughtful thing to do and we (our budget and the environment) thank you for your generosity.” – Keren Hale, Executive Office at Pirongia School.
“We were recently lucky enough to receive three Macbooks for our school. Thank you for your donation of this equipment. We are a small lower-decile school that strives to provide access to technology for all our students. Many of our students have limited access to technology and computers at home, donations such as yours support us in helping all our students build technology skills that will ensure they have best the opportunities.” – Lisa Hayde, Teacher in Charge of IT at St Pius X Catholic School.