It’s no secret that the world is growing increasingly digital by the day. From school to leisure, the overwhelming majority of our lives are spent within the realms of our computers, smartphones, and tablets. With new innovations and products springing up around every corner, our growing dependence on technology is hard to miss. That is, if you are a middle- to high-income individual. The case is quite different for those who aren’t. Whether it be due to lack of funds to purchase the latest technology or a lack of free time to indulge in it, low-income individuals are being left behind in the wave of technological innovation, and the ramifications of this “technology gap” can be detrimental and long-lasting. Low-income students in particular are at a disadvantage as a result of the technology gap, as unstable or inconsistent access to adequate technology and reliable internet can cause them to fall behind in schoolwork, and fall behind their peers. For many students, school-sponsored technology resources are the only tools available to them to keep up with their assignments. Dwayne Baker, veteren and involved member in his community realized this and was inspired to found a non-profit organization called Laptops 4 Learning. Laptops 4 Learning, or L4L, is a platform on which both students and veterans can raise funds in order to purchase a laptop.
L4L exists because in order to navigate through and thrive in this digital world, one needs to have access to the technology necessary for educational and employment opportunities. It’s nearly impossible to survive without it. For those without the means to obtain a laptop, Laptops 4 Learning is an invaluable resource to take advantage of. There are two different versions for Laptops 4 Learning:
For K-12 students, the sign-up process for Laptops 4 Learning is simple and quick. Students can set up an account on the L4L website to solicit tax-deductible donations from family, friends, community members, and anonymous contributors. As soon as the individual generates or self-funds the laptop total cost, the computer is delivered.
For adult learners going back to school, finding a suitable machine is challenging. To address, Laptops4Learning partnered with Video Scholarship & MyCollegeLaptop.com to provide free laptops to college students. To obtain a laptop, go the adult learning section of Laptops 4 Learning at laptops4learning.videoscholarship.org to apply. Each month, 30 students receive a laptop at no cost. Members will have to show proof of enrollment, demonstrate financial need and submit a short video essay describing how they would use the laptop in their lives.
All recipients will receive tracking information and the laptop will be shipped to their homes.
Laptops 4 Learning has forever changed the course of many students’ lives, putting them on a path to higher learning they could not have ever imagined. Not only can students keep up with their schoolwork, they are able to get ahead or fuel their curiosity beyond what was assigned. When a student gets a laptop from L4L, they get more than just a piece of high-quality technology– They are offered a whole world of opportunities through education.