People in Lichfield and Burntwood are being urged to donate laptops or tablets to help youngsters learn from home during the coronavirus lockdown.

The Laptops for Lichfield campaign is asking individuals and businesses to help support school-age children who do not have access to computers and headphones.

It is the brainchild of Lichfield District Council’s leader Cllr Doug Pullen who said he hoped people would seek out old or unused equipment for the scheme.

Cllr Doug Pullen

“With several young children at home, I know how hard it is to ensure continuity of learning while sharing a laptop, or if there are multiple people in one room without headphones.

“With almost 100 schools in Lichfield district, we need as many devices as possible.

“Let’s find those unwanted laptops – we’ll collect them from your home or business, get them cleaned up and wiped of all personal data, and then distribute them to schools in the district who will then pass on to families.”

Cllr Doug Pullen

Anyone who wants to donate a laptop for the initiative can find out more information here.

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9 Comments

  1. Well done Cllr Pullen, great local leadership.
    It seems only right and proper that he should lead this local campaign as it was his party that keeps dangling the promise of laptops to schools and then failing to deliver.
    https://news.sky.com/story/covid-19-headteachers-anger-at-being-unable-to-order-pupils-laptops-for-remote-learning-12180443

    Just out of interest will the broadband connections required for this at home online schooling also be provided? Asking for that sizeable section of society that do not have internet access at home.

  2. I applaud the LDC leader and his efforts to help children during this difficult time.

    It might not be as trendy as helping school age children, but a similar appeal could be made for those elderly people in Lichfield who are isolated and shielding and have little or no access to information and news. I know there is a large number of older people who are not being kept informed or updated on the latest Covid news or details about vaccinations. How are they supposed to understand what is going on?

  3. Scribbler – conversations are happening. And a call to businesses etc who might be prepared to “forget” to password protect a WiFi connection so someone walking past taking their daily exercise might accidentally hook up to download worksheets, videos etc.

    Barry Scott – good point. If you are aware of anyone that might be missing out on info can you point them to Lichfield Cares or Burntwood Be A Friend so they can be pointed to help. If you want to email me on the LDC email address I’ll try to make sure someone gets in touch.

  4. Joanne Grange: Perhaps households without kids of school age could “lend” their wifi to neighbours with no connection or a poor connection during the day for educational purposes.

    Easy with those routers and hubs (eg Virgin Superhubs and Hub 3) that have a facility to set up a guest network. Publicise a common password?

  5. Cllr Grange – glad to hear it as regards the WiFi and in general I support what LDC’s leader is doing in the short term.

    Mark – not sure that would work so well. No school age children here, for example, but three people working full time at home. I’m sure there are tech savvy individuals locally who can help with that aspect.

  6. Joanne Grange: Perhaps households without kids of school age could “lend” their wifi to neighbours with no connection or a poor connection during the day for educational purposes.
    Then if your business or home computer is hacked and your information stollen who do you blame.
    Not such a good idea

  7. Mark and ML – I don’t know enough about setting up secure, shared WiFi to be able to agree or otherwise but happy to take your advice. I was thinking businesses because they may have “guest” WiFi already available, fully secured, and with knowledgeable IT experts to manage any risks.

    Mark – do you have any links you could share on how this might be made to work? It feels like there should be a way that would appease ML’s (and others’) concerns where people feel they can spare some bandwidth.

  8. @ ML: Plainly you shouldn’t allow open access to your secure home wifi network, but you can set up a guest network for use by others, separate from your secure network.

    I don’t think this is possible on a domestic BT hubs (possible on BT business hubs) but it is possible on domestic Virgin hubs and many standalone routers.

    Instructions for Virgin hubs here:

    https://www.virginmedia.com/help/virgin-media-set-up-a-guest-network-on-your-hub

    @ Scribbler: This wouldn’t be for everyone, but there are many people – including me – who are not working and who do not make heavy use of their wifi during the school day.

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