While some children might be gifted with new smartphones or laptops this holiday season, others won’t be as fortunate.

In an effort to close the technology gap between students, the Carroll Tech Council has partnered with Carroll County Public Schools for a mobile device recycling initiative that will provide students in need with devices such as smartphones, laptops, tablets, iPods and iPads.

The program will be used in conjunction with the Tech Council’s CompuKids program, aimed at providing children with technology necessary to succeed in school, and the school system’s Bring Your Own Device program, which allows students to bring mobile devices to school to enhance classroom instruction.

Donated devices will be cleared by Carroll Tech Council volunteers and distributed to all middle schools, high schools and elementary schools that participate in the Bring Your Own Device program.

Gary Davis, chief information officer at the school system, was not sure of the exact number of students that would benefit from the program, but noted it’s important for students to have access to the same devices for learning purposes.

“I’m very concerned about the digital divide,” he said. “I assume there are a number of students that don’t have devices, and I think we need to do everything we can to equalize things as much as possible.”

Kati Townsley, executive director at the Tech Council, is pleased to be able to give back to those in need.

“The Tech Council occasionally receives tablets and devices from donations and we have been stockpiling them to do something with the schools,” she said. “We thought with the holiday season coming up and people getting new devices, maybe they will consider donating their old ones to be used in the school system.”

As soon as devices are received, Tech Council volunteers will begin working to refurbish them for the students.

“Part of our mission is to provide resources for education and we’ve been doing this with computers, giving them to students and families who are in need,” Townsley said.

“This is a new way for us to give technology to people in need. We’re just doing the work to get them good, clean devices to use.”

Donated devices will be collected at participating schools and the Tech Council office. They must be in excellent to good working condition and include a power source.

Reach Sarah Hainesworth at 410-857-7873 or email sahainesworth@tribune.com.

More information
Drop off donated devices at any middle or high school, or at the following elementary schools: Carrolltowne, Cranberry Station, Ebb Valley, Eldersburg, Friendship Valley and William Winchester.

Devices are also being collected at the Tech Council office, 255 Clifton Boulevard, Westminster.

For more information, call the Tech Council at 443-244-1262.

– See more at: http://www.carrollcountytimes.com/news/local/ph-cc-byod-20141215,0,2065837.story#sthash.XsbuxJPx.dpuf

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