Devices4Schools expands service

Devices4Schools (D4S), an Oxford University scheme, has made a landmark agreement with ComputerAid, a charity bringing technology to communities all over the world.   

Photo of two people holding laptop boxes outside a school

The first phase of D4S enabled University members to donate their personally-owned old laptops, tablets and phones securely for distribution to deserving educational causes - specifically local schools in Oxfordshire. Through the agreement with ComputerAid we have extended the scheme so that University departments and colleges can donate redundant technology in batches.    

To make this work, we needed a partner who could: 

  • Collect batches of devices from Oxford locations 
  • Process the donated devices securely and erase the data on them to meet University Information Security requirements 
  • Distribute the devices for educational purposes, at no cost to the beneficiary 
  • To take over responsibility for the safe disposal of equipment which can’t be used 

The search for a partner has been challenging, but ComputerAid fulfil all the above criteria, and already have a relationship with Oxford University Press. The charity can process all old technology (not just laptops, tablets and phones but also desktops, monitors, printers, servers and switches etc.) and will pass them on to UK schools and charities. They will also directly link up with the Oxfordshire Community Foundation (OCF) to target University contributions towards the digital divide evident in the county. Items that cannot be passed on but contain components with commercial value will be dismantled and reused or sold on to generate revenue to subsidise the donated devices, making the arrangement mostly self-funding and cost-neutral to the University. 

The Oxfordshire Community Foundation has estimated that ten per cent of schoolchildren around Oxfordshire do not have access to the technology that they need to do their schoolwork. Our hope is that our extended donation scheme will make a significant contribution to addressing the deficit.