When Northampton students return to school next fall, dozens of Dell and Apple desktops and laptops will be waiting for them. The systems, which will support everything from history podcasts by elementary students to photography and videography projects by high school students, are being donated to the city through Smith’s long-running Technology Donation Program. The donation—which includes more than 70 laptops and desktops—is one of the largest in the program’s history.
“We’re thrilled to make this connection, especially since so many of these systems will directly support the public schools,” says Barbara Pliska, the college’s computer resource manager and coordinator of the Smith College Technology Donation Program. In total, 60 desktop systems, 10 laptops, 15 large workgroup printers and 4 classroom-grade projectors will make their way into the city’s classrooms and offices.
Molly McLoughlin, the Northampton Public Schools’ digital literacy and computer science coordinator, says that the computers will be put to immediate use in the public schools.
“As technology use becomes more integrated into the schools and society,” McLoughlin says, “these systems will support the diversity of technology our students are exposed to in their K-12 education. It’s through Smith’s generous donations that our students will have an increased opportunity to engage with technology platforms less commonly available in our district.”
Since its inception, the Technology Donation Program has helped place hundreds of technology assets throughout the Pioneer Valley. Recipients have included local school districts (Northampton, Holyoke, Athol, Hampshire Regional, Springfield, Greenfield and more); local libraries (Forbes, Lilly); local nonprofits (Project Coach; the Girl Scouts; The Dakin Pioneer Valley Humane Society) and more.
Other recent donations of note included 10 desktop systems to support local refugees’ educational pursuits and 10 desktop systems to the Loíza Municipal Library in Puerto Rico.
The TDP offers equipment on a first-come, first-served basis. Eligible organizations can submit requests through the TDP website.