Access to Learning – an inside story

Brighton Teacher

Only time will tell the long-term effects of COVID on students. Anecdotally some parents have reported that their child has thrived in Lockdown, because they felt safer at home and were able to be much more productive as a result. However, with no data, it is impossible to say how many children have benefitted, I fear it is the minority.

In March 2020, my school lent me a laptop as I do not own one, I usually do all my IT based work at school. Once trained using Microsoft Teams I started delivering live online lessons to my year 12 students and recorded lessons for all other students to access on the platform remotely. I found my internet connection unreliable, so I was advised by my provider to start using an ethernet cable. I was OK, but what about my students?

During the first Lockdown, I discovered that some students had absolutely no IT access, whilst others were having to share with a sibling(s). Paper resources were posted home for students that had no IT access at all, so they could cover the content their peers were experiencing on Microsoft Teams. Unfortunately, this significantly disadvantaged those students without IT access as they could not watch my pre-recorded videos, which explained difficult new concepts and went over the answers.

Now we’re in a second Lockdown, the children with no IT access through no internet connection are in school along with the children of key workers and those vulnerable children who lacked a device have now been provided with one. I’m getting 100% attendance from my year 12s and 11s and with some persistence, 100% attendance from my year 10s. Attendance of live lessons from KS3 children is less positive as older siblings are the ones to have the device in the day, whilst the younger siblings have to do their work remotely when the laptop/tablet is free. If all children could have their own device, it would without a doubt mean that the harms done to their education would be kept to a minimum. Being able to learn should not be exclusively for the privileged.

There is a way to make a positive change

Many individuals and businesses are donating their unused laptops plus making monetary donations to help support the refurbishment of these devices so they are in top working condition once supplied to the child in need.  To make this possible Tarner Community Project have partnered up with Level Up Laptops.

Donate your spare devices

Please fill our DONATION FORM and we will arrange pickup / drop off.
Please make a cash donation please click on the button below.