Bridging Logan’s digital gap
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Bridging Logan’s digital gap

A program aiming to bridge the “digital divide” stratifying students and families in Logan City is making leaps and bounds.

Kingston’s Substation33 has given new life to more than 7000 second-hand laptops and computers, which are now in the hands of students across Logan and beyond.

Local Year 12 student Taj Henley received one of these laptops just last week.

With dreams of becoming an engineer, Mr Henley said the laptop would enable him to work with 3D printers, stay connected with educational resources, and even get work experience.

Substation33 founder and manager Tony Sharp said every household should have a computer.

According to Substation33, some Logan teachers estimated up to 80 per cent of their students had no access to the internet.

“This started with a middle-of-the-night epiphany from me during covid, when we were sending students home to do study at home, but they had no computers and devices,” Mr Sharp said.

“That was the big disparity – while we had some students that had devices, there were plenty of schools in the local area where there was only one device in a classroom of 28 or 30 students.

“It’s a big problem.”

Flash forward to 2024, and the program now involves teaching young people how to rebuild and refurbish computers for locals in need.

“We started rebuilding computers and deliver those computers into family homes, via either a small donation or sponsorship or corporate donation,” Mr Sharp said.

“We data-cleanse those devices, reimage those devices, and get them registered to use.”

These devices can then be bought for just a fraction of the price of brand-new computer, with laptop packages starting at $100.

“Every school student in the state system in Queensland, as part of their enrolment package, get the complete Office suite – Word, Powerpoint, Excel – on five separate devices, so we preload the devices with the Office suite,” Mr Sharp said.

“We’ve delivered over 7000 devices into Logan areas and beyond, and we’ve delivered another few thousand devices with a partner organisation into Indonesia and Papua New Guinea.”

 

 

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