Donating Technology 1

DOTIE Schools ICT Initiative

Updated as of 

6 Feb 2017

The idea of asking local firms and individuals for their old PC’s and laptops came from a shortage of ICT equipment in our schools. As secondary school teachers who teach computers and as a parent to kids in a primary school… it is obvious that the best way to teach young people about the strengths and advantages of computers is to get young people familiar with computers from a very young age.

Schools have ever more restricted budgets while companies and households change their computers every few years …. so why not match up the two? If we can empower our youth with the correct skills and proper usage of computers …… then we are preparing them for their future.

So what are we looking for? Any old PC or laptop will do! Preferably, the PC will have a flat screen monitor, main terminal, keyboard, mouse and appropriate leads.(Windows or higher operating system is preferred) Any laptops will have both the laptop and quite importantly, the appropriate power leads. Please make contact if you have a query. Unfortunately, from our experience, any laptop more than 3 years old is usually only fit for recycling!

If you have an issue with data security (as we would expect from large firms), you can donate the PC without the hard-drive. We can buy a 500GB hard drive for c.€35!

How do you get them to us? We can collect them or arrange to have them dropped off somewhere that suits. Email: dotie.irl@gmail.com or leave a message on 086 2388999

Who gets the computers? You can decide! We shall distribute the computers to various schools but if you would like a particular school to get one of your old computers … then consider it done. All you have to do is let us know of your preference when we collect it/them. A few computers have been allocated to some schools at the donor’s request.  We have already contacted some schools or members school management in West Cork but please feel free to contact us using the methods outlined.

Receiving v distributing computers: To date, we have allocated over 328 PC's to 14 different Primary schools.

We assist some schools with advice on their ICT infrastructure and have also created school websites for some of these schools.  

How do schools register an interest to get free computers? They simply email us at dotie.irl@gmail.comor review the www.dotie.ie website and use the links available.

Who are running this initiative? Trevor Collins and Darren Platts are two secondary school teachers in Bandon. They support the Bandon Coder Dojo and are contactable using the above email address.

How can you help? Please get the word out there that we are trying to help our local schools. We are NOT looking for money …. we need your help to let people know what we are doing and that we will collect and distribute computers to help our local students. For those of you with contacts in local businesses …. please ask if there are any old PCs or laptops that can find a home elsewhere.

All you need to do is to ask your boss via email / text to see if there is any old ICT equipment that could find a new home in our local schools.

Unfortunately, from experience, most of the PC's donated from households tend to be very old and unfit for use. We'll take it if has Windows 7 or higher.

Who can get involved? Anyone! Individuals and households may have old ICT equipment but large companies tend to change their computers more regularly so it may be easier if you have a contact in any company in the local area.

Long term plan: To help create an environment where the students in Cork become ICT literate thus giving them greater opportunities in the world of tomorrow. Thankfully, Cork has a great educational record with the results and achievements of our primary and secondary schools. This project is geared towards helping our local schools.

What is in it for local businesses? We will collect their old equipment. We hope to create a ‘Roll of honour’ to thank publicly those firms (and individuals) who have helped with this project. Many firms have a Social Corporate Responsibility to create links and support the local community .... this project ticks all the boxes!

What about security? Obviously security of data is always important, however, due to the nature of our voluntary organisation and it’s charitable purpose, we cannot accept any liability in respect of same. However, we use all reasonable efforts to attempt to: 1. Erase the hard drive on the unit and 2: re-write the memory so that the unit is completely clear of any data. This has the following 3 objectives: 1. To attempt to ensure that any private information stored on the unit cannot be used by anyone else, 2. To attempt to eliminate any potential viruses and 3. to attempt to ensure that the refreshed unit can operate as efficiently as possible. For the avoidance of doubt, we do not accept any liability if any of these objectives are not achieved.. On the other hand, and as stated previously .. you can always donate a PC minus the hard drive.

Why do this? Why not? As educators … you can never under-estimate how much a small difference can make on a young person! A wise man once said …. ‘We live in a community, we gain by being part of a community and it is only right that we give back to that community’. You can help a child develop skills for life by simply asking for an old and unused computer!

As of Feb 2017: To date, between our own sources and through our link with Eli Lilly, we have allocated new homes to over 300 PC's. These have mainly been distributed to various primary schools in the general Cork and West Cork areas. We hope to develop further links with other sources so that we can continue our mission.

We are finally getting the opportunity to promote what we are doing and our thoughts on the best system available for the future of ICT in schools. (See 'News Updates 20/11/15) Watch out for details on DOTIE Project 2 where we hope to plan a large scale virtual desktop infrastructure for schools thus saving schools and the state huge sums of money while making a better ICT system for the students and teachers! (This is best described as Blue-Sky thinking and why not go for it!!!)

Thanking you in advance for your support of this project,

T Collins & D Platts

Feb 2017

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