The Importance of Technology During Lockdown
In our latest blog, Year 12 student Eloise Rux-Burton explains how and why she got involved in a charitable laptop recycling initiative for the good of her community.
Over to Elle…
Having experienced lockdown schooling twice at this point, I can pretty confidently say that I would’ve been absolutely lost without adequate access to technology and would be extremely behind in my subjects without it. So, when I realised what a priority this had become, I wondered what we could do our best to help anyone in that situation, so they are not unequally disadvantaged by the pandemic. I first found out about laptop donation initiatives after hearing about these on the news and it being raised to my attention further by some family friends. I was really inspired to get involved and continue my interest in encouraging the best possible future for all young people. It is important to me that everyone can be granted equal opportunity to excel.
The donated laptops will be given to those most in need at this time in my local area, Oxfordshire. These are largely students from more disadvantaged backgrounds whose parents or carers, sometimes as a direct implication of the pandemic, are unable to purchase adequate technology for accessing lessons and homework. Whilst, fortunately, we seem to be the toughest part of coronavirus, there remain thousands of children without access to devices that have become necessary for education. For the future of these students, and of our country, it is of vital importance that all young people are educated as highly as they can be in order to help reduce the lasting effects of this crisis and build a stronger future.
Contributing to the cause
A few family friends in my village and I have set up a drop off point at our local village shop. Weekly, we collect the laptops and tablets that have been dropped off at the shop and some from surrounding towns and villages. We take them to a refurbishment shop in Wantage called The Mix. The project would not have been at all possible without The Mix, they have been amazing at regularly being willing to take on more devices, refurbishing them at no cost and then distributing them in the Oxfordshire area. So far we have collected around 200 laptops and tablets which have now been refurbished and sent out. In the future, we hope to continue encouraging donations and regularly dropping off anything we have been able to collect.
I was interviewed on BBC Radio Oxford about my role in this after they contacted the group of us who are working on the initiative and asked us if we would be willing to spread the word on the radio. The experience was great. The broadcaster was absolutely lovely and I was given the opportunity to do a quick rehearsal the day before to partially mitigate my anxiety about it all. Obviously though, it was still very nerve racking! Now, I look back on it as a really good experience, especially since I have often thought about a career in the media, and this was a good chance to see how interviews are conducted and get broadcast.
This project is something that I am really passionate about as I am often extremely concerned to see inequality in our society. I decided I would try and encourage other Stratford Girls’ Grammar School students to replicate the initiative in their areas. SGGS really helped me with this, giving me a platform and time in the House assemblies to talk about what I was doing and explain how other students could get involved. Hopefully this will lead to other students thinking about the growing socio-economic divide in the UK and how they might be able to help, whether that is setting up their own initiative or ransacking the house for their old tablets and laptops, this all helps to reduce the problem in some way.
My favourite subject at remains Religious Studies, but my other A Levels, History and Politics, certainly tie at a close second. After I graduate, I am hoping to study for an undergraduate degree in Philosophy and Theology, followed by a Masters and Doctorate in Philosophy. This is because I am completely and utterly passionate about studying ethics and political philosophy, in an attempt to be able to contribute to the formation of greater equality and kindness within society.