By Sarah Miller, The Calvert County Times
HOLLYWOOD, Md.—Have you been looking for a way to help Calvert County Public Schools (CCPS)? Consider donating your old and unused computers, tablets and other technology!
CCPS is actively seeking businesses and individuals to donate computers, tablets and other technology for students to use in the classroom.
Receiving donated technology saves schools money, according to CCPS Director of Information Technology Jonathan McClellan
The approximate savings for the county has been between $3.7 and $8.4 million, McClellan said. This is calculated using a price of $250 for used computers and $565 for new computers. Some of the entities the Office of Information Technology works with get new equipment every three or four years, so CCPS receives a constant cycle of upgraded technology.
The computer donation is more than a decade old, according to Application Specialist Adam Will. The first donations came from a law firm in Washington, D.C., in 2004. Since then, CCPS has entered into agreements with the federal government to receive surplus equipment. Will has approached any business with a technology department to donate their un-utilized equipment.
While they prefer larger donations, CCPS will take donations from individuals, Mc-Clellan said. If the equipment is compatible with computers already in use at schools, CCPS technicians will reformat the computer and upgrade the memory and hard drive if necessary. If the computer is not immediately usable, or does not meet specifications, it will be used for parts - taking what is needed and putting it into other machines. They take precautions to ensure no personal information from previous owners is left on the machine in addition to adding security to make it safe for students to use.
CCPS can accept all computer related equipment donated by individuals, companies, or institutions for evaluation and reuse. Computers donated to the school system have a Dual Core Processor, two gigabytes of memory, and an 80 gigabyte hard drive.
Acceptable donations include desktop computers, monitors, laptops, printers, scanners and even office furniture. Newer machines are preferred, but CCPS will accept any donations, McClellan said. CCPS has been aggressive about obtaining used computers, he said. They have gone as far as Delaware and Virginia to pick up computers. Locally, they receive computers from the Calvert County Government and the College of Southern Maryland, Will said.
In addition to the computer donation program, CCPS is seeking out donations of new or used mobile devices for use with students in classrooms. Like other technology, iPads donated to CCPS are reset to factory default settings to ensure the privacy and security of the donor. CCPS will accept iPads, iPad Minis, iPods, Kindles, Nooks, or other mobile devices or e-readers.
For more information, or to arrange a donation, visit http://www.calvertnet.k12.md.us.