The digital school is not only an obligation, but it must also become a right for everyone. On the side of the students in DaD there is now PC4U, a platform that collects used PCs and arranges them to give them to those who need them . Distance teaching has put many students in difficulty, both for the new school-family rhythms, and for the absence of suitable devices to follow the teachings. In fact, many have complained about the absence of PCs, tablets or screens suitable for following the lessons, finding it very difficult to follow their studies.
For this reason, four 18-year-olds from Milan have decided to found the PC4U platform and lend a hand to students in difficulty. For their social commitment and their spirit of charity, President Mattarella awarded them Alfieri della Repubblica.
PC4U: used PCs donated to students in DaD
Jacopo Rangone, Matteo Mainetti, Emanuele Sacco and Pietro Cappellini: these are the names of the 4 Milanese neighbors behind the PC4U platform. The project was born immediately after the first lockdown with the aim of bridging the "digital gap" of student families in DaD. Many boys and girls, in fact, have had (and are having) many difficulties in following the online lessons, due to the lack of suitable supports. The 4 boys, hearing these experiences from their schoolmates, decided to take advantage of their passion for technology to lend a hand to those in need.
PC4U connects students who need support to the DDA with those who have a device (PC or tablet) to donate, used but working . Anyone can make a donation: both individuals and companies are invited to make their unused devices available to students who do not have them. The collection of devices takes place directly at the home of the donor. The 4 guys then take care of checking that they work: if the device is usable it is reinitialized and eventually fixed, ready to be delivered to those who made the request.
To date, more than 500 refurbished devices have been donated , reconnecting hundreds of students to their right to education. The initiative started in June last year and immediately met with great success in the Milanese hinterland. If before the goal was to help Milanese students, now the project has extended to the entire nation. PC4U is a free platform, both for givers and recipients , and is supported by a crowdfunding campaign that closed last Christmas. The commitment of the 4 very young people has now earned him the title of Alfieri della Repubblica conferred on him by President Mattarella.
For donors, using PC4U means saving on the disposal of unused devices . Instead of worrying about their discharge they can simply donate while doing a charitable act. It is also worth paying attention to the delivery system: the platform relies on For-Te, the first Italian delivery service created by people with intellectual disabilities.
DaD: digital in Italy
In Italy, the lack of devices suitable for DDA and digital skills to deal with it is one of the most pressing problems of the last year. The Istat report of last year confirms the general discontent and difficulties in dealing with the new habits of students and workers. 33.8% of families, in fact, do not own a computer or a tablet , and only 22% have a device for each member of the family. Even if you have a device, in many cases it is too obsolete to allow the student to follow the lessons.
The numbers do not improve if we look at digital skills: between the ages of 14 and 17, only one in 3 students has a high level of skills. Many kids found themselves forced to use tools and applications they had no experience with, finding it difficult to use them. Another great difficulty is the lack of suitable spaces to follow the lessons , such as quiet rooms or desks. 41.9% of minors live in overcrowded homes, and about 7% of adolescents are in homes with structural problems. The discomfort arises not only from the absence of digital skills, but also from the environmental conditions that prevent them from being obtained.
The article PC4U: 4 guys fix used PCs and donate them to students in DaD comes from Tech CuE | Close-up Engineering .