In the past, PCF has provided several hundred families with take home computers: free computers to families that do not have one at home. While we still support this program to some extent, implementation has been scaled back a bit due to the following factors:
- it can take up to two hours to install a single home computer (we often end up troubleshooting internet connectivity along with a host of other home electronics issues)
- to help a family utilize a computer requires ongoing education, hands-on training, and support
- there are other non-profit organizations that sell computers and provide training at very little expense
- some studies indicate that a computer paired with a lack of oversight may actually harm students (eg playing games when children might have been working on homework instead)
- in many cases, the parents have less experience with computers than their child, raising the practical issue of whom to assign Admin rights to (and thus who gets to control privacy settings, implement software/security updates, and so on)
These along with other related issues provide plenty of grounds for discussion. But practically speaking, PCF currently does not have the resources to install and provide on-going support for the Take Home Computer program unless we are working with the student or their family directly already.
PCF continues to provide take-home computers to students in our 3D Printing and Technology classes, Families and Schools Together program participants (in schools we are working with) and other students with whom we have direct contact.
Instead of providing computers to the general public directly, we are trying to set up as many publicly accessible mini labs in communal spaces such as Home & School Association rooms (inside schools) and mini labs in community centers, libraries, etc. These spaces are supervised by others and lessens the need for PCF to provide on-going support.
Take Home Computers News
Thanks to St. Peter's Church in Society Hill, and congregant Ms. Woods in particular (pictured above), PCF was able to offer assistance to a refugee family in the Overbrook section of Philadelphia. The family fled [...]
The Philadelphia Children's Foundation is looking to fill a part time position as soon as possible. Philadelphia Children’s Foundation Elementary School Technology Program Development and Instruction Position Description Background PCF is a non-profit organization of people [...]
PCF donated and installed a computer for third grader Rayna in the Bustleton section of Philadelphia. Rayna is an honor student who needed a computer in order to be able to keep up with her [...]
We could have used a few different titles for this post such as "How To Save Yourself 60+ Minutes Per Machine", or "Fast and Error-Free Refurbishing" or "How DAO Technologies Saved PCF !" among others. [...]
ABCya! is one of the most popular educational games websites among students in the various schools we work with. It offers students of all ages/grades educational games to teach them math, reading, and so on [...]
Philadelphia is lucky to have a program that assists post high-school minorities and women in the field of technology. The Item (which stands for "Inclusive Technology & Entrepreneurship Movement") has regular meet-up meetings where they [...]
In May of 2014, PCF provided the families of 2nd Graders at Hartranft Elementary School in North Philadelphia with take home computers. Here are some of the photos of the event:
PHILADELPHIA, PA - On March 13, 2014, Philadelphia Children's Foundation distributed computers to the fifth grade students of Hartranft Elementary School. The entire fifth grade class, totaling 59 children received a computer. Students and their families, [...]