Acer is a major partner in the Olympics, supplying the PC hardware infrastructure for the games in London right now. When the games end Acer is committed to leaving an Olympics legacy to the area that hosted the Olympics. Working alongside charity the e-Learning Foundation, Acer has found homes for over 500 laptops; they will mostly go to primary schools but some also will go to Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital School.
Colin MacFarlane, Acer’s UK Education Development Manager, said of the scheme; “Acer is a Worldwide Partner of the Olympic Movement. It is also committed through its education division to providing the best computing solutions for schools. Acer is committed to supporting the legacy of the Games and is delighted to be working in partnership with the e-learning Foundation to support local schools and students in the London 2012 host boroughs.”
Here’s a list of the schools that will get 2012 London Olympic branded refurbished Acer laptops;
- Trinity and Southwood Primary Schools in Dagenham Essex
- Cherry Orchard School in Charlton
- Whitehall Primary School in London, E4
- Northwold Primary School, London E5
- Ainslee Wood Primary School in Chingford
- Bigland Green Primary School in E1
- Brook Community Primary School in E18
- The Children’s Hospital School, Great Ormond Street Hospital
No free lunch
The laptops will be thoroughly refurbished though they shouldn’t be very worn/used looking after just a few weeks use. Acer expects to deliver the laptops by the late autumn. In selected year groups every child in the above schools will get a laptop. The press release hints that they aren’t given out for free but “They will come with a one year warranty and will cost a fraction of their original price.” The budget for buying the laptops looks like it will fall to the eLearning Foundation and school/parental budgets. In order to qualify for these Acer Olympic laptops the schools have to commit to a 1:1 “sustainable programme” of IT teaching.
Pay to show commitment
Valerie Thompson, Chief Executive of the e-Learning Foundation, says “It would have been easy just to give these away, but by requiring that the school makes a commitment to continuing an e-learning programme, we are building the foundations of a sustainable programme rather than a one-off hand-out.”That makes sense and should ensure the laptops are kept by the children for their intended educational purpose. Ms Thompson explains that many of the selected schools educate children from poorer families, “Schools with relatively high free school meals figures will be able to deploy some of their Pupil Premium funds to ensure that every child in the selected year has the same opportunity to have an “Olympic Games laptop” while inviting all the parents to make a modest contribution towards the cost of the programme.”
Acer also revealed how much IT support it put into the running of the 2012 Olympics. The company committed 350 staff alongside a huge amount of computer hardware including “13,500 desktops; 2,900 notebooks; 950 servers and storage systems and a number of tablet PCs.” The Acer machines are currently used for games management, competition scores, reception, information queries, broadcaster support, media centres and the itinerary for each athlete. The company didn’t reveal what is happening with the other 2,400 London 2012 Olympics laptops.