Tech Manitoba donates computers to people needing online experience during self-isolation

Computer literacy is essential when living in self-isolation, says Tech Manitoba. The Canadian Press file

Even though so many people are socially isolated due to the coronavirus pandemic, it’s still easy to stay in touch and keep abreast with what’s happening in the world thanks to the internet — as long as you know how to use it.

A Winnipeg tech industry association is hoping to help people in need with a digital literacy program that will donate free desktop computers to a few individuals or families in need.

Tech Manitoba’s Margaux Miller told 680 CJOB the organization’s DigitALL program is aimed at getting people more confident with computers and the online world.

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Tech Manitoba’s Margaux Miller
Tech Manitoba’s Margaux Miller. Twitter / Margaux Miller

“Right now, more than ever this program is so important,” Miller said.

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“Without the necessary computer skills to work from home or even just interact socially or economically in an online world, people are being left behind right now.”

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Tech Manitoba is giving away eight desktop computers — complete with training manuals and a set-up phone call with the organization — and it’s selecting the recipients by nomination from the public.

“You can nominate family or friends or someone you know who might be in need of one,” Miller said.

“There are families at home right now who’ve got four or five kids and they’re all sharing one device, trying to get their classes and homework done — or maybe they don’t even have that one device.”

Miller said she’s hoping the initiative could start a movement of people passing on their own unused devices to people in need, or even just sharing technical skills to help friends, family or neighbours get online in a difficult time.

To nominate a deserving individual, family, or even an organization, you can fill out a questionnaire at the Tech Manitoba website — or if you don’t have the technical skills, leave a voicemail at 431-478-0165, where you’ll be prompted with the questions to answer about whom you want to nominate.

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