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Trent University providing more than 500 free laptop computers for students’ online learning

A fundraiser at Trent University will provide Google Chromebooks to more than 500 students.
A fundraiser at Trent University will provide Google Chromebooks to more than 500 students. AP file

Trent University is providing more than 500 students with laptop computers to assist them with remote learning for the upcoming school year amid the coronavirus pandemic.

On Friday, the university announced more than $270,000 has been raised through a new donor-funded initiative called Remote Learning Initiative (ReLI) which will provide 500 students with Google Chromebook laptop computers.

ReLI was created to help students overcome financial and technology resource hurdles for the 2020-21 academic school year, which beings Sept. 10 at Trent’s campuses in Peterborough and Durham.

“In today’s world, not having the correct technology can directly translate to not having access to a quality education,” stated Sherry Booth, director of philanthropy at Trent University.

Read more: University tuitions on the rise despite move to online courses amid COVID-19

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“The ReLI program is unique because unlike other post-secondary institutions that loan laptops to students, we are providing a permanent gift. We thank the generous donors — including alumni, staff, faculty, friends and foundations — who are providing students with the tools they need to thrive in a virtual environment.”

Trent University is offering many of its courses through online or remote delivery but also to those living and studying on campus. The university will be utilizing more video conferencing and other online tools for students.

“Successful applicants to ReLI will receive a laptop, with all of the software and hardware required for remote learning, as well as the supports needed to connect them to reliable internet,” stated Tariq Al-idrissi, Trent’s associate vice-president of information technology.

The university is also launched a virtual computing commons service to provide all students and faculty with access to a remote Windows virtual desktop that includes a suite of software applications required to support both teaching and learning.

Distribution of laptop computers began this week, the university said.

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