Bakersfield College launches loaner laptop program as instruction moves online

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Bakersfield College is launching a loaner laptop program for students in need as the college moved instruction online due to COVID-19.

The program comes as the college said it conducted a student survey last month to determine the need for technology and found that one in 10 students lack adequate off-campus internet access and nearly a quarter of students use their mobile phone as their main device to access their courses.

As part of this new program, 500 Chromebooks will be distributed to students thanks to a donation from Greg and Mary Bynum.

“My heart goes out to those in our community who are struggling to make ends meet, including the students at Bakersfield College who are going through so much hardship in their lives,” said Mary Bynum. “British Columbia has always been about uplifting our community, giving those living in poverty, facing unemployment or other challenges a vehicle to a better life. I’m just happy that Greg and I can play a small role in helping these students complete their education and find employment.

BC said Chromebooks will be equipped with the programs and services students need for online education, including the Canvas online learning management platform, Zoom virtual meeting app. and the Starfish retention program.

“I am confident that this investment will equip members of our community with the tools to engage as active members of our community and once again contribute to a vibrant economy,” said Greg Bynum.

President Sonya Christian thanked the Bynums for their support in creating the laptop loan program.

“The generosity of Greg and Mary Bynum will ensure that our students stay on their educational path towards creating a better life for themselves, their families and our communities,” she said. “That’s the kind of hope our students need right now.”

Students will need to complete an online application for a laptop. The app is available at https://bit.ly/2Xl6RJB.

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