Dowagiac Union Schools technology department to give away computers

Published 9:43 am Tuesday, March 5, 2019

DOWAGIAC — In today’s world, technology touches everything — including education — which is why many consider access to technology and computer literacy more critical than ever.

“Technology is involved in every aspect of your life from banking to finances to communication,” said Randy Gross, Dowagiac Union Schools technology director. “But most importantly, people need something in the home for children to use and learn from.”

Next week, the Dowagiac Union Schools technology department will work to ensure students have access to technology in their homes by giving away old computers free of charge to families living within the school district.

The department will be giving away roughly 70 computers from 1 to 4 p.m. Friday, March 15 and from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, March 16. The giveaways will take place at the technology department, which is located on the corner of Lowe and Prairie Ronde streets. The entrance is on Lowe Street. The giveaway is first come first served and limited to one computer per household.

“These are old desktop computers that we can no longer use for a variety of reasons,” Gross said. “We wanted to be able to give them a new use.”

Following school remodels and a switch to more advanced technology like Chromebooks, Gross said that the computers that will be given away no longer fit the needs of students and staff. Rather than selling the computers, the technology department decided to give them away to local families.

“This is our way of giving back to the taxpayers,” Gross said. “We thought, ‘Why don’t we give these items we can no longer use to the people who paid for them in the first place?’”

Computer service technician Dee Herman said that all the computers, including monitors, keyboards and mice, have been tested and checked to ensure that they are working and functional. All the computers are equipped with Windows 7.

“They are good for email and surfing the web, but not for things like gaming,” Herman said.

In the Dowagiac Union School District, technology is essential to learning, Gross said. Because of this, he said he hopes that the computer giveaway will be able to help local students and be a tool for them to learn and enhance their studies.

“They are good, fully useable computers, but they just don’t fit [the district’s] needs anymore,” he said. “If we cannot use these computers anymore, we hope they can help someone else.”

For more information about the computer giveaway, contact the technology department at (269) 782-4477.