UH: Free Refurbished Laptops Available to Digital Readiness Students
The state and University of Hawaiʻi are partnering together to help students participating in digital readiness courses through UH community colleges get technology that will help them succeed.
According to a UH press release, students who complete a free digital readiness course offered by four community college campuses statewide can receive a refurbished laptop, while supplies last.
Hawai‘i Community College in Hilo, Kapi‘olani Community College on O‘ahu, Kaua‘i Community College and Windward Community College on O‘ahu are offering the introductory hands-on classes for adults with little or no computer experience. The refurbished laptops are being divided equally among the four campuses and will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.
UH community colleges began offering the digital readiness program in May 2021 in partnership with the Workforce Development Council and the Hawaiʻi State Public Library System. More than 520 Hawai‘i residents took the course in 2021, including Fely Dias.
“I am not afraid of using the computer anymore,” Dias said, after completing the course at Windward Community College. “The digital readiness class has helped me to navigate the computer better on my own. I can see the computer is a very convenient tool for me to handle the day-to-day things now. I learned to create an email and to browse the internet, which are wonderful.”
The state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism and UH signed an agreement for the laptops in January. Under the agreement, DBEDT is providing the 100 refurbished laptop computers. In return, UH will:
- Assist program participants in registering for the NorthStar Digital Literacy Assessment.
- Inform program participants of the availability of the Hawaiʻi Emergency Broadband Benefit Program, under which qualified households can receive up to $50 a month toward broadband service and up to $75 a month for qualified households on Hawaiian Home Lands.
- Inform program participants about the Hawai‘i Remote Work Pilot Project.
- Provide program participants with technical hardware and software support on the refurbished laptop computers through referrals to Hawaiian Hope.
- Classes begin in March. To register and for class times, call 808-235-7334.
Students who complete this course will also receive a year subscription to NorthStar’s online courses, in order to increase their digital literacy or acquire other workforce skills.