Calgary

Home schooling now in full swing, but not every family has laptops for every child

The demand for technology continues to increase in Alberta, as schools across the province try to get students started with online classes.

Groups across Alberta try to raise money for more Chromebooks, tablets

A boy works through the back end of a video game he's developing. Not all kids in Calgary and Alberta have access to laptops necessary to complete their at-home school work during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Rafferty Baker/CBC)

The demand for technology continues to increase in Alberta, as schools across the province try to get students started with online classes.

In-person classes for all students were cancelled last month, with school work moving online.

People are trying to raise money to equip students with the tools they need to stay educated during the COVID-19 crisis.

As many as one in 10 students in Calgary face poverty and socioeconomic challenges, according to Marilyn Field, executive director of Education Matters, which is the fundraising arm of the Calgary Board of Education

Education Matters has already raised $25,000 to help those students, she said, money that will go directly to buy devices such as Chromebook and tablets.

More requests than computers

Alberta Computers for Schools, another fundraising group, has seen many applications for help from families.

Executive director Kari Cope said the group's inventory of refurbished computers has been decreasing. 

"It's simple math, right? We can't give out computers that we don't have," Cope said. "And right now, we're distributing in far greater numbers than we are receiving."

The Calgary Board of Education has also partnered with the Electronic Recycling Association in an attempt to connect every student so they can participate in this new way of learning.

Teachers in rural Alberta have had to get creative to teach students without technology or internet at home. Many schools have set up bins for students to pick up work on paper, and drop off their assignments. 

With files from Terri Trembath

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