With the COVID-19 pandemic forcing most of teaching online, concerns have been raised about the 'digital divide' faced by children who do not have access to adequate technology at home.
Before the pandemic began, Ofcom reported that 9% of children did not have access to a laptop, tablet, or desktop computer. While the UK Government rolled out a £400m scheme for those without access to these devices, there are still many schools and children without the infrastructure in place for adequate online learning, according to Sutton Trust.
In response to this education inequality, the UK video game trade body, Ukie, is launching a new campaign to bridge this divide...
Devices For All campaign announced
Ukie has announced its new Devices For All campaign that encourages companies to donate technology to schools in need. Alongside laptops and computers, the trade body is also encouraging companies to donate video game consoles.
Commenting on the new campaign, Ukie's Head of Education Shahneila Saeed said: "There’s a need right now for devices in schools across the UK, but the digital divide is huge, existed before the pandemic and requires real, long-term solutions."
Ukie's CEO Dr Jo Twist OBE also said: "By donating devices to schools, and especially to those in disadvantaged areas, the [games] industry can play a valuable role in closing the digital divide and building a more inclusive industry for the future."
How can companies get involved?
According to Ukie, the founding partners involved in the Devices For All campaign. These are: Aardvark Swift, Creative Assembly, Cooperative Innovations, Curve Digital, Games Jobs Direct, Kuato, Hi-Rez Studios, SEGA, Nintendo, OPM Jobs, Polystream, Sports Interactive, ustwo games, Team 17 and nDream.
The Reboot Project has partnered with Ukie to help businesses prepare devices for delivery and link them up with local schools to arrange donations. You can see their guide for preparing devices here.
Businesses wanting to get involved in the donation campaign can sign up to take part in the initiative via from here.