Technology donation and education are great ways to use tech for good.
Giving away technology is a great way to give back to your community. It is also a smart way to ensure that the technology you donate is put to good use and remains accessible to the public.
The best way to donate your used tech is by finding a local non-profit or educational organization. Look for an organization that focuses on technology, science, engineering, or math education of youth. Donate your used phones and computers so students can have access to the same tools you use everyday.
We started a makerspace to teach people, specifically kids, about technology and how to be makers. We constantly get donations of computers and other technology from kind-hearted individuals. We are grateful for the tech donations and know it’s a great way to use tech for good.
We held our first class at the maker space on Saturday. We taught the students binary numbers. They were able to show off their knowledge by programming LED lights with Arduinos. The students had a great time, and so did we!
Donating your technology to a Makerspace is a great way to give back to the community. The kids in your neighborhood will be empowered by learning how to use the technology you take for granted, and learn skills that will help them thrive in the technology-driven world of tomorrow.
In cities and towns across the country, makerspaces are popping up in libraries, community centers, schools, and other places. Makerspaces are collaborative workspaces where people with common interests in technology, science, crafts, or digital or electronic art meet to share resources and knowledge.
A makerspace can be a place to work on personal projects, work collaboratively with others on group projects, attend public classes or workshops that cover anything from basic computer skills to more advanced topics like robotics and virtual reality (VR). Users can also take advantage of donated devices from organizations like TechSoup’s TechSoup Global Network to get hands-on experience with new technologies.
Makerspaces also frequently offer 3D printing services. In some cases, you can use your own design files for free; in others you have to pay a small fee. If you don’t have access to a 3D printer at your nonprofit or library but need to make one-off printed items for your organization’s work or community program participants, a makerspace is a good place to turn.
In 1994, the Clinton administration announced their plan to bridge the digital divide between low-income communities and those of higher socioeconomic status. The initiative was a great idea for the time, but it has become more and more clear over the past several years that internet access alone is not enough to close this gap.
Makerspaces are one way to address this problem and bring technology education to people who might not otherwise have access to it. Makerspaces can be found in libraries, community centers and schools, among other locations. They are designed as collaborative spaces where people can gather to share resources and knowledge, work on projects, network, and build.
Resources include 3D printers, software, electronics and components like Arduino boards or Raspberry Pis; tools like saws or soldering irons; and equipment like sewing machines or vinyl cutters. Some makerspaces even go so far as to offer classes in programming languages such as Python or C++.
Makerspaces offer an opportunity for both children and adults to learn about technology at their own pace and on their own terms. The focus is entirely on learning by doing. While traditional educational models place a lot of emphasis on theory rather than practical application, makerspaces allow people to learn how to use technology in a hands-on
A makerspace can be an excellent way to encourage students’ interest in technology, while also providing a space where they can safely experiment and create.
Makerspaces are often equipped with a variety of tools and equipment, including 3D printers and laser cutters, soldering irons, computer programming classrooms and traditional woodworking stations. In the classroom, makerspaces can teach collaboration, problem-solving skills and how to use technology.
While makerspaces are most often associated with schools, there are other types of community organizations that can benefit from having one. On top of teaching technology skills, some organizations use their makerspace to focus on community service projects.
Makerspaces for Community Service
A makerspace can be an excellent place for your community to organize volunteer efforts or collect donations for a cause. A few ideas for how your space could contribute include:
Collecting clothing or food items for those in need
Hosting fundraisers or drives to raise money for charity
Teaching volunteers how to program computers or use 3D printers to create useful products
Working on group projects that will benefit the community*
These days, the benefits of technology are hard to ignore. From smartphones to tablets to social media, there is no denying that technology has changed our lives forever. But even with all of this technological improvement, there is still room for more to be done.
Technology can be used for good, and there are plenty of ways that you can use it to make a difference. Whether you want to see some changes in your own community or across the globe, here’s how you can do it:
If you have any old computers or cell phones sitting around the house collecting dust, consider donating them to an organization that will refurbish them and give them away.
If you know your way around a computer, then consider mentoring teens who want to learn about coding and web design. Or start a program at your local library or school!
Many people don’t realize just how many ways technology can be used for good, so spread the word! You could write a blog post highlighting some of the tech projects that are being worked on around the world, or even use social media like Twitter or Facebook to get your message out there.