With the learning environment leaning heavily on online classes since the COVID-19 outbreak in the United States, UofL purchased 700 Dell laptops to give away to qualifying students. Classes at UofL for the fall semester have either converted to entirely online or are a “hybrid” model, a combination of online and in-person.
“This the first time we’ve been able to anticipate technology needs,” said Provost Beth Boehm. “Spring’s swift pivot to remote learning made it clear that the digital gap is real, and so we wanted our students to have the technology necessary to do all the work in a hybrid or online environment.”
Freshmen and incoming/transfer students with the greatest financial need were the first to be offered an invitation to apply for the free Dell 3300 13-inch laptop equipped with webcam, microphone and speakers. The Student Success Center will expand invitations to continuing second- and third-year students in the next phase.
Serenity Frazier, a sophomore transfer student who is majoring in nursing, said it was going to be hard to get as much screen time as she needed with only one computer at home. She picked up her “Keys to Success” laptop this week.
“It means a lot to me because I’ve got the technology at home but my mom has to use it for work,” Frazier said. “My laptop broke so to have my own now means a lot. This makes it easier for kids who don’t have the resources at home who would have had to go to the library.”
Natalie Uhl in the Office of Communications and Marketing contributed to this article.