100 Free Laptops Given to Digital Readiness Students at Four UH Community Colleges

February 28, 2022, 5:16 a.m. HST

Students who take a free digital readiness course offered by four University of Hawaii Community College campuses statewide can receive a refurbished laptop, while supplies last. Hawai’i CC, Kapi’olani CC, Kaua’i CC, and Windward CC offer hands-on introductory classes for adults with little or no computer experience.

Classes will start in March. To register for digital readiness courses at participating UH community colleges and for class times, call 808-235-7334. Students who complete this course will also receive a one-year subscription to NorthStar’s online courses, to increase their digital literacy or learn other professional skills.

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 Hawaiian residents have taken the course in 2021, including Fely Dias.

“I’m not afraid to use the computer anymore,” Dias said, after completing the course at Windward CC. “The digital readiness course helped me navigate the computer better on my own. I can see that the computer is a very handy tool for me to deal with day-to-day things now. … I learned how to create an e-mail and surfing the Internet, which is wonderful.

The State of Hawaii Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism and UH signed a memorandum of understanding for laptops in January.

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As part of the agreement, DBEDT is providing 100 refurbished laptops for distribution to students who complete the UH Community Colleges Digital Readiness course. In return, UH:

  • Help program participants register for the NorthStar Digital Literacy Assessment.
  • Notify program participants of the availability of the Hawaiʻi Emergency Broadband Benefit program, under which eligible households can receive up to $50 per month for broadband service and up to $75 per month for eligible households on land hawaiian.
  • Inform program participants of the Hawaii Remote Work Pilot.
  • Provide program participants with technical hardware and software support on refurbished laptops by referring them to Hawaiian Hope.
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Refurbished laptops are distributed equally among the four campuses and will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Sam D. Gomez