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Colorado School Benefits from Computers For Learning Program

By Richard Stebbins

GSA team gives Eaton High School computers
Joy McCool (far left) and Cindy Cronk (middle left) from GSA IT gave Eaton High School IT reps Caleb Leonard (middle right) and Billy Johnston (far right) 50 computers as part of the Computers for Learning program. Photograph by Richard Stebbins

Technology resources, such as computers, have been hard for schools and businesses to acquire in order to accommodate remote learning and work since the COVID-19 pandemic started.

The Rocky Mountain Region is helping one school in Northern Colorado overcome this technology deficit by providing them computers under the Computers for Learning (CFL) program.

"We have about 717 total computers marked to go to different schools within the state and region," said Cindy Cronk, National Warehouse Lead for Science Applications International Corporation. "These computers are given to schools or school districts that request them through the CFL program for free."

The Eaton School District, which has only five schools, was the first to request computers through CFL. Eaton High School received a total of 50 computers which will significantly aid in upgrading the technology available to the school. The addition of these computers at no cost means the district can allocate money to be spent in other areas.

"This is a huge deal for us because we are using very outdated technology in all areas," said Caleb Leonard, Eaton High School IT specialist. "It frees up our resources that we would have spent on laptops to give to our internal infrastructure, purchasing new chromebooks or to be used for the teachers."

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Students in the Eaton School District are issued Chromebooks because they are easier to configure and are less expensive to purchase than standard computers. Teachers use standard computers so they can have more control over the platforms students use while learning remotely. The teachers had been using outdated computers that were not very reliable, until now.

"This is a way we can put newer devices in our teacher's hands," said Billy Johnston, Eaton High School IT specialist. "Having something that works and is reliable is a huge game changer."

The computers issued were all part of GSA at one point in their life cycle but all software and personal information were removed so that they no longer contain any sensitive information or programs that the schools do not use.

Cronk stated "We make sure that each of these computers have all government-related software removed so they can be used right away by the schools that receive them."

Eaton, Colorado is a small town about 55 miles north of Denver with a population of just over 5000 people.

The remaining 667 computers will be allocated to specific destinations once schools finalize their CFL packet.