October 9, 2019 – This fall, students returning to Davidson County Community College noticed a new addition in the Love Resource Center on the Davidson Campus. The college now offers students the opportunity to rent laptops from a kiosk. The rental is free and lasts for one day, with the option to renew as needed. For students, it is as quick and easy as swiping their college ID cards to use the kiosk.
The Love building already houses many of the available resources on the campus: the library, tutoring services, career development, the school nurse, mentoring services and more. The kiosk has been a welcomed tool for students. Stationary computers will continue to be available in the library, but the laptop rentals will now allow students to be mobile throughout campus and to take their work home.
“Often students may not have the resources to buy a new computer, or may have to use a computer that does not perform well due to the age of the computer and other factors,” said Director of Information Technology Services Donald Beck. “Technology is a significant part of the education process. We want all students to have access to the tools they need to succeed.”
DCCC is one of only two community colleges in the state to have a laptop kiosk. In the month of September, a total of 26 students utilized the kiosk 176 times. The rental machine has space for up to twelve laptops. Each laptop comes equipped with Windows 10, Office 2016 and up-to-date browsers, Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge and Firefox. The college plans to monitor the kiosk’s use to best determine how to respond to students’ needs, which may result in additional kiosks in the future.
The idea to enhance access to technology for students has been in the works for several years. Through the Frontier Set Network grant, awarded to DCCC earlier this year, the idea became reality. Frontier Set is a network of 31 institutions with grant awards supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The goal of the grant is to significantly increase student access and lessen socioeconomic barriers that could prevent college attainment.
The kiosk is one of several DCCC projects funded through the grant. The college hopes that this additional technology resource will aid in closing the achievement gap between students.