Green Electronics CouncilSustainability for a Connected Future Campaign
Supporting members of the Education sector during the COVID-19 Crisis.
As schools shut down in response to COVID-19, the concept of how education is delivered is being redefined. At the core of this new reality is technology, and schools are doing their best to adapt. They are challenged with getting devices such as laptops, Chromebooks and/or tablets quickly into the hands of their students, ensuring those devices have connectivity to the internet and finding ways to have lessons take place on platforms that are secure and engaging for kindergartners through higher grades and students with special needs.
In recognition of the importance of education, GEC has launched Sustainability for a Connected Future, a global campaign that invites members of the Information Communication Technology (ICT) sector to help school systems adapt as technology becomes the physical classroom. The Green Electronics Council (GEC) is a mission driven non-profit dedicated to a future of only sustainable electronics. We recognize the tremendous benefits technology provides but refuse to accept those benefits at the price of People or Planet. GEC’s Sustainability for a Connected Future campaign is focused on three primary activities:
1. Getting sustainable devices in the hands of educators and students
2. Facilitating students and educators’ access to high-speed internet services
3. Identifying distance learning platforms and tools
Getting Sustainable Devices into the hands of Educators and Students
Purchase EPEAT-Registered Computer Equipment as part of Covid-19 Distance Learning Procurements
GEC is communicating to manufacturers the high need for IT equipment used by schools as part of the COVID-19 distance learning efforts. We invite educators to view the many sustainable laptops, Chromebooks, and/or tablets available on the online EPEAT Registry and congratulate the many brands who are working to meet the continuing high demand for computer equipment by the academic sector.
If your organization has a need for a specific IT product, GEC can work directly with brands to help meet your needs. See a full list of EPEAT-registered laptops and tablets, or complete a GEC K-12 confidential online intake form to share the nature of your need.
Facilitating Students and Educators’ Access to High-Speed Internet Services
GEC Supports the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) “Keep Americans Connected” Pledge
GEC applauds the more than 700 internet service providers who have signed the FCC Keep Americans Connected pledge to ensure that citizens nationwide have access to internet services. We call upon these service providers to extend their pledge to students and educators and promise to (1) not terminate services because of inability to pay due to the disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic; (2) waive any late fees because of economic circumstances related to the coronavirus pandemic; and (3) open their Wi-Fi hotspots to any student/education/school system who needs them. Learn more about the FCC’s Keep Americans Connected pledge and see a listing of all signatories.
Find Discounted Internet Access Service Providers in your Zip Code using the EveryoneOn.org Searchable Database
GEC believes equitable access to internet services is a core element of a sustainable future where individuals experience the benefits technology provides but not at the cost of People or Planet. EveryoneOn.org is a non-profit organization committed to helping bridge the Digital Divide and maintains a database of discounted internet services offers searchable by zip code. This publicly accessible tool is available to K-12 students, families, and their school districts. Visit EveryoneOn.org to find discounted internet services offers in your area.
Identifying distance learning platforms and tools
Providing a list of online tools currently used by schools to support their transition to distance learning.
School systems across the U.S. have had to transition quickly to distance learning and are relying on a number of platforms and tools. GEC is helping identify and share information about these platforms and tools to assist educators in the fast deployment of inclusive and engaging online learning environments. Some of the platforms and tools are being offered for free or at reduced costs to help educators and students continue to work collaboratively while schools remain closed.
We ask the companies already providing platform services or other distance learning tools to academic institutions to contact us so that we can highlight them to educators who are new to delivering distance education. GEC especially welcomes those companies willing to provide special consideration to school systems suffering from financial hardship. Similarly, if you are a school district, educator, or student that is using a specific platform as part of your online learning experience and would like GEC to feature that platform and/or experience as part of our resource page, please contact us at PurchaserResources@greenelectronicscouncil.org.
GEC encourages all institutional purchasers to make sustainable procurement decisions to help mitigate the ongoing crisis of climate change and build a culture of sustainability for a connected future.