LMC provides technology to students

Krys Shahin, Editor-in-Chief

As both lab and lecture courses transition to online only, some students may find themselves struggling to produce the materials and resources they need to be successful, and may not have access to. 

In an attempt to help these students, Los Medanos College has purchased 50 Chromebooks and is re-purposing approximately 80 Dell laptops to distribute and better fulfill student needs.

“We had 70-80 Dell laptops which we had purchased over the last few years with Basic Skills funding for the English and Math departments,” wrote Interim Vice President of Instruction Nancy Ybarra in an email. “In addition, when we needed to transition to online instruction, we ordered 50 Chromebooks for students who would be in need of a loaner to complete the semester successfully.”

Remote instruction began when Contra Costa County was among the first six counties to be put under a shelter-in-place order March 16. These laptops are going to be distributed to students who need them throughout spring break, March 30 to April 4.

“We hope to see laptops being distributed by Monday, March 30,” wrote Ybarra.

Students will have until the end of the spring semester to rent the laptops out, until they have to be returned and re-purposed.

Students can fill out a “Student Support Request Form” at https://dbelman.wufoo.com/forms/s1eu0ox61f9956t/

After request forms are filled out, administration will choose from the applications and “students will be contacted to pick up the laptops by appointment to ensure minimal contact with others as we respect social distancing guidelines,” wrote Ybarra.

While these resources allow students to have access to their classes, they may not be able to run specific programs for classes, such as Adobe software for photo courses.

“Chromebooks are fairly basic, students should expect to be able to access Canvas and Zoom, and create and store basic documents,” wrote Ybarra.

The district knows that this transition is a challenge for both staff and students, and are trying to relieve as much pressure as possible from students’ shoulders.

“They’re [students] going to suffer from an educational standpoint,” said Interim Chancellor Eugene Huff.

The primary source of funding for these Chromebooks came from the Student Equity and Achievement funds. 

For more information about the remote operation resources for students, visit http://www.4cd.edu/covid19/students.aspx.