RECYCLING COMPUTERS TO CREATE A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE AND ITS IMPLICATIONS FOR EDUCATION
1 The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists (RANZCO) (AUSTRALIA)
2 Western Sydney University (AUSTRALIA)
About this paper:
Conference name: 17th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 6-8 March, 2023
Location: Valencia, Spain
Abstract:Students around the globe are massive consumers of computing technologies. Desktop computers and laptops continue to be sleeker and lighter and possess ever-increasing performance capabilities. However, they are also increasingly costlier and, with long build times, due to supply shortages of essential components, such as semiconductors. Unlike laptops produced over a decade ago, modern computing technologies made by market-dominant entities, namely Apple, are designed to prevent hard drive and RAM upgrades. Without such upgrades, many new computers have a relatively limited shelf-life and will become obsolete in a few years, contributing to large amounts of unnecessary e-waste. Educational institutions are one of the largest consumers of computing technologies. For many educational institutions around the globe, issues such as universal access to affordable learning technologies, sustainability, and the environment are of critical concern. This paper offers some strategies for educators to use, reuse and regenerate computing technologies that are more sustainable, environmentally friendly, cost-effective, and highly educative for students. The authors present a scenario demonstrating how a desktop computer can be upgraded successfully, eliminating the need for a new purchase. The authors also discuss the implications of recycling computers and the need to include student-upgrading computer skills in the curriculum. Enabling students to upgrade their computers and become critical consumers of technological products is a worthwhile sustainability goal.
Keywords: Recycling technology, computer upgrades, computer skills, IT secondary education, technology sustainability.