Technology to help schools more effectively target and provide technology to students who need it to help close the technology gap

I'm currently conducting research while trying to get interest and marketing this project.

Photo of Gabriel Rakoski
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  • Technology

Are you employed by T-Mobile or related to an employee of T-Mobile?

  • No

Eligibility: Date of Birth


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Permanent Address: 2770 Gelletly Rd., Charlottesville, VA 22902 Phone Number: (434) 227-9520

Date You Started Your Project Started


Project Stage: Select the description below that best applies to your approach.

  • Idea (hoping to get started in the future)

1. The Problem: What problem are you helping to solve?

On average, school systems spend $764+ dollars per pupil per year to provide them with technology to enhance learning and help close the technology gap. The issue is they are providing this technology to people who don't need it which results in cheap electronics that can barely run the software they are suppose to, hence poor user experience which drives up costs and increases Moral Hazard Risk.

2. Your Solution: How are you planning to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.

What if we partnered with schools to provide a platform that allows parents and students to purchase technology that meets their needs based upon per defined standards by the school and need/want. We would use AI and data such as number of times device was dropped/broke by the student, income, house, neighborhood, ethnicity, etc. to better determine who needs electronics and who does not to help schools move to a bring your own device policy more effectively. We would then work with the school to provide discounts, free tech, etc. to students who need it based upon information gathered. This could help reduce technology costs for schools, Moral Hazard Risks, and help close the technology gap.

3. Personal Journey: What’s the story behind why you decided to start this project?

I went to Monticello High School in Albemarle County, Virginia, and graduated in June, 2018. While attending Monticello, I noticed many students complained about their computers crashing when attempting to run the most basic processes. For example, my computer crashed multiple times when attempting to run Google Chrome. In addition, many students who did not need laptops where receiving them because it was provided and easy to obtain. This wastes county resources. Yes! They did have a bring your own device policy and some students would take advantage of it, but because no one cared that much, they would take the computer even when they would bring their own device or not need it. I begun really researching this project in late June, 2019 and in early August, 2019 began contacting schools to get their perspective and gauge interest.

4. Selfie Elevator Pitch: Include 1-minute video that answers the following “I am stepping up to make change because...”

5. Example: Please walk us through a specific example of what happens when a person or group gets involved with your project.

At the beginning of each school year a new student/parent would be prompted to create an account with us. When they create an account, they would add their school via a code provided by the school and then fill out their contact and other general information for account setup. Once that step is complete, they would provide more specific financial and course information (we would receive more data as they progress through school). Once that is complete, they would receive offers for a few (no more than 5) curated technology selections required for school with discounts, financing options, and other purchase options along with clear compare and contrast for effective decision making. They would then choose the device and/or software needed that would be shipped to them with it all setup. All they would have to do is take it out of the box and log in to finish setup.

6. The X Factor: What is different about your project compared to other programs or solutions already out there?

1. We work with the school and the student to understand both parts of the equation, instead of just working with the school to provide technology that may not be relevant for all students. In other words, we don't make general assumptions that all students' situations are the same because they are not. 2. We make it simple and easy for both parties. We identify technology that will suit both individuals needs based upon data they provide us.

7. Impact: How has your project made a difference so far?

We plan on using data collected along with involvement in the community (school and broader community) to determine the impact that we have in people's lives along with other innovations. This will help to ensure that we remain relevant as time goes on and create innovations that have a meaningful impact on communities around us.

8. What’s Next: What are your ideas for taking your project to the next level?

The next step is to continue researching and working with school systems to better refine and identify opportunities for growth in our business plan. This is also the time in which we will begin to form partnerships and begin constructing and beta testing our programs for a larger roll out.

9. Which of the following types of expertise would be most useful for you?

  • Web/Mobile Development

10. Finances: If applicable, have you mobilized any of the following resources so far?

  • Mentors/advisors

How did you hear about this challenge?

  • T-Mobile page or contact
  • Email

1 comment

Join the conversation:

Photo of Christopher Harjadi

I would recommend partnering with distributors to help with the technology crisis. For example, at my school in Mountain View, we partner with education grants from Google to get Chromebooks for all people