One of our team members recently met a woman at a nearby Indigenous reserve who talked about how a lack of technology during the pandemic resulted in her struggling to keep her business afloat. Her story inspired our team to find a way to make technology accessible to marginalized communities such as hers.
What it does
connectivIT is a website that facilitates donations between those in need of technology and those with devices they no longer use, with a specific focus on low income rural communities and Indigenous reserves.
Donors and receivers start by submitting forms on the website indicating which items they are donating or requesting. Once submitted, donations and requests are matched to best suit the requests. The tech is picked up from the donor’s location, and brought to a centre for quality control, data removal, and sanitization. Finally, the products will be brought to those who requested the technology.
Home Page: If users have any questions, they may refer to the FAQ section or send a message in our Contact Us section.
About Page: Our website provides a summary on why we started the initiative and the entire process of our operation.
Forms: Donors can indicate which device they would like to donate when filling out the donation form. Similarly, those requesting technology can choose up to 3 devices in the request form. There is also a volunteer form that can be filled out if someone is interested in helping with the initiative.
Backend: The information received from the user form submissions is saved and can be used to match clients donations and requests.
How we built it
The website was built on Atom using the following:
- HTML - backbone of website (text, images, links, etc.)
- CSS - styling (ex. font, sizes, colours, etc.)
- Bootstrap - buttons, accordion, accordion panel, grids, forms, etc.
- jQuery - confirmation messages
- PHP - connect front-end to back-end
- SQL - table creation and insertion
Challenges we ran into
- Figuring out how to use teletype on Atom to collaborate
- Trying to properly format text using padding
- Figuring out how to implement accordion panel
- Ran out of time so we could only add functionality to the volunteer form, but it acts as a proof of concept and functionality for the other forms (NOTE: the volunteer form runs on a local database)
Accomplishments that we're proud of
- Being able to apply what we've learned throughout the event
- Being able to design a cohesive website
What we learned
- How to use Figma to prototype websites
- Basics of Web Development - HTML, CSS
Exploring Online Resources
- How to implement Bootstrap into websites
- Making a Favicon
What's next for connectivIT
Although we intend to start by targeting rural communities, where the issue is the most severe, our future goal is to expand to low income suburban and urban communities as well.