What you need to know:
- Verizon Innovative Learning, the company’s education initiative supporting digital equity and inclusion, has now provided over 3M students nationwide with digital skills training.
- Verizon Innovative Learning Schools will welcome 32 new Title I schools for the 2023-2024 school year, bringing the program’s reach to 593 schools across the country.
- Verizon Innovative Learning HQ now includes over 275 lesson plans, 20 AR/VR apps, and over 40 professional development courses.
NEW YORK, March 15, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Today, Verizon announced that its award-winning education initiative focused on supporting digital equity and inclusion for some of the most vulnerable populations across the country, Verizon Innovative Learning, has now provided over 3M students nationwide with digital skills training. The initiative, launched in 2012, addresses barriers to digital inclusion by leveraging technology to help students obtain the skills needed to pursue careers for success in the digital world.
The Verizon Innovative Learning initiative strives to help close the digital divide through key programs and resources, including: Verizon Innovative Learning Schools, Verizon Innovative Learning Labs, Verizon Innovative Learning STEM Achievers and Verizon Innovative Learning HQ. This effort is part of Citizen Verizon, the company’s responsible business plan for economic, environmental and social advancement, which uses leading-edge technology to help drive social impact and create lasting change across communities. Through Citizen Verizon, and the key pillar of Digital Inclusion, the company’s responsible business goals include providing 10 million youths with digital skills training by 2030.
“Creating an equitable education system depends on our ability to connect under-resourced areas with tech tools and education. Through the success of our Verizon Innovative Learning program over the past 10 years, we’ve seen millions of students thrive when those connections are made,” said Rose Stuckey Kirk, Chief Corporate Social Responsibility Officer at Verizon. “These tools open students’ worldviews, showcase new career paths, and create experiences that might not have existed otherwise. Our teams at Verizon are steadfast in continuing this work and helping to ensure that classrooms across the country reap the benefits that this education can provide.”
Bringing digital learning skills to under-resourced classrooms
Verizon is continuing to expand its Verizon Innovative Learning Schools program and will welcome 32 new Title I schools from 11 new school districts for the 2023-2024 school year, including schools in Chicago, Detroit, Kansas City and Memphis among others. The addition of these schools brings the program’s reach to 593 schools nationwide and will benefit an estimated 18,000 additional students for the upcoming school year.
In partnership with long-time nonprofit partner Digital Promise, the program works to improve the quality of and access to digital learning for students in under-resourced schools by equipping students and teachers at select Title I schools across the country with free technology, internet access and innovative STEM learning programs. The Verizon Innovative Learning Schools program also provides schools with extensive teacher and administrator training focused on effectively integrating technology into the classroom, ongoing support, and the opportunity to engage in powerful teaching and learning strategies that leverage technology.
“Digital equity is about more than just handing a device to a student or improving internet access,” said Jean-Claude Brizard, president and CEO of Digital Promise. “To truly achieve digital equity, we must support teachers with the training on how to effectively leverage the technology for powerful learning experiences, and that is what the Verizon Innovative Learning Schools program does. We are proud to continue our partnership with Verizon through this powerful program.”
Next-gen learning for all
Verizon Innovative Learning HQ, an award-winning, free education portal that makes the next-gen learning tools of the overarching Verizon Innovative Learning initiative available to all K-12 educators nationwide, now includes over 275 lesson plans and 20 corresponding augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) apps. Launched in 2021, the education portal offers a curated collection of lessons, ranging from supplemental turnkey lessons to yearlong design thinking courses, created by leading education partners including the J. Orin Edson Entrepreneurship + Innovation Institute at Arizona State University. Educators can leverage immersive AR and VR learning experiences in a variety of content areas, from history to biology to engineering, that can be accessed with any device.
Verizon Innovative Learning HQ also provides educators with extensive training and resources, which now includes over 40 professional development courses, many aligned with microcredentials, enabling them to learn new skills and feel confident integrating technology into the learning experience. The site was built in partnership with trusted education partners such as Discovery Education and McGraw Hill, among others. Educators can visit Verizon.com/Learning to sign up at no-cost.
Providing connectivity to all communities
Working to provide connectivity to families in need both inside and outside of the classroom, Verizon participates in the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), a U.S. government program run by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to help low-income households pay for internet service, through the Verizon Forward Program. With ACP eligibility and the Verizon Forward Program, customers can get free home internet service – no hidden fees or annual contracts, and no equipment charges or data caps. You are eligible for ACP if you (or someone in your household) participate in certain government assistance programs, such as the Free and Reduced-Price School Lunch Program. Learn more about the Verizon Forward Program by visiting www.verizon.com/home/free-verizon-internet/.
Beyond access: advancing digital equity
To further the conversation on advancing digital equity, Rose Stuckey Kirk, chief corporate social responsibility officer at Verizon, will join Jean-Claude Brizard, CEO and president of Digital Promise, D’Andre Weaver, chief digital equity officer at Digital Promise and Joseph South, chief learning officer at ISTE, for a LinkedIn Live discussion on March 15 at 2PM ET. To register and listen in, visit here.
To learn more about Verizon’s efforts to bridge the digital divide, visit CitizenVerizon.com.
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, Nasdaq: VZ) was formed on June 30, 2000 and is one of the world’s leading providers of technology and communications services. Headquartered in New York City and with a presence around the world, Verizon generated revenues of $136.8 billion in 2022. The company offers data, video and voice services and solutions on its award-winning networks and platforms, delivering on customers’ demand for mobility, reliable network connectivity, security and control.
Verizon Innovative Learning, Verizon’s award-winning education initiative, is celebrating over a decade of commitment to addressing barriers to digital inclusion for students and teachers. Since 2012, the initiative has committed $1 billion in market value to support digital equity, reaching over 3 million students. Verizon Innovative Learning provides free technology, internet access and innovative learning programs to students in under-resourced communities – enabling students to develop the skills, knowledge and confidence needed to build an innovative workforce of the future. In 2021, Verizon launched Verizon Innovative Learning HQ, a next-gen online education portal that provides free access to immersive XR educational experiences to all educators, including K-12 teachers, nationwide. A key initiative under Citizen Verizon, the company’s responsible business plan for economic, environmental and social advancement, Verizon Innovative Learning is helping to drive the company’s goal to provide 10 million youths with digital skills training by 2030. Learn more at CitizenVerizon.com.
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