Verizon Innovative Learning Schools Expands into 10 High Schools
Continued partnership between Digital Promise and Verizon provides free technology and internet access to select schools nationwide
August 27, 2020 | Washington, D.C. – Ten high schools from two school districts in California and Texas will join the Verizon Innovative Learning Schools network in the 2020-21 school year. The continued partnership between Digital Promise and Verizon Innovative Learning equips every student and teacher at select schools across the country with a device and up to a four-year data plan. In addition to technology and access, schools receive extensive professional development that supports powerful teaching and learning with technology in and out of the classroom.
Since 2014, as part of Verizon’s commitment to digital inclusion, the Verizon Innovative Learning Schools initiative has impacted 254 middle schools in 23 states and Washington, D.C. The 10 high schools from Compton Unified School District in Compton, California, and Irving Independent School District in Irving, Texas, are the first-ever high schools to join the program.
All five high schools in Irving ISD—Cardwell Career Preparatory Center, Irving High School, MacArthur High School, Nimitz High School, and Singley Academy—join the district’s eight middle schools in the initiative; five of those middle schools are in their fourth year in the program and three will start their second. In addition, Compton USD’s five high schools—Centennial, Chavez, Compton, Dominguez, and Early College—join eight middle schools from the district, including four that also began the program this school year and four others in their fourth year as Verizon Innovative Learning Schools.
“We are excited to welcome these 10 high schools to the Verizon Innovative Learning Schools network,” said Justina Nixon-Saintil, director of corporate social responsibility at Verizon. “Middle school students in Compton and Irving can now seamlessly transition to high school with the same technology and access, which is especially important now during remote learning.”
This spring, Verizon and Digital Promise announced the seventh and largest cohort of Verizon Innovative Learning Schools to date, with 100 middle schools from 20 districts joining the program. The 10 high schools bring the total schools impacted by the initiative to 263 nationwide.
In addition to free mobile devices and accompanying 4G LTE data plans, participating schools receive a subsidy toward a full-time technology coach to support teachers with effectively integrating technology into learning. Over the course of the initiative, students also will have the opportunity to learn about emerging technology such as augmented and virtual reality and 3D design.
“As schools closed due to COVID-19 this spring, our Verizon Innovative Learning Schools were well-positioned to pivot quickly at the start of the pandemic because of their access to digital learning,” said Karen Cator, president and CEO of Digital Promise. “Each student had a device and data plan enabling access at home, making it easier for teachers to tap into digital resources so students could continue learning virtually.”
Participating schools use technology to meet the needs of each student and empower them with skills such as critical thinking, problem solving, collaboration, and creativity. Teachers in Verizon Innovative Learning Schools have reported exploring new ways of teaching and experiencing enhanced student engagement, while more students believe that having technology improves their confidence in the things they can do.
Moreover, beginning this fall, the Verizon Innovative Learning Schools initiative will offer free and open access professional development for all teachers, both in and out of the network. Teacher training pathways will focus on three relevant topics: instructional technology coaching, tools for remote learning, and best practices for remote instruction. Stand-alone professional development in the form of webinars, modules, and “bite-sized PD” will complement these online courses, which will be offered both live and asynchronously.
“With remote learning continuing this fall for most districts, we are pleased to be able to support more teachers and reach even more students through this initiative,” said Lydia Logan, executive director of Verizon Innovative Learning Schools.
For more information, visit verizon.digitalpromise.org.
About Digital Promise
Digital Promise is a nonprofit organization that builds powerful networks and takes on grand challenges by working at the intersection of researchers, entrepreneurs, and educators. Our vision is that all people, at every stage of their lives, have access to learning experiences that help them acquire the knowledge and skills they need to thrive and continuously learn in an ever-changing world. For more information, visit the Digital Promise website and follow @digitalpromise for updates.
About Verizon Innovative Learning
Verizon Innovative Learning, Verizon’s education initiative targeting Title 1 schools, addresses barriers to digital inclusion. The program provides free 1:1 devices, free internet access and a technology-driven curriculum with the goal to transform the learning experience. Through exposure to cutting-edge technology, the program enables students to develop the skills, knowledge, and confidence needed to build an innovative workforce of the future. Since 2012, Verizon Innovative Learning has provided over $535 million in market value towards STEM education efforts in support of digital inclusion. In 2019, Verizon launched its first 5G-enabled Verizon Innovative Learning classroom, with the goal of 100 by 2021. For more information visit Verizon.com/Responsibility or find us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
 Source: Westat (2019).Verizon Innovative Learning Schools Survey Result Dashboard Dec 2019
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