What you need to know:
Verizon Innovative Learning HQ, a free next-gen online education portal, provides access to immersive technology experiences leveraging augmented and virtual reality to all educators, launches August 23
246 Title I schools join Verizon Innovative Learning, nearly doubling the program’s reach to 511 schools across the country
5G Verizon Innovative Learning Lab unveiled in Miami and 40 new Verizon Innovative Learning Labs launch in Title I schools nationwide
Verizon Community Forward initiative is expected to reinvigorate community spaces in cities across the country, providing under-resourced populations with free access to resources and digital skills training
BASKING RIDGE, N.J. – As school districts across the country rebound from one of the most challenging years in history and prepare to re-open for in-person learning, many educators are looking for resources that will help students succeed following 18 months of disrupted schooling. Integrating technology, which became more prevalent than ever during the pandemic, into classrooms is crucial this back to school season.
With studies showing that low income students are as many as seven months behind in their education due to the pandemic1, Verizon is doubling down on its commitment to help ensure no student is left behind, providing education technology resources in support of digital inclusion with a number of initiatives to integrate immersive STEM technology into classrooms and communities. These efforts are part of the company’s investment to help vulnerable communities, which is expected to exceed $3 billion between 2020 to 2025.
“Digital inclusion was an important objective before the pandemic, and an area we’ve been investing in for years, but we’ve all learned now just how important it really is to achieve,” said Rose Stuckey Kirk, Chief Corporate Social Responsibility Officer, Verizon. “We’re continuing to provide tech-fueled strategies to empower educators to help build the next generation of innovators who will continue to move our world forward.”
Verizon Innovative Learning HQ, Next-Gen Learning for All
Verizon is launching a new education portal, Verizon Innovative Learning HQ, that will, for the first time, scale the resources of Verizon Innovative Learning – the company’s education initiative addressing barriers to digital inclusion – and its proven approach to integrating technology into the classroom. Launching August 23, Verizon Innovative Learning HQ will provide next-gen learning for students, covering a range of subjects from history to biology, through access to the latest augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) education tools. The education portal will help teachers take advantage of immersive technology and recognize the benefits of tapping into next-generation tech in their lesson plans.
The free education portal includes content, curated by Columbia University, New York University, Arizona State University, and other academic institutions, that provides immersive AR and VR experiences paired with lesson plans. A key part of the portal will include professional development courses aligned to research-backed micro-credentials from non-profit partner Digital Promise, to help empower educators with personalized learning pathways that directly address their digital learning needs. Verizon Innovative Learning HQ is making next-gen tech available to everyone, including all K-12 teachers nationwide.
Advancing education technology in under-resourced classrooms
With the need for in-classroom tech resources greater than ever, Verizon is continuing to expand the Verizon Innovative Learning Schools program, which equips students and teachers at select Title I schools across the country with technology, access, innovative learning programs and professional development. The program, through Digital Promise, will welcome 246 new schools from 50 districts across the country this fall, nearly doubling the program’s reach to 511 schools nationwide and providing nearly 183,000 new students with technology resources.
Combining hands-on learning with cutting-edge technology
Verizon is continuing to bring the power of 5G technology to under-resourced schools, unveiling a new 5G Verizon Innovative Learning Lab in Miami at the Sports Leadership and Management (SLAM) Academy. Powering the high-tech learning environment through the high bandwidth and low latency enabled by 5G, the lab will enable more robust, immersive learning experiences via technologies like artificial intelligence, 3D printing, AR and VR. Verizon plans to bring 5G technology to over 100 Verizon Innovative Learning Labs within Title I schools across the country in the coming years.
To help democratize access to next-gen education technology resources, Verizon is launching 40 new Verizon Innovative Learning Labs to Title I schools across the country. In collaboration with the national non-profit Heart of America and the Edson Entrepreneurship + Innovation Institute at Arizona State University, the Verizon Innovative Learning Lab program provides students with access to robust, hands-on curriculum and learning tools such as VR equipment, 3D printing stations, augmented reality apps and more in a custom-designed, state-of-the-art experiential learning environment.
Fostering STEM skill development for jobs of the future
Verizon’s continued efforts to foster digital inclusion includes the launch of a new initiative: Verizon Community Forward. This new program will serve to reinvigorate community spaces, providing under-resourced populations with the skills they need to be prepared for the digital workforce and 5G economy. Through advanced technology and educational resources, the program will provide K-12 students with STEM education, adults with digital literacy training, and both high school students and adults with workforce development and entrepreneurship learning opportunities. Each innovation center space will be a reconstructed room housed within an existing community space, such as a library, recreation center, or community college and will offer exploratory digital learning opportunities for STEM related career pathways with a focus on job skills. The Verizon Community Forward initiative will launch in September with 10 community centers across Portland, Pittsburgh, Houston, and Cleveland opening through 2022.
Citizen Verizon in action
These efforts are all part of Citizen Verizon, the company’s responsible business plan for economic, environmental and social advancement. Citizen Verizon empowers Verizon to deliver on its mission to move the world forward through action by expanding digital access and resources, protecting the climate, and ensuring people have the skills needed for jobs of the future. Through Citizen Verizon, the company is committed to providing 10 million youths with digital skills training by 2030, preparing 500,000 individuals for jobs of the future by 2030, supporting 1 million small businesses with resources to help them thrive in the digital economy by 2030, and achieving net zero operational emissions by 2035. To learn more about Verizon’s digital inclusion efforts, visit CitizenVerizon.com
1 McKinsey & Company. (2021, July 27). COVID-19 and education: The lingering effects of unfinished learning.