Verizon Foundation is doing our part to ensure that our technology and expertise is used to transform teaching and learning. We provide rich interactive content and resources, at no charge, to teachers through our free online platform Thinkfinity, help students put our technology and experience into play through our new Verizon Innovative App Challenge, and help teachers take our technology into the classroom through the Verizon Innovative Learning Schools (VILS program).
The Verizon Innovative Learning Schools program is an initiative designed to increase the use of technology to improve student performance and drive student interest in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) subject areas. The Verizon Innovative Learning Schools program partners with administrators and teachers in 12 underserved schools across the nation and provides them with a rich/comprehensive, year-long sequence of onsite and online professional development around leveraging mobile technology for teaching and learning. Through a grant from the Verizon Foundation, International Society for Technology Education (ISTE) provides educators training and mentorship that will prepare them to facilitate, model, integrate, and apply existing mobile technologies to support digital-age STEM learning. The VILS program also builds leadership in one educator at each school who serves as a technology coach, modeling and coaching his/her colleagues as they challenge themselves to grow professionally.
The goals of the VILS program are to achieve:
- Increases in teacher and student proficiency with technology
- Increases in student engagement
- Increases in student achievement
The benefits to VILS schools are immediate, but the overall Thinkfinity Community benefits as well. Over 35 recorded webinars with education leaders, as well as strategy blogs and best practices will be added to the Thinkfinity Community’s Professional Development Space over the course of the year. This way, educators across the country can benefit from the VILS program.