According to an article from the Sacramento Bee, the Verizon Foundation launched an Education Initiative on October 18th, 2012, to improve student learning in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) through mobile technologies. This initiative used three main programs, such as the Verizon Innovative App Challenge, Verizon Innovative Learning Schools and the new Thinkfinity platform.
The Innovative App Challenge:
The Innovative App Challenge is a competition that challenges middle and high school students to design ideas for mobile apps that integrate STEM subjects. The theory is that these mobile apps will help solve a problem in the student’s community. The winner’s school will receive a $10,000 cash grant and training to make the app a reality, with training and building support.
Verizon Innovative Learning Schools program:
The Verizon Innovative Learning Schools Program is a training program that is intended to help teachers make the most of technology and incorporate mobile devices, such as smart phones and tablets, into classroom instruction to improve student achievement in STEM subjects. This plan is very different from the case study on “One Laptop per Child” we spoke about in class because it recognizes the teachers as being a crucial determinant on the effectiveness of using technology in the classroom. Additionally, and most importantly, it provides the teachers with training on how to integrate and most efficiently utilize the provided technology. In partnership, the International Society for Technology in Education and the Verizon Foundation has already launched the program in 12 schools and they have plans on expanding pending success of the program.
This website provides U.S. teachers with free access to new training resources from the Verizon Innovative Learning Schools program and an extensive collection of digital content that were created by leading educational organizations.
After learning more about the sense of moral responsibility that the Verizon Foundation exhibits, I regret not subscribing to their service. The article closes by saying, “Since 2000, the Verizon Foundation has invested more than half a billion dollars to improve the communities where Verizon employees work and live. Verizon’s employees are generous with their donations and their time, having logged more than 6.2 million hours of service to make a positive difference in their communities” (Sacramento Bee, 2012).