Verizon Innovative Learning – Inspire a New Generation of Innovators

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Verizon Innovative Learning recognizes that each child deserves access to a brighter future, which is why at select Title 1 middle schools, it provides students and teachers with cutting-edge tech devices and free internet across access.

Discover how these schools are changing lives and how you can support our efforts to close the digital divide through critical programs such as Verizon Innovative Learning Schools, VIL HQ, and STEM Achievers.

Connected Classrooms

Technology revolutionizes work and education, creating more connected classrooms that enable students to learn anywhere – including at home – while giving teachers tools for individualizing student experiences.

Walsh Connected Classrooms employ cutting-edge technology to enable both in-person and remote students to engage with one another seamlessly in real-time. Students register for these courses as they would for traditional lectures; course modalities may include virtual hybrid (VH), synchronous, or virtual.

Greg Tuke, Senior Director for Education at Verizon, emphasizes how this partnership between two classrooms provides students an invaluable opportunity to hone their social-emotional skills while developing global awareness of other cultures. Furthermore, students gain expertise on specific aspects of their country by teaching other classes about it.

Technology such as IPEVO VZ-X allows students to participate from anywhere with internet connectivity, providing students competing out of town, caring for family members, or at risk of pandemic-related illness an opportunity to continue their studies without being physically present. They appreciate its flexibility and enjoy being given this chance.

Labs of Innovation

A lab model is an effective way for companies to promote innovation and foster creative thinking. These entities typically exist outside the daily grind of corporate offices to explore unconventional ideas freely without restrictions from office politics or bureaucracy. Labs may serve as catalysts for change across an entire corporation or focus on projects with high potential to deliver business value; companies increasingly establishing internal labs equipped with funding, networks, expertise, and insights for successful implementation.

Implementing a cross-functional team to run labs is another effective way of encouraging a collaborative culture while protecting them from short-term accounting that could stifle creativity. They should have enough autonomy and be rewarded for success while still having open lines of communication within their company.

A good lab should seek third-party partnerships to accelerate ideas and expand collaborative opportunities. These could include startups, universities, industry groups, or any organization providing ideas, IP, or execution capabilities – these partnerships can also help the lab tell a compelling narrative to recruit talent. Lastly, successful labs possess an unmistakable purpose with beacon projects that stretch the limits of parent organizations’ strategic capabilities while offering new ones for expansion later. These longer-term risks require longer investment horizons while potentially competing with current products yet creating future capabilities to expand future expansion efforts within their parent companies’ strategic capabilities – creating opportunities that help bring everything necessary for expansion – making sure talent will join you there, too.

STEM Achievers

Verizon believes every student deserves access to technology and quality STEM education and has taken action toward that belief through Verizon Innovative Learning, an education initiative that addresses digital inclusion barriers while creating a more diverse STEM workforce. Through our cutting-edge curriculum, students gain essential skills for advancing society.

During a three-week Verizon Innovative Learning STEM Achievers program this summer, Cal State Los Angeles students engaged with virtual reality, 3D printing, and artificial intelligence. Educators from Cal State LA’s Pathway Programs Office designed this hands-on enrichment camp, specifically targeting middle school youth from nearby middle schools.

Sydney, a high school senior from Verizon Innovative Learning’s program in Virginia Beach, hopes to become a doctor to research and help eliminate health disparities that affect low-income communities and minorities. She credits Verizon Innovative Learning with helping her discover her passion and career goal.

Kavya attended the STEM Achievers camp with Kavi. Since attending, she has hosted her podcast Chats with Changemakers, where she interviews engineers nationwide about their careers and advice for STEM-minded students. Kavya attributes the program to teaching her how to use a microphone effectively and developing her confidence when speaking publicly in front of people.

This summer, the Verizon Innovative Learning STEM Achievers program is teaming up with 44 HBCUs, HSIs, and community colleges to offer two three-week immersive summer enrichment experiences on each partner campus – designed to maximize learning through immersive media, intelligent solutions, social entrepreneurship, and digital product innovations.

STEM Enrichment

Enrichment activities that extend students beyond classroom and curriculum boundaries can play an invaluable role in STEM learning. Such extracurricular activities could range from inviting guest speakers, film screenings, or field trips to science centers, museums, or zoos to school assemblies, coding classes, and robotics clubs.

Utilizing identity theory, this study explores the impact of STEM enrichment programs on student identification with science. Student identification with science is vital in maintaining interest in STEM fields and may act as a buffer against attitudinal outcomes like grade point averages, test scores, and university enrollment (Chemers et al. 2011; Merolla et al. 2012).

Unlike the STEM curriculum, which teachers in classroom settings deliver, STEM enrichment is often led by non-teachers and community members outside the traditional educational establishment – such as students’ parents or volunteers from local businesses – often during summer when many children are free from regular school activities. This research adds to the literature about non-teaching roles in promoting STEM education.