This school year, Edmunds Middle School and Hunt Middle School in Burlington, Vermont have been selected to join the Verizon Innovative Learning Schools (VILS) program directed by the nonprofit Digital Promise, a program that is using mobile technology to extend learning beyond the walls of the classroom. All 405 students at Edmunds, and all 383 students at Hunt will receive their own personal tablet equipped with a 2-year Verizon Wireless 4G LTE data plan, enabling 24/7 Internet access for learning at school, at home, and wherever they want to take them.
This program will provide new learning opportunities for students, especially those who may not have high-speed Internet connections available to them at home.
Verizon is dedicated to using technology as a resource that enables students to achieve brighter futures. Mobile technology puts a powerful learning tool directly into students’ hands and gives them the freedom to solve problems and access information and learning tools from anywhere.
“Providing students with opportunities to learn inside and outside the classroom is a top priority for Verizon Wireless,” said Christine Berberich, New England President for Verizon Wireless. “The Verizon Innovative Learning Schools Program teaches students about technology and provides tools to help advance education in the digital-age.”
By enabling this independence, Verizon aims to encourage the qualities in students that fuel innovation – creativity, collaboration, critical thinking and entrepreneurism – and to prepare students with the technology proficiency they will need to compete in today’s economy.
Teachers at Edmunds and Hunt are receiving ongoing professional development on the most effective ways to integrate mobile technology into instruction across all subjects and put into practice more individualized and experiential learning techniques.
Both middle schools also have dedicated learning coaches and plan to implement new science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) initiatives over the two year program period.
In real-time, best practices, teacher insights, stories and resources from the implementation of this program in Burlington, VT, and across the country, will also be made available online at no cost for teachers anywhere to access and apply in their own classrooms (teachers interested in accessing these resources can visit www.verizon.digitalpromise.org).
“When used thoughtfully and with great intention, technology can lead to powerful learning for all students,” said Bonnie Johnson-Aten, Principal of Edmunds Middle School. “We want our students to have a 21st Century learning experience that will ensure that they are college and career ready.”
“We are very enthusiastic about having the opportunity to provide the latest in 1-to-1 technology and always available Internet access to all of our students,” said Len Phelan, Principal of Hunt Middle School. “These powerful tools for learning will do much to enhance our ability to provide authentic and beneficial learning experiences to all of our students in school and beyond the school day.”
Since the VILS program launched in 2012, the results have been tracked through teacher and student surveys and students’ standardized test scores. These surveys found that VILS program teachers were spending more time teaching students at an individual level, students were more engaged in school, and overall, student grades were improving.
Edmunds Middle School and Hunt Middle School are among 13 new schools to join the VILS Program, which has already reached 32 schools, 15,838 students and 556 teachers across the country.
For more information, visit http://www.verizon.com/about/responsibility/empowering-educators.