Verizon goes back to school with immersive learning initiative

New tech-driven lesson plans, AR/VR apps, school partners and lab openings launch, aimed at driving digital equity. #pressrelease

August 31, 2022

5 Min Read

NEW YORK – As students head back to school, Verizon is continuing to bolster immersive learning content across its award-winning Verizon Innovative Learning education initiative, through a suite of programs and resources, aimed at driving digital equity and inclusion for teachers and students across the nation. Verizon's impactful partnerships with trusted education companies, edtech innovators and cultural institutions enable educators to access new tech-driven lesson plans that utilize the power of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) apps in the classroom.

Launched in 2021, Verizon Innovative Learning HQ, an award-winning, free education portal that makes the next-gen learning tools of the overarching Verizon Innovative Learning initiative available to all K-12 educators nationwide, is unveiling even more immersive educational content, including AR and VR apps with accompanying lesson plans. The company is building on hundreds of lesson plans and 15 AR and VR apps currently available on the education portal by adding four additional apps and more lesson plans from partner organizations, all designed to increase student engagement and allow for an innovative approach to learning. Educators can also access extensive training and resources through the education portal, enabling them to teach students in new and engaging ways and to provide them with the skills they need to thrive in a digital-centric world.

The new integrated resources were designed to enable educators to integrate technology into the classroom in all subjects. New immersive content being released from new and existing partners within the 2022-2023 school year includes:

Current Studios: The innovation studio known for specializing in AR, experience design and artificial intelligence - and which developed the Verizon Innovative Learning Lab Online app - has now designed four unique AR STEM career exploration challenges for high school students that will focus on areas such as Cybersecurity and Esports, as well as a paleontology-themed AR app where grades K-5 students can become virtual paleontologists. The studio is also relaunching the Career Day app, enabling students to unlock new potential career paths by engaging in interviews with accomplished STEM professionals, including those at Verizon, through AR.

Discovery Education: Building off an existing collaboration with Verizon, the worldwide edtech leader developed new humanities-focused lesson plans, adding to its library of curriculum for the new AR experience - TimePod Adventures app. This AR experience developed for grades 3-12 allows them to virtually travel through time to visit Mars and examine the evolution of political systems and different types of government to make a recommendation as to how Mars should be governed once a community is established.

Doughboy Foundation: The non-profit whose mission supports programs, projects and activities commemorating and educating about America's role in World War I, created the WWI Memorial "Virtual Explorer" AR app. It introduces a next generation of young adults to the transformational impact WWI had on America. History-based lesson plans focus on topics including WWI's social impact on women, Native Americans, African Americans and all Americans, as the United States stepped onto the world stage as a global power for the first time in history.

McGraw Hill: Building on the McGraw Hill AR app launched in June, the leading global education company will launch new AR geometry and pre-algebra readiness lesson plans for middle and high school students. These interactive experiences were designed to leverage relevant 3D models and activities to reach a variety of learner types.

NYC Media Lab: The winning museums, science centers and cultural institutions of the Museum Initiative will release a series of lesson plans designed to leverage existing 5G EdTech apps such as Aurelia, Visceral Science, 5G Covet, Unsung, CocoCast and GRX.

The new resources are in addition to seven professional development courses for educators, created in partnership with non-profit Digital Promise. These courses, aligned to micro-credentials, focus on serving diverse learners with technology integration and include The Art of Content Curation, Creating a Collaborative Classroom Culture and Gamifying Learning.

Verizon Innovative Learning

Over the last decade, working through nonprofit partners, Verizon Innovative Learning, through a suite of programs and resources, has committed $1 billion in market value to support digital equity and inclusion within education for some of the most vulnerable populations across the country. The initiative is celebrating 10 years of providing free technology, internet access and resources to schools and educators across America, reaching over 1.5 million students at schools across the U.S., including Title I schools.

With the need for in-classroom tech resources greater than ever, Verizon is continuing to expand its Verizon Innovative Learning Schools program, in partnership with nonprofit Digital Promise, by welcoming 50 new Title I schools from 11 districts across eight states, bringing the program's reach to 561 schools nationwide. Students and teachers at this new cohort of middle and high schools will be equipped with devices - including tablets, laptops and hotspots, and up to four years of data, empowering 24/7 learning in and out of the classroom.

In addition, Verizon is launching 50 new Verizon Innovative Learning Labs in Title I schools across the country this fall, bringing the total to 107 across 18 states, which will offer emerging technology with a student-facing, project based curriculum. In collaboration with nonprofit partner Heart of America and the J. Orin 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 virtual reality (VR) equipment, 3D printing stations, augmented reality (AR) apps and more in a custom-designed, state-of-the-art experiential learning environment.

These efforts are part of Citizen Verizon, the company's responsible business plan for economic, environmental and social advancement. Through Citizen Verizon, the company is committed to providing 10 million youths with digital skills training by 2030.

Read the full press release here.


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