Mobile Computing | News
Verizon Expands Innovative Learning Schools Program
Verizon has expanded its Verizon
Innovative Learning Schools (VILS) program to eight more middle schools in four
states, bringing the total number of schools in the program to 32.
Through the program, nearly 5,000 additional students at the eight schools
will receive a personal tablet equipped with a two-year, five-gigabyte Verizon
Wireless data plan. Verizon is donating the tablets to the nonprofit
organization Digital Promise, which will then provide the tablets to the
students. With the tablets, students will have 24/7 access to the Internet at
home and in the classroom.
As part of the program, a full-time technology coach will join the faculty of
participating schools to provide teachers with ongoing professional development
related to the effective use of mobile technology in the classroom to improve
student achievement in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM)
Digital Promise will share best practices, insights and resources from these
schools on its site with the goal of helping other educators "learn from VILS
teachers' experiences and emulate best practices," according to information from
The eight new schools joining the VILS program include:
Verizon launched the VILS program in 2012 in partnership with the
International Society for Technical Education
(ISTE). Earlier this year, ISTE supported an evaluation of the VILS program,
which found that students participating in the program increased their
standardized test scores in math by 4.13 percent. The scores of a control group
of non-VILS students using mobile technology declined by 4.62 percent. The
teachers of the control group did not receive training on the use of mobile
technology. VILS teachers also reported increased classroom engagement and that
they were spending more time working one-on-one with individual students and
less time on class lectures.
"Increasingly, there is recognition among educators of the power of mobile
technology to transform teaching and learning," said Justina Nixon-Saintil,
director of education programs for the Verizon Foundation. "But what's often
underestimated is how vital the component of effective teacher professional
development is to the success of technology implementation. With Digital
Promise, we are infusing technology training throughout these eight schools.
This gives all teachers the confidence and expertise needed to use mobile
devices to improve student engagement and achievement."
The full results of the VILS evaluation can be found on
Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.