Any parent of school-aged children can relate to the challenges of trying to remember geometry lessons from decades ago to help their children with their homework.
But Verizon is finding that with its Verizon Innovative Learning Schools program, which provides classrooms with a huge array of digital learning programs, parents are just as interested in learning with their students.
This willingness to actively participate in student learning, especially at a time of increasing reliance on new technologies that may be unfamiliar to some parents, can have a positive impact that extends far beyond the classroom.
Researchers have found a strong link between family involvement in children’s school life and academic achievement, with schools that support family involvement in encouraging students’ digital use at home reporting better results.
What is Verizon Innovative Learning?
For more than a decade, Verizon Innovative Learning has provided technology, curriculum and connectivity to more than one million students. The initiative was originally created to provide equal access to technology, resources and training for students and educators in the US.
Along with nonprofit partners, the award-winning program provides under-resourced schools across the country with STEM curriculum, digital connectivity, technology tools and extensive teacher training to help educators integrate technology into the classroom. In turn, students learn new skills necessary for success in today’s digital economy.
Through the Verizon Innovative Learning HQ online portal, teachers across the country can access free lessons, training tools and innovative apps like these to help bring next-generation technology into the classroom.
The project is part of Verizon’s mission to bring digital inclusion to all. Last September, at the Global Citizen Festival: NYC stage, Verizon’s Chief Corporate Social Responsibility Officer, Rose Stuckey Kirk, stood alongside graduating Verizon Innovative Learning students to reinforce Verizon’s commitment to providing digital skills training to 10 million young people by 2030.
Since inception, Verizon Innovative Learning has invested $1 billion in market value to support digital equity and inclusion in education for some of the most vulnerable populations across the country, reaching more than 1.5 million students in the process. Now program leaders are finding that students aren’t the only ones who can benefit.
How Verizon’s innovative learning engages parents
While the main focus of the program is to engage students and provide them with access to tools that help bridge the digital divide, schools are increasingly offering classes aimed at parents, providing opportunities to learn about and acquire those same digital tools and STEM skills. their children have.
This includes a range of new technologies such as augmented and virtual reality, 3D printing, artificial intelligence and robotics.
In Phoenix, Arizona, a Madrid Neighborhood School technology class for adults has drawn a class full of parents eager to learn what their children are learning at their school’s Verizon Innovative Learning Lab.
“We have it in mind [our kids] doing the same things we did when we were in school, but they’re learning so much more, their world is so much bigger,” noted Tiffany Rosenburg, a mom at Madrid Neighborhood School.
Gate program for parents
dr. Tamara Campbell, Verizon’s innovative learning schools coach at Madrid Neighborhood School in Phoenix, says students are the gateway to getting parents interested in technology.
“This enthusiasm for technology-based learning is contagious to the older generation,” says Campbell. “Here’s something their kids are learning, and they’re doing it, and they’re so excited.”
Students are invited to help teach the sessions to parents by demonstrating what they have learned in their classrooms and sharing their new digital skills.
“I love how I… can show people how to create things with their ideas,” says Jazmin Singleton, teaching adults TinkerCad, an online app used for 3D digital design. “It’s so cool,” says Oliver Chavez of TinkerCad. “It’s one of the best things I’ve ever learned.”
The classes also give parents an opportunity to ask questions about how to keep their children safe online. Madrid School uses special content filtering software to ensure that children are not exposed to inappropriate content. The Verizon Innovation Learning HQ education portal offers additional free courses on how to raise students to be “digital citizens.”
Seeing parents and children “fearlessly” work together, as Dr. Campbell describes it, advanced technology skills has inspired her as a teacher. “It gives me hope for where society is going,” she says.
Learn more here about Verizon Innovative Learning.
Learn more about Global Citizen’s partnership with Verizon.