The Verizon Foundation and the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) will expand a Verizon Innovative Learning Schools professional-development program for teachers at schools in underserved areas.
The expansion will add 12 more schools to the VILS program this fall. The Verizon Foundation, which provides funding through grants to ISTE and the participating schools, will increase its funding to $1.6 million to cover the 24 schools that will now be in the program.
Under the program, teachers receive two years of professional development that will prepare them to better incorporate existing mobile technology into classroom learning with strategies that support teaching the so-called STEM subjects – science, technology, engineering and math – and making these subjects more appealing to students.
The professional development pathway includes on-site and virtual training and is based on needs assessment conducted at each school at the onset of the program.
In addition to the tailored professional development, VILS teachers can access the Verizon Foundation’s Thinkfinity.org site, a free resource that enables them to collaborate with one another and with ISTE instructional consultants; find Common Core-aligned lesson plans; and participate in an online community where educators across the country share best practices on mobile learning.