Austin ISD has joined Digital Promise and Verizon Innovative Learning, the education initiative of the Verizon Foundation, to equip every student and teacher at five AISD middle schools with a device and up to a four-year data plan.
At the start of the 2019 school year, Burnet, Martin and Paredes middle schools, Garcia YMLA and Sadler Means YWLA will be among the 50 new schools joining the nationwide initiative, bringing the program to 150 middle schools.
“We are grateful for the opportunity to integrate Verizon’s technology into our schools and connect these locations with the larger Austin ISD community,” said Superintendent Paul Cruz. “We know these solutions will enhance communication among our students, teachers and faculty, and provide infinite opportunity to continue to improve the education process.”
In addition to free technology and access, schools receive teacher training and support, along with the opportunity to engage in teaching and learning that makes the best use of technology both in and out of the classroom.
The program, which launched in partnership with Digital Promise in 2012, has reached more than 86,000 students and nearly 6,000 teachers to date.
In addition to free mobile devices and accompanying data plans, participating schools will be assigned a full-time technology coach from Digital Promise to train teachers on integrating technology into their lessons.
Over the course of the initiative, students will also have the opportunity to use technologies such as augmented and virtual reality, artificial intelligence and 3D design.