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With new technology, Cleveland students leave the digital desert




Anthony Black, a seventh grader at Miles Park School in Cleveland, remembers what his school looked like before it became Verizon Innovative Learning School. To go online, Black has to wait for the desktop to open in the shared computer lab. At home, he and his three siblings shared a family computer and hurriedly finished their homework so that the next child could decide their turn.

Everything changed when I got it [tablets], Black says. We don’t have to discuss computers or worry about who has more to do.

Miles Park School is a PreK-8 school located on the southeastern side of the city. Many student families can’t afford internet access, says principal Tamika Taylor-Ivory. When she arrived at Miles Park School eight years ago, she had little technology or digital learning. Teachers relied on textbooks to conduct pencil and paper tests.

I wanted our school building to be a feeder to the community, Taylor Ivory adds. We educate our children and provide them with the resources they need to become learners in the 21st century. The goal was that if we taught them those skills, they would be able to go home or join the community and educate others.

Miles Park is in its second year as Verizon Innovative Learning School. Verizon has worked with its non-profit partner Digital Promise to provide students in grades 5-8 with connected tablets for school and home use. In addition, last year, the school debuted the Verizon Innovative Learning Lab with a 3D printer, virtual reality device, and next-generation curriculum, developed in collaboration with the Edson Entrepreneurship + Innovation Institute at Arizona State University.

Learning transformation is not limited to labs. Taylor-Ivory states that digital technology has been integrated into learning in all classrooms. For example, students use online tools and apps to create interactive stories and multimedia presentations.

Former teacher, now coach and lab mentor at Verizon Innovative Learning School, Ashley Helber said that in the last two years, students’ self-confidence and collaborative skills, including those who were not previously engaged in learning, have roofed. He says he saw him go through. Helber explains that the long-term impact of this experience will give him the opportunity to develop skills that set him apart from his classmates at other schools. When they are looking forward to high school or college, they will know the career they want for the various experiences they have had at school here.

Verizon Innovative Learning is an important component of Citizen Verizon, and a company’s responsible business planning helps move the world forward for everyone.




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