First published in the April 2 print issue of the Glendale News Press.
The Glendale Unified School District this week unveiled the new Verizon Innovation Learning Lab at Wilson Middle School, a project developed in conjunction with several other organizations.
The new setting gives students and teachers access to emerging technology such as augmented and virtual reality, coding, 3-D printing and artificial intelligence.
“The Verizon Innovative Learning Schools program and this new Verizon Innovative Learning Lab give our students the capacity to expand their digital literacy while empowering teachers to guide them along the way,” said Shant Sahakian, president of the Glendale Unified School Board, in a statement.
According to the company, the lab was developed through the lens of Citizen Verizon — the company’s business plan for economic, environmental and social advancement — and under its Verizon Innovation Learning umbrella.
“So many students across the nation lack the access to technology and resources they need to be successful in today’s digital world,” said Erica Jacquez, Verizon’s executive director of external and government affairs. “On behalf of Verizon, we are excited to help enable students in Glendale Unified School District to develop their skills, knowledge and capabilities for a more promising future.”
Verizon Innovative Learning, working through its nonprofit partners, provides free technology, free internet access and hands-on learning experiences to help under-resourced students “receive the education they deserve and help prepare them for today’s digital economy,” according to the company.
Verizon collaborated with nonprofit partners Heart of America — which developed the state-of-the-art space in collaboration with the schools and district teams — and the J. Orin Edson Entrepreneurship + Innovation Institute at Arizona State University, which provided an immersive curriculum and training for the teachers.
“Through this incredible partnership with Verizon, Heart of America, and Arizona State University, we are closing the digital divide for thousands of students and preparing our future leaders for the careers of tomorrow,” said Vivian Ekchian, superintendent of the Glendale Unified School District, in a statement.