Verizon Innovative
Learning Schools
Pre-Qualification Survey

Be part of the 2013 - 2015 Verizon Innovative Learning Schools Program

About the Program

Verizon Innovative Learning Schools: A multi-year professional development program for STEM teachers using mobile technology.
The goal is to increase student engagement, achievement and interest in STEM subjects, while also increasing student
and teacher proficiency with mobile devices for learning.

The survey submission period for the 2013-15 VILS Program is now closed. We will directly contact those
schools selected to continue the application process. Thank you for your interest in this program.

Important Information

Step 1: Review the purpose and selection criteria for the program

1.1   Understand the Program

The Verizon Foundation is seeking 12 (twelve) schools to participate as Verizon Innovative Learning Schools (VILS) for the 2013 – 2014 and 2014-2015 school years. Verizon Innovative Learning Schools (VILS) establish small teams of math, science and technology teachers to participate in two-year intensive training and practice around the use of mobile technology (i.e., smartphones, tablets, netbooks) and Thinkfinity digital content in 1:1 or 2:1 mobile learning environments to support achievement in STEM subjects. Such environments give students consistent individual or shared access (no more than 2 students sharing 1 device) to a mobile technology throughout the school day. Some extend the use of technology by allowing and encouraging students to take devices home to use for learning purposes as well.

The Verizon Foundation is partnering with the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), a nationally recognized and well-respected professional development organization to provide all training and mentorship. This organization will customize a professional development sequence specific to the needs and goals of each school, in accordance with the overall goals for the project. Training and support will be provided on-site at each school, and online through webinars, a virtual conference and the Thinkfinity Community. Participating schools and teachers will be asked to share their outcomes with researchers as well as the education community. Some participants will also attend ISTE and other conferences on behalf of the project.

1.2   Types of Grant Support

Twelve schools will be selected to receive a $50,000 grant from the Verizon Foundation to support the two-year project and may cover: stipends for participating teachers as they engage in expectations/deliverables and research-related projects, substitutes while participants are engaged in training, and limited travel.

Only 12 (twelve) schools will be accepted to participate in the project. Decisions regarding grant applications are within the sole discretion of the Verizon Foundation and are final.

1.3   Qualifying Organizations

The following criteria must be met to qualify as a potential Verizon Innovative Learning School:

  • Education institutions must be public schools (including charter schools), public school districts, or private schools with 501[c][3] status
  • Schools must teach any of the following grades, 3 through 10, and where at least 40% of the student population qualifies for free or reduced lunch
  • Schools must currently have access to and be using mobile technologies by participating teachers and students in a 1:1 or 2:1 mobile learning environment. Applicants must be able to document that a 1:1 or 2:1 student-to-mobile-device ratio has been in place prior to January 2013 for targeted students that will participate in the project. In addition, applicants must be able to confirm that mobile devices will be available for all participating students and teachers on a daily basis no later than 1 week after the opening of school for the 2013-2014 school year.
  • Note: For this project, mobile devices are defined as smartphones, tablets and netbooks. Mobile devices may come in the form of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) programs, but only if the BYOD program has been in place school-wide prior to January 2013, and if smartphones, tablets and/or netbooks are the majority of devices used by students.

1.4   Prioritized Elements of a Competitive Program/Readiness Requirements

  • Applicants must be able to identify a team of 6 or more math, science and technology teachers, as well as a project lead from within that group to serve as an on-site Technology Coach to train, coach and mentor participating teachers. At least 25% of the Technology Coach's time must be dedicated to his/her role within this project
  • Applicants must be prepared to report out student outcomes related to this project as requested by the research team, on a regular basis. The Verizon Foundation will only consider applicants that can provide assurances that they will be able to satisfy the data reporting demands attached to the program, including but not limited to content-specific standardized test scores related to professional development (e.g. science scores for students of participating science teachers)
  • Applicants must be able to clearly articulate the original purpose in investing in 1:1 or 2:1 mobile technology, the issues it addresses for the school, the opportunities it makes available for teachers and students and the results achieved to date. Applicants must be prepared to submit their 1:1, 2:1 or BYOD program strategy as well as guidelines, school policies and a project report

1.5   Program Outcomes

Anticipated results of the Verizon Innovative Learning Schools project are:

  • Increased proficiency in the use of mobile technologies by teachers and students for teaching and learning
  • Increased student engagement
  • Increased student achievement in math and science subjects

Indicators of outcomes will include surveys, classroom observations and student achievement data compared to control groups

1.6   Training Sequence

After completing a needs assessment, a customized training plan will be designed for each school, following the sequence below.

Training Sequence Chart

1.7   Expectations / Deliverables (for both Year 1 and Year 2)

In addition to an overall agreement by district and school leadership to participate in all aspects of the Verizon Innovative Learning Schools project, program participants should plan on completing the following during the course of the project:

Professional Development
  • Attend 2-3 full days of onsite training (All Participating Teachers and Technology Coach; Administrators must attend 1)
  • Attend 1 full day virtual conference and 1 full day virtual showcase (All Participating Teachers and Technology Coach; Administrators must attend 1)
  • Commit to and carry out at least one collaborative project with a Thinkfinity Content Partner (All Participating Teachers and Technology Coach)
  • Attend at least one live webinar each month (All; September – April)
  • Meet virtually each month with mentors (All; September – April)
  • Actively participate in discussions with mentors through the Thinkfinity Community (All; September 2013 – April 2015)
  • Create two videos with supporting blog posts related to project practice or impact to share with others (All; September 2013 - April 2015)

Time dedicated to project for participating Teachers is estimated to be 2 hours per week

Research and Evaluation
  • Teachers will participate in two observations (if selected by the research team)
  • Teachers will complete up to eight surveys about professional development and technology use over the course of two years
  • Schools will provide student achievement data (as requested)
Technology Coach (in addition to Professional Development above)
  • Attend and present at ISTE Conference 2014
  • Participate in additional training including, but not limited to, a series of short self-paced courses on coaching
  • Provide training, mentorship, coaching and support to Participating Teachers and Administrator through modeling, co-teaching and professional development
  • Serve as primary contact for ISTE and Verizon Foundation (with Administrator, as needed), and liaison to Participating Teachers
  • Dedicate 25% of time to project, during school hours and in a flexible way so as to best support Participating Teachers
  • Participate in media events organized by Verizon Foundation in coordination with school (approximately 1 per school year)

Your response to this survey indicates your understanding and agreement that the survey is not an offer of funding from Verizon Foundation. Verizon Foundation reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to withdraw or amend the survey; to reject or disqualify surveys; to select or not select applicants for funding, including, without limitation, participants in this survey process; and/or to identify one or more participants with whom Verizon Foundation wants to solicit additional or supplemental information and/or to whom Verizon Foundation may want to issue a modified survey. The foregoing is without limitation of Verizon Foundation’s further right, in its sole discretion, to award any funding to one or more applicants, within the context of this survey or independently of it.

Verizon Foundation reserves the right to reject any or all surveys in whole or in part. Verizon Foundation shall be under no obligation to accept any surveys. Verizon Foundation is not obligated to detail to applicants the reason for the selection or rejection of any surveys.