Learning is undergoing a transformation at Irving ISD middle schools, thanks to a special partnership with the Verizon Innovative Learning (VILs) program. Through a collaboration with the non-profit Digital Promise, VILs is equipping every Irving ISD middle school student and teacher with a free tablet, free internet access and powerful, hands-on learning experiences.

The initiative also provides a full-time technology coach from Digital Promise for two years. The goal of the program is to ensure students are taught how to use these tools responsibly and give teachers comprehensive, ongoing professional development on how to effectively integrate mobile technology in their lessons.

“Technology has revolutionized the way we think, work and play, and when it’s integrated into the curriculum, it revolutionizes the learning process for all of our students,” says Anika Horgan, principal of de Zavala Middle School. “The VILs initiative provides different learning pathways that many of our students would normally not have an opportunity to experience.  Research shows that technology integration in the curriculum improves students’ learning processes and outcomes. As we prepare our students to be successful in their careers and in college, the VILs initiative helps us develop our students’ personal and social responsibility, critical thinking and reasoning.”

The devices were distributed September 6 during special roll-out events at each de Zavala, Johnson and Travis Middle Schools. These schools join Irving ISD’s other five middle schools, which launched the program in 2017. Now that all eight Irving middle schools are participating, Irving ISD is the only school district in the nation to have 100 percent of its middle schools in the program.

Powered by a next-gen, technology-infused curriculum that fundamentally changes the way teachers teach and students learn, Verizon Innovative Learning is giving kids the ability to do more, achieve more, learn more and create more. And the results are nothing short of amazing. Students in Verizon Innovative Learning show improvements in math and reading, and they’re more engaged in school, according to the Westat (2018) First Analysis of Student Administrative Data From Cohort 3 Schools. 

Since 2012, Verizon Innovative Learning has committed a total of $400 million. They’ve helped more than 1.7 million students enhance their learning with a technology-infused curriculum and will help 2 million more by 2021.
• 76% of teachers said that Verizon Innovative Learning enhanced student engagement
• 58% of Verizon Innovative Learning students were more proficient in STEM
• 54% of Verizon Innovative Learning students are more engaged in school.

The total Verizon investment in STEM initiatives in Irving Independent School District is $14.4 million.

To learn more, visit www.verizon.com/about/responsibility/verizon-innovative-learning.