Digital Promise and Verizon Innovative Learning are excited to introduce Verizon Innovative Learning schools Connection—a web app designed to connect members of the Verizon Innovative Learning schools community to each other and to key resources.
The app brings features from several third-party platforms together in one place, making it a “one-stop shop” for participating educators to access all things Verizon Innovative Learning schools.
“We are excited to launch Verizon Innovative Learning schools Connection to better link our educators across the country,” said Lydia Logan, executive director of Verizon Innovative Learning schools. “Through this new web app, members of the Verizon Innovative Learning schools community will be able to easily share their successes, solicit input from other educators, and connect with colleagues who share similar interests in the classroom.”
Verizon Innovative Learning schools Connection features sections available to the general public, as well as those exclusive to the Verizon Innovative Learning schools community which are accessed by logging into the app.
A public-facing resource center provides tips for integrating technology into the classroom and best practices for managing a classroom with one-to-one devices, as well as digital citizenship assets and resources for parents. In addition, members of Verizon Innovative Learning schools Connection can access a variety of resources for all roles across the initiative.
“I think this will be a great way to centralize the information for our staff,” said Jenni Sherrill, digital learning coach at R.M. Marrs Magnet Center in Omaha, Nebraska. “I am excited about the possibilities of this app.”
The Community is meant to mimic social media, as users can create and share short posts about successes in the classroom or in their schools at large. While the full features of the Community, including posting on the Community board, direct messaging other members, and participating in forums, are only available to Verizon Innovative Learning schools educators, posts are visible to the public so members can present exciting happenings from their school for all to see.
Community members can also use their school profile pages to share successes about how the initiative has helped them overcome challenges in their schools. Here, educators can add images and videos of recent events as well as stories of impact.
Once logged in, Connection members will be taken to their dashboard, which gathers each user’s unread messages, upcoming meetings, and due dates. Users have access to a calendar to keep track of their meetings within the initiative and can send private messages to other individuals or groups of Verizon Innovative Learning schools educators.
“It definitely makes it easier to stay up to date with all the different aspects of [the Verizon Innovative Learning schools initiative],” said William Pierce, Verizon Innovative Learning coach at Frederick Law Olmsted Academy North in Louisville, Kentucky. “I particularly like the personalized aspects of the dashboard when you log in.”
Another members-only feature is the Forum, a collection of discussion groups, organized by topic, that allows users to pose questions and solicit input from their peers in the Verizon Innovative Learning schools community.
Verizon Innovative Learning schools educators can find and connect with other like-minded members via the Connector tool. This feature allows users to send individual and group messages to their peers based on areas of interest.
“We look forward to our schools and educators being able to easily connect with one another in various ways through Verizon Innovative Learning schools Connection,” said Dan Foreman, a Verizon Innovative Learning schools professional learning engineer. “With access to our program’s resources, a calendar that tracks important dates, and a cohesive method for our educators to connect, this tool will keep our educators up to date with what’s happening across the initiative.”