Verizon Partners With Long Branch School District To Bring More Technology To Students

District educators learn how to integrate more technology into teaching
Aug 20, 2012 9:30 AM ET

This article was originally published at the Long Branch/Eatontown Patch and was authored by Christopher Sheldon

Long Branch Middle School is one of 12 schools in the nation that was given a grant by the Verizon Foundation that will allow educators to integrate more technology into their daily teaching.

Earlier this week, the Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) began a workshop to instruct employees on how to get the most out of the technology they already have at their disposal including smart phones, Flip cameras, laptops and tablets.

The workshop ended on Thursday and eighth grade math teacher Kelly Treshock said it has been a great success.

"They've given us so many things we've never seen before," Treshock said. "With the tools we've been given, we want to try to use them every day to keep students engaged."

The school is one of 12 underserved schools around the country, and the only one in New Jersey, to receive the grant from the Verizon Foundation, according to Ellen Yu of Verizon Communications. Underserved schools are schools where at least 40 percent of the children attending qualify for free or reduced lunch.

The program is designed to enhance student learning in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

“I’m sure you’re aware of the serious problem of STEM educated students in the United States today,” Yu said. “To me, one of the most alarming issues is that there are not enough Americans qualified to fill science-related U.S. government jobs.”

Yu said there has been an increase in the number of STEM-related jobs and that Verizon is looking to educate students to prepare them for positions in these fields.

Teachers have been learning how to use apps on mobile devices and tablets new technologies on laptops that will help the students utilize more technology in the classroom.

"This grant allows us to enhance the skills and behaviors of our teachers as they develop into digital age professionals,” Long Branch School District Superintendent Michael Salvatore said. “My hope is the training encourages teachers to become comfortable as co-learners with their students and colleagues around the world. Currently, some of our teachers are integrating technology at such a high level, observers have noted that the integration appears organic. This partnership with Verizon is designed to close our gap in teacher performance variability so that all teachers feel the same level of comfort with digital tools in the classroom.” 

Yolanda Ramos, of ISTE, said her group will work with the teachers throughout the entire school year to show them how to use the new technology.

"They will learn how to use, how to integrate it into the classroom to support STEM education and how to engage the students," Ramos said.

Ellen Yu
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