Free Tablets Delivered to Maui Intermediate Students

October 17, 2015, 5:56 PM HST · Updated October 19, 2:21 PM
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Courtesy photo: Verizon Hawaiʻi. Oct. 16, 2015 at Kalama Intermediate School.

Courtesy photo: Verizon Hawaiʻi. Oct. 16, 2015 at Kalama Intermediate School.

Kalama Intermediate School and Lokelani Intermediate School on Maui are among just 32 schools across the nation that have been selected to receive free tablets for students for around-the-clock internet service.

It’s part of the Verizon Innovative Learning Schools program directed by the nonprofit Digital Promise, a program that is using mobile technology to extend learning beyond classroom walls.

Today, 900 tablets were presented to students at Kalama Intermediate, and next weekend, an additional 600 tablets will be presented to students at Lokelani.

The two-year program will provide students at both intermediate schools with digital tablets and Verizon 4G LTE connectivity that gives them Internet access for learning at school, at home and wherever they want to take them.

Courtesy photo: Verizon Hawaiʻi. Oct. 16, 2015 at Kalama Intermediate School.

Courtesy photo: Verizon Hawaiʻi. Oct. 16, 2015 at Kalama Intermediate School.

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“Innovative technological solutions-like the initiative we launched today-can be transformative for education, but the magic is truly in the people who utilize these tools,” said Ian Yahya, vice president of Verizon in Hawai’i.

“I’m inspired by the passion, enthusiasm and sincere love of learning we recognize in the Kalama and Lokelani students,” said Yahya.

In addition, teachers at both intermediate schools will receive ongoing professional development to integrate mobile technology into instruction across all subjects and put into practice more individualized and experiential learning methods.

Courtesy photo: Verizon Hawaiʻi. Oct. 16, 2015 at Kalama Intermediate School.

Courtesy photo: Verizon Hawaiʻi. Oct. 16, 2015 at Kalama Intermediate School.

Both Maui intermediate schools will have dedicated learning coaches and will introduce new science, technology, engineering and math initiatives.

Program representatives say the initiative will provide new learning opportunities, especially outside the classroom and to those without high-speed Internet connections at home.

“The Department of Education is building Future Ready Learning environments in our schools and the Verizon Innovative Learning Schools program complements our efforts,” said Stephen Schatz, Hawai’i State Department of Education deputy superintendent. “With the right tools, support and professional development, teachers will engage more students and prepare them for a future of college, career and community readiness,” he said.

The VILS program directed by Digital Promise will provide the Maui School District up to $3 million dollars in equipment, service and training over the two-year period depending on the need of the district and the number of students participating.

Verizon representatives say the company is dedicated to using technology to help students achieve brighter futures. Mobile technology, company representatives say, puts a powerful learning tool in students’ hands and gives them the freedom to solve problems, share information and use learning tools virtually anywhere.

By enabling this independence, Verizon seeks to encourage students to innovate through creativity, collaboration, critical thinking and entrepreneurship and prepare them with the technology proficiency to compete in today’s economy.

Teachers outside of the Maui district will also benefit from the program. Resources will be available online and at no cost for use by teachers anywhere in their own classrooms. The resources will include best practices, teacher insights, stories and more from the Maui school district and others participating schools across the country.

Verizon launched the VILS program in 2012 and has carefully tracked its results through teacher and student surveys as well as students’ standardized test scores. Company representatives say the results have shown that: VILS program teachers spend more time teaching students at an individual level; students are more engaged in school, and: student grades have improved.

Kalama and Lokelani are two of 13 new intermediate schools across the country joining the VILS program this year.  The program has already reached 32 schools, 15,838 participating students and 556 participating teachers.

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