What is the United Nations? Why is climate change a problem? How does artificial intelligence work?
These are just a few of the questions a curious young student might wonder at some point in their academic career — but whether they eventually come across suitable answers is a different matter. While a student might be full of questions, they might not have access to the right resources or expert knowledge to expand their understanding of key issues.
For the more than 3 million students in the US who don’t have reliable access to the internet at home, this problem can create a digital divide that leaves them behind their peers and unprepared for the future. Not only is the internet increasingly required for success in the classroom, it also contains a vast trove of information that can help a student unlock professional and educational opportunities later in life. Students without reliable internet access are often unable to take advantage of these opportunities.
That’s why Verizon is committed to creating a digitally inclusive society that closes the digital divide.
Verizon works with Title 1 middle schools — schools that have a high proportion of low-income students and students with special needs — to expand access to the internet and digital opportunities. Through its Verizon Innovative Learning program, the company provides cutting-edge technology, internet access, and teacher training in a classroom setting.
Taking access to information to another level, Verizon is partnering with the New York Times to bring access to the digital version of The Times to over 7 million Title 1 middle and high school students and teachers across the country.
"Our goal is to make an impact that will address the digital divide,” said Diego Scotti, chief marketing officer at Verizon. “In a time when access to quality world news is more important than ever, there is no better partner than the New York Times to give students the information they need.
“The Times content combined with technology like AR and VR that Verizon Innovative Learning provides give under-resourced students unprecedented ability to explore the world,” he added.
The Times provides coverage of breaking news around the world, deep dives on popular and obscure topics, award-winning criticism, and a range of multimedia content. The Times also caters directly to students with the Learning Network, a hub that provides content tailored to middle and high school students.
The Learning Network features articles and videos for students, instructional resources for teachers, and lots of student input, including podcast and essay contests.
Recently, the Times teamed up with the Pulitzer Center to create a curriculum available to teachers and students on slavery and its enduring impact on American society.
The Verizon Innovative Learning program is committed to leveling the playing field for low-income students, helping them gain the ability to learn about robotics, artificial intelligence, coding, and the latest digital advances.
Now with access to the New York Times, under-resourced students will be able to stay abreast of global news while also getting a deeper understanding of the issues that both transcend and inform the events unfolding every day.