Verizon Innovative Learning aims to empower all young people with emerging technology, design thinking and social innovation skills, cultivating a more diverse, inclusive and accessible ecosystem for innovation to thrive.

From entrepreneurship and economic impact to innovative approaches to training, upskilling and education, The Youth Entrepreneurship (YE) team at the Edson Entrepreneurship + Innovation Institute is a globally recognized leader in developing content to empower entrepreneurs in K-12 environments. Verizon Innovative Learning (VIL) is a core element of our YE programming.

The Verizon Innovative Learning Lab program, made possible by Verizon and in partnership with the J.Orin Edson Entrepreneurship + Innovation Institute and Heart of America, empowers Verizon Innovative Learning Schools across the country to become hubs of innovation by providing emerging technology, project-based curricula and learning opportunities to their students and communities. The dynamic lab spaces enable students not only to learn with technology but to collaborate and create solutions that help move the world forward.

This multi-year program combines emerging technology with an innovative project-based curriculum and real-world problem solving, all in a custom-designed, experiential learning space within the school’s campus. The curriculum is created by the Edson E+I Institute and supported by ongoing professional learning for effective implementation and sustainability. The Lab program also features a full space transformation co-designed and executed by Heart of America, a nonprofit with 25 years of experience transforming school and community spaces into modern learning environments.

Verizon Innovative Learning Labs launched in 2017 with a focus on providing students in Title I middle schools with skills needed to succeed in today’s digital world. Through the program, Edson E+I developed a series of inclusive, student-centered curriculum courses in Immersive Media, Digital Product Innovations, Smart Solutions and and Artificial Intelligence and Robotics, designed and focused around four key pillars: Design Thinking, Emerging Technology, Entrepreneurial Mindset and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. 

The goal is to encourage each student to take control of their own learning path, build confidence in decision making, spark interest in STEAM related career opportunities, and prepare the next wave of innovators for the future job force.

Geographic map noting Verizon Innovative Learning labs through 2022

Our impact

Powered by a next-gen, emerging technology-infused curriculum, including augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) and 3D printing, the Verizon Innovative Learning Lab Program supports students to explore opportunities to change the world by leveraging technology, social innovation and design thinking to impact their communities. Our impact includes:

  • 107 Verizon Innovative Learning Labs.
  • 14,629 students enrolled in a Verizon Innovative Learning course during spring 2022.
  • 33,940 middle school students impacted by Verizon Innovative Learning Labs since 2017.
  • 117 educators trained by the YE team.

After participating in the Verizon Innovative Learning Lab program during the 2020-2021 school year, middle school students reported the following:

  • 50% are more interested in engineering.
  • 58% are more interested in learning with technology.
  • 70% are more confident with virtual reality.
  • 71% think learning is more fun.
  • 74% think learning is more interesting.

**Source: Westat (2021): Verizon Innovative Learning Student Survey

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