Verizon | July 07, 2022
Verizon Innovative Learning, the company’s signature education initiative focused on addressing barriers to digital inclusion for over a decade, is rebranding and expanding its free project-based enrichment program to Verizon Innovative Learning STEM Achievers. Previously known as two separate programs, Young Men of Color and Young Rural Women, the new Verizon Innovative Learning STEM Achievers program, in partnership with the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE), will offer a more inclusive learning environment while still providing middle school students in under-resourced communities with the opportunity to discover new problem-solving skills and gain exposure to career opportunities in STEM fields.
Verizon Innovative Learning STEM Achievers will continue to offer an engaging, hands-on experience developed to enrich learning through design thinking, 3D printing, augmented reality, social entrepreneurship and mentorship. Developed by Arizona State University's Edson Entrepreneurship + Innovation Institute, the program’s interactive curriculum centers around four educational tracks: immersive media, smart solutions, digital product innovations and artificial intelligence. The year-round program, which begins with a summer immersion experience and then hosts one STEM Enrichment day in the fall and spring for new and returning students, is held in partnership with a total of 44 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) and community colleges across the country.
“One of the core tenets of Verizon Innovative Learning STEM Achievers is to expose students to emerging technologies and teach students to think broadly about how technology can make the world a better place. “Since the program launched in 2017, we’ve been able to reach thousands of students, not only through hands-on learning, but through mentorships that help to deepen their connection to STEM, as well as build their confidence and leadership skills outside of the classroom.”
Alex Servello, Director of Corporate Social Responsibility at Verizon
“Being a part of Verizon Innovative Learning STEM Achievers gave me access to amazing technology, which allowed me to enhance my skills in STEM and build upon my innate design capabilities,” said Christopher, a 16-year-old student who previously participated in the program at Tuskegee University. “Through the program I also met great new friends and mentors and learned about the latest trends in technology. I enjoyed each day of the program and was always excited to see what new experiences we would engage in next.”
Verizon Innovative Learning HQ, next-gen learning for all
Students and teachers can also take advantage of Verizon Innovative Learning HQ, Verizon’s new, freely available open access education portal that scales the resources of Verizon Innovative Learning and its decade-long proven approach to integrating technology into the classroom. The portal enables any K-12 educator in the country to access innovative learning apps, professional development and tailored lesson plans to empower students to be social innovators and to create solutions using emerging tech.
Citizen Verizon: Goal to 10 million youths with digital skills training
These efforts are all part of Citizen Verizon, the company’s responsible business plan for economic, environmental, and social advancement. Citizen Verizon empowers Verizon to deliver on its mission to move the world forward through action by expanding digital access and resources, protecting the climate, and ensuring people have the skills needed for jobs of the future. Through Citizen Verizon, and the key pillar of Digital Inclusion, the company's responsible business goals include providing 10 million youths with digital skills training by 2030. To learn more about Verizon's digital inclusion efforts, visit CitizenVerizon.com. To sign up for Verizon Innovative Learning STEM Achievers, visit https://naccemeets.nacce.com/vil/home.
Verizon Communications Inc. was formed on June 30, 2000 and is one of the world’s leading providers of technology and communications services. Headquartered in New York City and with a presence around the world, Verizon generated revenues of $133.6 billion in 2021. The company offers data, video and voice services and solutions on its award-winning networks and platforms, delivering on customers’ demand for mobility, reliable network connectivity, security and control.
ASU Prep Digital | July 19, 2022
ASU Prep Digital, an accredited online K-12 school offered through Arizona State University, has partnered with Google Public Sector, to make remote immersive learning technology more accessible to students across the United States and around the world. ASU Prep Learning Cloud is a streaming solution that empowers schools to deliver innovative and interactive 3D learning experiences to students using low-bandwidth devices. The technology was developed on and is powered by Google Cloud.This new platform invites students to solve challenges by immersing themselves in interactive settings made possible by technology. For example, students can watch geologic formations emerge through simulations rather than reading about it in a textbook. Students can also explore human organs in 3D or examine a plastic mannequin. This brings topics like erosion, hydrolysis, and human anatomy to life.
To successfully complete a lesson, students must think critically about the concept, explore it, and learn through discovery. Real-time, instructive feedback also helps contribute to a more individualized learning experience.
“We’re turning students into explorers by embedding learning into the digital formats that students love, We spark curiosity by asking students to navigate 3D worlds, hypothesize, and discover knowledge by manipulating game-like simulations to solve real-world problems.”
-David Sudarma, ASU Prep’s chief technology officer
The ASU Prep Learning Cloud represents an important step toward accessibility for students in rural areas, with limited broadband access, and districts where limited technology funding makes it difficult to deliver cutting-edge learning opportunities. This immersive cloud-based education technology can be experienced from mobile devices or Chromebooks, increasing accessibility for all learners, anytime, anywhere. Removing those barriers is especially important for a program like ASU Digital Prep, which can be instrumental in bridging gaps for districts where resources are slim.
ASU Prep Digital has allowed us to partner and advance educational opportunities for thousands of K-12 students who might not have otherwise had access to the courses, credits, mentors, and teachers we offer, said Arizona State University President Michael Crow, who is widely known as a pioneer of online education.
Crow’s vision has created a tech-enhanced learning environment across ASU, inclusive of pre-collegiate students via ASU Prep Digital. A key element of that vision is expanded opportunities in online education, which offers a path to higher education for students who are otherwise hindered from pursuing their education goals. In addition to its rapidly expanding K-12 enrollment, ASU Prep Digital’s School Partnerships continue to grow. The program supports entire school districts in states like Utah, Louisiana and Ohio, as well as schools in 22 states and 12 countries.
In addition to the full- and part-time students who enroll directly with ASU Prep Digital, the school also teams with private schools, public schools, and districts worldwide to offer a K-12 curriculum and one-on-one instruction in a virtual environment. The program’s latest suite of courses, which will be available this fall to partner schools via the ASU Prep Learning Cloud, powered by Google Cloud, can be used in compliance with Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
As pioneers in their respective industries, ASU Prep Digital and Google Public Sector worked to develop the platform, which is based on game engine technology. The ASU Prep Learning Cloud features responsive design optimized for the most commonly used devices (e.g., Chromebooks, mobile phones) using Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).
“Our partnership with ASU Prep Digital has the ability to unlock new and innovative academic opportunities for learners across the country, We’re unleashing the power of Google Cloud to help make individualized, digital, and interactive learning the new standard in education.”
-Steven Butschi, director of Education, Google Public Sector
Courses integrate seamlessly into existing learning management systems, while supporting robust interactive features that personalize learning. The platform currently supports ASU Prep Digital partner schools, but in the future, could be rolled out to other educational institutions.
As immersive technologies become more widely adapted in education, 3D learning environments such as augmented reality and virtual reality offer great potential for engagement and retention, Our collaboration with Google Public Sector is a terrific first step in expanding access to immersive solutions across many devices, and we’re working together to explore ways immersive technologies can be made even more universally available to eager learners.
To preview a snapshot of ASU Prep Learning Cloud courses, visit: https://vimeo.com/623494408 or take a deeper look at the immersive platform here: https://vimeo.com/689344144/795e785a7c
About ASU Prep Digital
ASU Prep Digital is an accredited online K-12 school that offers a single online course or enrollment in a full-time, diploma-granting program. Because it is part of Arizona State University, ASU Prep Digital offers an accelerated path toward college admission and the chance to earn concurrent high school and university credit. For more information, visit asuprepdigital.org.
Smartria and Kitces.com | August 09, 2022
Smartria®, a powerful, easy-to-use cloud-based software solution designed to meet the specialized compliance management needs of investment advisors, compliance teams, operations teams, consultants, and attorneys, has announced a partnership with Kitces.com to provide online education content for CE credits through the Smartria platform to address the North American Securities Administrators Association’s (NASAA) Investment Adviser Representative Continuing Education (IAR CE) Model Rule. Kitces.com is home to the Nerd’s Eye View financial planning industry blog published by Michael Kitces, and a leading provider of advanced education for financial advisors.
“Smartria is proud to partner with Michael Kitces and Kitces.com, the preeminent industry thought leader in advisor education, We were very deliberate in our selection—we wanted to work with a partner who shared our vision of software as a partnership and was committed to helping us deliver a solution that meets our clients’ needs at scale. Smartria’s partnership with Kitces.com is a natural fit as we continue to innovate our compliance platform with new and distinctive offerings.”
-Mac Bartine, CEO of Smartria
Under the partnership, investment advisers who activate Smartria’s new IAR CE feature will gain instant access directly from the Smartria dashboard to all of the Continuing Education content provided by the Kitces.com Members Section, including not only the Nerd’s Eye View blog content, but Kitces white papers and webinars as well, which can fulfill both their new IAR CE obligation, as well as crossover CE credit for CFP certification, CPA licensees, Enrolled Agents, and advisors with advanced designations from the Investments and Wealth Institute and the American College. Future integrations under the partnership will facilitate automated firm-wide tracking and reporting in Smartria of all an investment adviser’s Kitces-earned IAR CE credits for all of their team members, to ensure annual compliance as additional states pass the NASAA Model Rule and implement their own IAR CE obligations in the coming years.
As financial advisors, we’re already subject to a myriad of overlapping rules and regulations, and overlapping Continuing Education obligations, and so as soon as the NASAA Model Rule was finalized last year, we began the process to qualify our Kitces.com educational content for IAR CE in addition to all of the other financial advisor licenses and designations we already covered, With CE demands continuing to rise, we’ve been developing our own systems to be able to better integrate with existing advisor platforms to facilitate multi-designation CE, and we’re thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Mac and the rapidly growing Smartria team to power their IAR CE solution, as our first CE integration partner,said Michael Kitces, Chief Financial Planning Nerd at Kitces.com.
NASAA’s Model Rule was announced on November 30, 2020. Under the rule, an investment adviser representative is required to complete 12 CE credits annually to maintain their IAR registration. The rule applies to all registered IARs of both state-registered and federal covered investment advisers. Compliance begins with existing IARs and newly registered IARs in states that have adopted the model rule as of Jan. 1, 2022, which currently include Maryland, Mississippi, and Vermont.
Smartria is a leading compliance software platform for RIAs, hybrid RIAs and RIA networks. The firm’s software excels at making the complex and often frustrating world of regulatory compliance simple to manage and easy to understand. Smartria’s unique roles for compliance consultants and distributed management of large corporations make its solution able to handle any compliance problem for any sized company. For more information, please visit www.Smartria.com.
Kitces.com publishes the #1 financial planning industry blog, Nerd’s Eye View, and provides a wide range of advanced educational content for financial advisors through both nerdy long-from educational articles, research white papers, in-person and virtual live events, on-demand and livestream webinars, and online courses. The Kitces.com Members Section provides continuing education credits for a wide range of financial advisor licenses and advanced professional designations, including CFP certification designations from the Investments & Wealth Institute and American College, CPE for CPAs and Enrolled Agents, investment adviser representative (IAR) CE obligations, and more.