Five California schools will have access to a pioneering digital math education program, thanks to a partnership between Verizon and the nonprofit MIND Research Institute. The partnership, supported by a $100,000 Verizon grant, aims to leverage the power of mobile technology to better equip students with early math skills.
Research by the University of California, Irvine shows that early math skills predict later academic success and increase graduation rates. Moreover, math literacy is essential for students entering 21st century jobs in science, technology, engineering and mathematics - also known as STEM fields.
Students attending Western Avenue Elementary and Dolores Huerta Elementary in Los Angeles are among the first to benefit in Southern California. Verizon and MIND are also launching the wireless tablet program at Gilroy Prep Elementary in the Northern California city of Gilroy, and two other sites as yet to be determined.
"Verizon is committed to harnessing the power of technology to enhance education and create a brighter future for students," said Gene Eng, Verizon vice president of external affairs. "Our partnership with MIND Research Institute expands access to a proven education system that's making a difference in children's lives."
MIND's Spatial Temporal (ST) Math® software is already used by more than 200,000 California students, including 30,000 in Los Angeles Unified School District. Schools using the ST Math instructional software have been shown to roughly double annual growth in math proficiency.
Cheryl Hildreth, instructional area superintendent, Los Angeles Unified School District, said, "LAUSD students and teachers have already embraced ST Math and experienced its benefits, so we're thrilled that some of them will be among the first to pilot the program on tablet devices."
The new touch-enabled ST Math software, which is supported by the grant from Verizon, uses tablet technology to create a more direct, intuitive and hands-on experience with the visually based math puzzles that are the hallmark of the ST Math curricula. Research shows that hands-on, multisensory experiences result in stronger neural connections and improved learning. Access to the new generation of software on tablet devices extends the traditional learning environment beyond school computer labs to virtually anywhere with a wireless connection.
Andrew R. Coulson, president of MIND's education division, said: "Verizon's generous support is helping make these classrooms exemplars of the future of education. The combination of teachers with digital content and wireless, tablet-based access facilitates deeper math learning for the next generation of problem-solvers, innovators and critical thinkers."
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, Nasdaq: VZ), headquartered in New York, is a global leader in delivering broadband and other wireless and wireline communications services to consumer, business, government and wholesale customers. Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, with more than 94 million retail customers nationwide. Verizon also provides converged communications, information and entertainment services over America's most advanced fiber-optic network, and delivers integrated business solutions to customers in more than 150 countries, including all of the Fortune 500. A Dow 30 company with $111 billion in 2011 revenues, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of more than 188,000. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.
About MIND Research Institute
The MIND Research Institute is a neuroscience and education research-based, non-profit corporation. MIND applies its distinctive visual approach to illustrating math concepts and building problem-solving skills as the basis for innovative, research-proven math education programs for elementary and secondary schools. MIND's programs currently reach over 475,000 students and 16,000 teachers in more than 1,375 schools in 26 states. For more information, visit www.mindresearch.net.