Verizon Wireless Announces Educational Empowerment Program With Local Boston High Schools

Verizon Wireless announced last week that it’s offering its educational empowerment program at two Boston Public Schools in partnership with Samsung. First introduced locally in 2012 at the John D. O’Bryant School of Mathematics and Science, the Verizon Wireless Education Empowerment Program is being offered again at O’Bryant and has also expanded to include Boston Green Academy. The curriculum focuses on mobile learning, teaching students how to leverage technology in and out of the classroom, preparing them for entering higher education or the workforce.

The program’s signature component is its student application development competition. Ten teams of three students, all selected by the schools’ administration, will work to develop unique app concepts and create marketing plans. Students will attend workshops facilitated by Verizon Wireless team members, covering topics relevant to high school seniors, such as creating resumes and sharpening job interview skills. At the end of the project in May, teams will present their app concepts and marketing plans.

A panel of judges from Verizon Wireless will select the top three finalists of the four-month project and a public online vote will determine first and second place winners. Each member of the winning team will receive a $5,000 scholarship, a new Samsung tablet and Verizon Wireless summer internship opportunities. Each member of the second and third place teams will receive a Samsung tablet.

INFOGRAPHIC: Kids Want Tech, Not Clothing, for Back to School Shopping

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A recent survey conducted by online shopping site Ebates finds that 43% of parents THINK their kids want new clothing this time of year. 

Well, according to the survey: 1,100 of the 2208 kids polled (between the ages 8 to 18) indicated that technology was their top priority heading into the new school year.  In fact, 42% said they’d specifically prefer a new smartphone, a laptop or even a tablet. Of those who were wishing for tech, it was the tweens (8-12) who yearned for the new gadgets more than the teens.

What gadgets are your kids looking forward to most for the new school year?

Don’t forget to research your options for parental controls to ensure safe and appropriate use. To learn more about VZW’s offerings including content filters, family locator and usage controls, click here

America After 3 PM: Working Families and After School

Keeping track of your kids after the school bell rings.

Technology has evolved to help parents manage that after-school time, letting them stay in touch with their children during those busy hours. A quick call, or some texts are common, but other, more sophisticated tools have emerged. 

GPS technology incorporated into wireless phones enables services like Family Locator, which sends a message to a parent’s phone or computer letting them know where their child is, or if the child’s phone has left a designated area.

For tips and advice from experts on how to use this technology wisely here.

VGo Is a Robot That Goes to School or Work for You

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Meet VGo, a robotic telepresence being used in schools, healthcare, and business for videoconferencing from afar. Running on Verizon’s 4G LTE network, VGo is already being used in a variety of situations -– including schools.

Since VGo is connected over LTE, it can maintain connectivity throughout an entire school building, without requiring the school to offer Wi-Fi throughout the every building and every classroom.

To learn more about VGo clickthrough.

Verizon Celebrates Black History Month

Verizon Wireless is celebrating Black History Month with education, positivity and prizes. Verizon Wireless, provider of America’s 4G LTE network, has initiated “A Day in the Life of a History Maker” for high school students. The program is in partnership with UNCF, Get Schooled and Teacher Planet.

Students who want to participate in the program are asked to submit a 500-word essay by March 31 to www.verizoninsider.com/blackhistory explaining how they plan to make history.

After surgery, a robot may be at your side In quest for efficiency, savings, hospital is testing at-home mechanical monitors

When Erin Tally took Aidan, her 2-year-old son, home from Children’s Hospital Boston on the day after his urinary surgery, she brought along a new friend: a 4-foot-6, 17-pound, two-wheeled robot to help care for her recovering child. Overthe course of  two weeks and five video consultations, the robot, made by Vgo Communications Inc., of Nashua, eliminated the need for Tally to drive Aidan into Boston every three days for post-surgical checkups.

Vgo Communications worked with Verizon Wireless’s Innovation Program center in Waltham, where the telecom company helps incubate new technologies, to embed Verizon’s cellular communications technology into the robots. Through its connection to the cellular network, a Vgo does not need to rely on Internet broadband connections.

“Eventually, I see a whole fleet of these robots being sent home with patients,’’ said Dr. Hiep T. Nguyen, an associate professor at Harvard Medical School and director of Children’s Hospital’s Robotic Surgery Research and Training Center. “With this technology, we’re going to be able to replace hospital monitoring with home-based monitoring.’’

For more information, please see boston.com.