Verizon Foundation Continues Support of Educational Technology Program For Teachers at Rutgers With $75,000 Grant

New Brunswick, NJ – Verizon announced today that it is renewing its support of the “Educational Leaders of the 21st Century” certification program developed by Rutgers Graduate School of Education (GSE). The Verizon Foundation’s $75,000 grant will aid the university in its attempts to grow teacher and student enrollment in the program, as well as to enhance the program’s reach to other universities.

Established in January 2010 with an initial $150,000 grant from Verizon, the online program allows teachers the opportunity to develop valuable technological skills that will enhance their learning as well as that of their students.  The program consists of three, online, graduate-level courses: Introduction to Teaching with Digital Tools, Web-Based Multimedia Design for Educators, and Developing Digital e-Learning Environments.  After completing the program, participants are awarded a certificate in Educational Technology from Rutgers GSE

“This program is a great way to utilize technology to further both teacher and student learning,” said Dr. Richard De Lisi, Dean of Rutgers Graduate School of Education. “We have made great progress over these last two years and we will continue to make even more strides with this program.”

This additional grant, to be awarded over 18 months, will allow Rutgers to continue to collaborate with Verizon’s Thinkfinity ( program, which provides helpful resources for students and educators. The GSE plans to increase Thinkfinity’s outreach to teachers, give current members greater access to a larger number of experts and professionals, and continue to educate teachers.

“Technology is such an important part of education today for teachers as much as it is for students – especially as they prepare to go out into the workforce,” said Dr. Erica Boling, Associate Professor of Literacy Education at Rutgers GSE and the principle investigator of the program. “Through this certificate program, teachers and administrators are able to greatly enhance their knowledge of emerging technologies while working in today’s fast-paced digital society.”

            “Teachers play a key role in preparing children for success in the 21st century, and Verizon’s support of this program ensures that educators get the training they need to integrate technology into the classroom,” said Douglas W. Schoenberger, vice president of corporate responsibility for Verizon New Jersey.  “Verizon’s Thinkfinity program also gives teachers another valuable tool to challenge and inspire their students to achieve great things.”

Verizon’s Thinkfinity website is an innovative and easy way for members to navigate teaching and learning resources.  The website’s visitors are immersed in the technology while learning more about it – allowing them to gain valuable knowledge and hands-on experience simultaneously. is populated with a variety of online learning materials for grades K-12, an online community that members can use to connect with other educators, and after-school activities for students and parents that allow for learning to continue at home. Teachers can receive training online at their own pace and students can continue their education outside of the classroom.



About Rutgers Graduate School of Education

Founded in 1923 in New Brunswick, NJ, the Rutgers Graduate School of Education (GSE) community creates new knowledge about educational processes and policies. The faculty and staff at GSE strive to prepare educators who create effective and equitable educational opportunities for all learners. The GSE offers several masters and doctoral programs for professional educators who work in PK-16 environments. Additional information is available by visiting gse.rutgers.eduor calling 848-932-7496.


About the Verizon Foundation

The Verizon Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Verizon, uses its technology, financial resources and partnerships to address critical social issues, with a focus on education and domestic violence prevention. In 2010, the foundation awarded nearly $67 million to nonprofit agencies in the U.S. and abroad. Through Verizon Volunteers, one of the nation’s largest employee volunteer programs, Verizon employees and retirees have volunteered nearly 6 million hours of community service since 2000. For more information on the foundation, visit