The NYC Media Lab is launching a $1 million initiative intended to help museums and cultural institutions develop new augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) educational content.
NYC Media Lab – a higher education consortium intended to connect media and technology companies with New York City’s Universities – is partnering with Verizon on the Museum Initiative to offer AR and VR content on the Verizon Innovative Learning HQ portal, a free and publicly available online education portal. The initiative is part of the broader 5G EdTech Challenge program, launched in 2018, which calls on nonprofits to create “transformative education tools” that leverage 5G connectivity.
“In an effort to expand Verizon Innovative Learning HQ’s library of curricular applications, the newly launched $1M Museum Initiative aims to connect educators nationwide with museums, science centers, zoos, aquariums, and cultural institutions who are able to showcase innovative edtech approaches that weave together physical and digital experiences,” Verizon said in a press release.
Verizon confirmed that up to 10 institutions will be chosen by NYC Media Lab and awarded up to $100,000 per organization, totaling $1 million in educational funding. The program is open to United States-based museums, science centers, zoos, aquariums, and cultural institutions
“The partnership between these storied organizations with cutting-edge 5G education technologies will create a wealth of new opportunities for students to learn in dynamic and innovative ways during this unprecedented time in our nation’s educational history,” said Abran Maldonado, NYC Media Lab’s associate director for the 5G EdTech Challenge program.
The Museum Initiative will be multi-phase and run through December 2022. Participating organizations will have access to: 5G edtech expert and practitioner teams who are currently part of the program; educators, students, parents, and communities across the country; creative technologists and experts in immersive and cutting-edge tech; and stakeholders from NYC Media Lab and Verizon.
The educational topics covered within the winning applicants’ curricula are intended to reflect a broad range of possibilities, and Verizon said that goal is to select projects that will support teachers, improve educational outcomes, and/or increase student engagement.