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CONTACT: Bruce Smith
Public Information Officer
(310) 434-4209
DATE: Feb. 13, 2007


Santa Monica College is pleased to announce that Verizon has awarded a $30,000 grant to the college for its educational podcasting program. A check was presented to the SMC Board of Trustees Monday (Feb. 12).

The money will be used to purchase additional iPods for student use and computer work stations for SMC employees to produce additional podcast content for classroom instruction and related purposes.

“It’s great that the college has embarked on this effort to integrate the latest technology into the academic preparation of its students,” said Francisco Uribe, director of government and external affairs for Verizon’s Pacific Region. “The Verizon Foundation felt SMC’s Podcasting program was a perfect match with our funding priorities.”

Last year, SMC joined a number of higher education institutions throughout the nation – including Stanford and UCLA – in introducing podcasting as a learning tool. Starting with a pilot program last summer, SMC expanded its venture with the launch of ‘SMC on iTunes U,’ making a wide range of podcasts available to students and the public alike.

SMC on iTunes U features course content, student work, and audio podcasts of various guest speakers at the college and public SMC Board of Trustees meetings. All material is available for free to the public, who can download content to their Macs or PCs and, if they so choose, transfer that content to iPods and Mp3 players.

SMC officials expect podcasting to expand to more classes – including workforce-training courses offered through the SMC-operated Small Business Development Center.

Verizon has had a history of providing financial support for SMC programs that use technology. In the late 90s, the company provided a $125,000 grant to SMC to develop its online instruction program, which has experienced explosive growth over the last few years. It also gave a $35,000 award to the college’s Academy of Entertainment & Technology for “Launchpad,” a summer program for high school students interested in pursuing a career in digital animation.

“Verizon has once again shown its support of SMC’s development of a new classroom learning technology,” said Marvin Martinez, SMC vice president of planning and development.

SMC’s pilot podcasting program last summer targeted a group of about 25 incoming freshmen. The college lent Apple iPods to the students, who were able to download video, audio, photos, graphics and text for homework assignments.

The content – ranging from television and movie clips to videotaped campus tours – was available only to the students and faculty for downloads to their iPods.

Students – a group of low-income freshmen in remedial English and college orientation courses – and teachers in the program gave the podcasting high marks.

Verizon Communications Inc, a New York-based Dow 30 company, is a leader in delivering broadband and other wireline and wireless communication innovations to mass market, business, government and wholesale customers.

Verizon allocates millions of dollars each year to nonprofit and educational institutions, with a particular focus on the use of technology in education, literacy and domestic violence prevention. In 2005, Verizon awarded more than $74 million in grants -- $4 million in California alone.



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