Google: Norfolk tech company a leader in educational technology

From left to right; Norfolk Mayor Kenny Alexander, Amplified IT's co-founder Tim Lee, Virginia Governoir Ralph Northam and Norfolk City Councilwoman Andria McClellan play with Google's Viewfinder that uses a smartphone to take students on virtual field trips (Joshua Weinstein/Southside Daily)
From left to right; Norfolk Mayor Kenny Alexander, Amplified IT’s co-founder Tim Lee, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam and Norfolk City Councilwoman Andria McClellan play with Google’s Viewfinder. The Viewfinder uses smartphones to take students on virtual field trips. (Southside Daily)

NORFOLK — Amplified IT, an education-focused tech consultancy firm based here, recently received two distinctions for its work providing digital interactive tools in classrooms nationwide.

On July 23 in San Francisco, Amplified IT received the 2017 Google Cloud Global Partner Award for Customer Success in Google for Education, according to a Google blog on education tools.

The award highlights the company’s tech acumen, which chose Norfolk as its headquarter in 2015 because the founders were excited about the city’s burgeoning technology corridor.

“Before moving to Norfolk we met with Norfolk’s Department of Economic Development, where they laid out the plans for the future of Norfolk. We were sold,” said Tim Lee, founder and chief technology officer of Amplified IT. “We wanted to be a part of the New Energy of Norfolk.”

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Amplified IT’s recognition from tech giant Google brought attention from city officials, business groups, and even Gov. Ralph Northam, who visited Amplified’s offices in Norfolk’s NEON District on Friday.

“I’m here to congratulate you for your work with Google Cloud in the classrooms of our public schools,” Northam said, standing next to Amplified IT’s co-founder Tim Lee. “Your company is truly a great success story. My goal is to make Virginia the No. 1 state to do business in, and I’m proud of companies like yours that decided to make your home here in Norfolk.”

Virginia Gov. Ralp Northam, sixth from right, congratulates the staff of Amplified IT on Friday after they were awarded an award for their work with in public schools with Google Cloud (Joshua Weinstein/Southside Daily)
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, sixth from right, congratulates the staff of Amplified IT on Friday after they were awarded for their work with in public schools with Google Cloud. (Southside Daily)

Amplified IT has assisted more than 4,000 school districts across 46 states, playing a role in the daily education of more than 24 million students, according to a news release from the City of Norfolk.

The company assists schools in developing actionable road maps for using Google for Education technology to ensure Google products support learning initiatives, said Roz Pascasio, a regional account manager for Amplified IT.

According to the city’s news release, that guidance provided by Amplified IT empowers tech staff in schools and helps to prepare those schools to implement Google hardware and software, which teaches students invaluable literacy in subjects like digital citizenship and online ethics.

Norfolk was the right home for Amplified IT, Lee said.

“With our bike lanes, the NEON District, and things like the Elizabeth River Trail, Norfolk has created a city where we want to grow both our business and families,” Lee said. “Norfolk has delivered on their promise to turn the city into a vibrant cultural center.”

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