Education for All: Canvas + ASU, 100 Million Learners Initiative


Instructure's Melissa Loble and Jess Awtry share about the importance of Education for All by highlighting ASU Thunderbird School of Global Management's 100 Million Learners Initative in partnership with Canvas LMS. 

Video Transcript
The last thing that I wanna share, but probably the absolute most important and what touches my heart deeply is a little bit about an initiative that we're supporting to really drive this idea of education for all. It's not just about, although it's very important how we all come together, but it's also about how we all go back to our communities and affect really positive change in our communities. You know, we're driving the development learners around the world and how we do that is so meaningful. And so I have a really special program I wanna share a little bit about with you all today, and I need a little bit of help sharing that program. So I'd like to bring out Jessica Audrey She is a important family member of her instructor community, so Jessica come on out. So good to have you here.

It's been so good. So we're here to talk a little bit about an initiative that we're supporting through the ASU Thunderbird School of Management. It's called the hundred million learners initiative. Anybody here? Has anybody here heard about this? Yeah? Yeah. Hey.

I got some cheers. K. We're gonna talk a little bit about that. But before I go there, you haven't met just yet. You know me, ten years, you've seen me a lot.

I wanted to ask Jess, you know, share a little bit about how did you find your way to this Instructure family? I shared that. How did you? How did you get here? Absolutely. So this is my first instructure con in person. And they threw me on the big stage the very first time. So I don't know when I drew that first straw, but My fault.

I'm really excited to be here. So I came from education. I was a former assistant Dean at Utah Valley University, so my home state is Utah. And I really am passionate about education. So I have a unique educational journey myself.

Very nontraditional learner, and I'm just education for all is not just a tagline. For me, it's not just a tagline for Instructure. So being able to be part of something and partnering with something like the ASU, hundred million learner initiative was really it helped me kind of find my path from education into educational technology. And I've always I remember when I first transitioned over, when I would meet with schools, they would say, well, why why did you make the change? Why did you leave Ed? And I don't feel like I left education I feel like I'm still very much ingrained in a part of a part of it. And my story really was always about, you know, I looked at education in the way it empowered my life and the way we always talk about it as kind of the equalizer, right, at opening opportunities for learners to create their own journey.

And for me, EdTech was piece that amplified that and empowered learners. So I was very, very grateful and super excited to join the structure about four years ago. Yeah. Yeah. So you can see why we're fast friends little bit of, similar spirits here in our journeys.

And one of the great things about Jess is she introduced me to this hundred million learners initiative And she had been working with ASU quite a bit around this. And it was really the more I learned about it, the more excited I became about how we can better support and and more innovatively support learners around the world that may not have access to learning. But all of you may not know much about that initiative. I know some of you did because we got some good cheers. So, Jess, would you mind sharing a little bit about what is this hundred million learners initiative? Yeah.

Absolutely. So we had invited some of our Thunderbird friends to come with us today, but they were not able to make it. So I'm going to do my best to represent what the program actually looks like. It's a really exciting, initiative that they have founded. So the Thunderbird Global School of Management at Arizona State University launched in twenty twenty two, the Francis and Diana Jaffe, hundred million global learner initiative.

And the purpose of that initiative, I know I say say that five times fast. Like, that's that's kind of a mouthful. But the purpose is really this idea of radical inclusion for all learners regardless of where are regardless of their. I mean, we're talking about thinking, you know, they it's in twenty languages already. The goal is to get the program to forty languages across the globe.

Right? Really meeting, we we talk about bandwidth issues. We strategize with them in our engineering team around what does it look like for, you know, learners that don't have access Internet outside of a school. And so, really, it's their idea of, radically, including in premurial, basic business classes right now. They have a boot camp going, and it's at no cost. So they're doing this through partnerships, through philanthropy, donations, to really try to change what this looks like for learners around the world.

And one of the exciting things for me is that seventy percent of the program they anticipate will be women. Oh, so powerful. Yeah. That's worth it to you. Right? Yeah.

Absolutely. Really exciting. Yeah. Yeah. So, you know, Steve was a little bit vulnerable sharing some of his personal experiences in connection with education earlier.

And I wanted, just to share, and and I promised just I'll share as well. But why in particular does this initiative touch you? Yeah. So for me, I mean, I've worked with ASU. I work in the role strategic account manager. And I've worked with ASU almost I mean, most of the time that I've been in a new structure, and and love kinda exciting new opportunities.

And when this came up, it really spoke to me personally. I always had dreams as a little girl of going to college. I knew I wanted to go to college for a long time, and then I became a mom at sixteen. So that radically changed what my educational journey was going to look like. I was a nontraditional student entering college for the first time in my twenties with little children, and I really was grasping onto anything I could get on the weekend online at night, right, to try to figure out how to really empower my own learning journey while also existing in my reality.

And so this spoke really to the heart of me. And when I talked to Dean Kogram and Duck polk and Thunderbird. Every time I walk away from those conversations, I just feel I just feel warm and empowered, but it's this idea of, you know, meeting learners where they are, understanding that we all have a different journey, and we're all gonna get to the point that we want to, but some of us have a little bit more of a bumpy path, or some of us need more and through my own journey in education, I had great people that inspired me and supported me. It's what actually made me want to go into education. I didn't think I wanted to be a teacher, totally changed my career path.

And it really so it speaks not just to the mission of instruction, but also to the mission of myself. How about you, Melissa? I love that. I love that. And thank you for sharing that that personal moment. I, I grew up in a in in my younger years, in my elementary years, a very, very rural community that didn't have access to enough to actually.

And so we, I was in a class with kindergartner's first, second, and third graders altogether, and we had a teacher trying to teach all of us at all of those levels. Bless her heart. She was an amazing teacher, but there was so much I didn't have access to, and I was a really, really curious kid back then. And then I transitioned to a community where, it was a more traditional I went I went to public school, but it was a more traditional community. A bigger community, and I wasn't ready, to to to be in that environment.

And so I felt that struggle personally of how do I better, how do I grow myself as a learner and better connect in that way in a place where I don't feel like I belong. Now, I'm lucky in that, I again had incredible teachers. Thank you to all of the teachers out there. At incredible teachers that guided me through that, but I can only imagine learners around the world that don't even have access to that. And how do you, especially the curious, the the one that want, you know, these things you want from your life, and you don't know how to get them and don't have those resources to do it.

So this similarly spoke really to my heart as well, especially as we think about how we think about educating, elevating, and empowering learners around the world. So, Jess, what's next for this initiative? What what's what's coming next? I know. That's the exciting part. So they launched, it was a year in April now that they've launched they have their boot camp is fully online, like I said, in twenty languages. So working on continued language expansion to that forty full languages, the Thunderbird team is very busy in partnering with countries as a whole, right, to get this curriculum inside of high school classes and and creating then pathways for credit into ASU or other, institutions.

So they're really excited. They set a goal this year of reaching a hundred thousand and they're on track to hit that mark. So that's very it's a really cool benchmark. And then they're also looking at in spring of twenty twenty four. The program has three different tracks, kind of based on learners of all educational levels.

And so in spring, they'll be launching those more advanced programs, that will then build into credit programs for the initiative. So really exciting. On the Instructure side, we're working hard with the initiative on continuing to find ways to optimize classes outside of Canvas for some of those bandwidth issues. Right? Looking at, you know, storage utilization, looking at all these unique ways in which instructure can really, ASU. We love to use the the analogy of we're gonna get in the boat and paddle together.

So working hard on finding ways across the globe to continue to meet learners where they are. Yeah. I love that and inspiring and exciting. And speaking of that, we have a QR code for you. Go get involved.

Go get active in this, check out the programs anyone can sign up for those programs. Yep. And we know each and every one of you has an extended community.

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