Instructure's Technology Foundation and Recent Updates to the Instructure Learning Platform.


Chief Architect Zach Pendleton and Chief Engineering Officer Steve Townsend share Instructure's technology vision. 

Video Transcript
Good morning. Good morning, I hope you are all wearing your step counters, or, in my case, your push counters, anybody? You are gonna crush July. I tell you. It's gonna be amazing. Well, Zach and I are really excited to come and talk to you today. We wanna take a few minutes to tell you about our recently updated technology vision.

In particular, we wanna focus on a couple of things. One is the technology foundation on which all of our products are built. But also, we made some updates to particularly serve, the software developers and the content creators on our platform. So from the very beginning and all the all the products we've created since then, we not only focused on the features that we that you've all come to know and love, but we also baked in characteristics that you often don't see, but you more often feel. For example, when a student clicks on a quiz and begins taking a quiz, they don't even have to think about that at that moment, There are five million other people on the platform.

It just works. It just scales. Or if you're a visually impaired student, and you're going to submit an assignment using a screen reader. It just works without any extra steps. Thank you people with disabilities.

Because you might have a disability, but your disability should not handicap your education. Right? So we we continue that focus to this day. So, as we make advancements to the platform, we still want to assure, ensure that the platform is available and reliable It's secure. It's accessible. That it's privacy compliant, especially nowadays, right, and that it's scalable, as I mentioned before.

Now, we measure all of this uptime via this three nines metric, which we exceed by far in all of our products. But inevitably, there will be incidents. There will be things that impact that, and we ensure that that impact is as low as possible so that it doesn't affect the entire platform. We also perform quality assessments, of accessibility and security and compliance using external firms. In fact, right now, we're through an we're going through an auditive canvas.

For our accessibility standards. We hope to publish those, right, right, again. So Zach, as part of updating the technology vision, we talked to a lot of customers in this, some in this room and a lot of partners. What did we hear from them? Yeah. Thanks, Steve.

First, I do wanna say, I'm so excited to be here with you all because today, we have more developers, institutions, educators, and part building on the canvas and in structure learning platform than we've ever had before. And the work that you're all doing is amazing. So thank you and we could not be successful without you and your hard work. The one thing that we heard repeatedly, Steve, when we talked to partners and to educators, was that to build effectively on top of our platform, you needed access to the same APIs and tools that our engineers use to build these products. And so, we wanna reaffirm that commitment to you.

We are going to make sure that when we build something, you have access to the same features, sets, and, and tools so that you can innovate and experiment on top of the platform in the way that we do. And as we no, thank you. As we it gets better. As as we do that, we're not just committed to expanding our APIs. We're also committed to broadening the available tool set to you.

So looking at things like bringing you real time streaming data with better live events coverage, improving your ability to get data into and out of canvas with better rostering and data APIs and providing you insights. That when you build a tool on top of the instructor learning platform, you know who is using it if they're able to be effective in learning and how you can provide a better experience to teachers and to students. And all of these tools just like Steve said need to be accessible secure and available. So you can expect the same, requirements and expectations that you have from, the existing products. Great.

Now, that openness is critical to our platform success, right? Because we know that without a platform where everybody can experiment and grow, we won't be successful. While educators have to come first, we know that innovation can come from anywhere. And our job is to enable it and to give you the tools that you need to do some great things. And in fact, Steve, we've seen some great things from some of our existing partners. Yeah.

Let me welcome right now a demonstration, from doctor Lance Ford at zoom. Let's roll the video. Thanks so much, Steve, for allowing me to join in. Hello, everyone. I'm doctor Lance Ford, and I served as a faculty member for over twenty five years.

And have also a Zoom. Let me share with you the power of partnership between instructure and Zoom from a teacher's perspective. The Zoom leveraged LTI one dot three and instructors learning platform APIs to empower learning with next generation user experiences, taking hybrid and high flex opportunities to new heights. This results in Zoom poll or quiz feedback going right into my SpeedGrader, and Zoom attendance being automated into my Canvas attendant records. Additionally, I can pre determine zoom breakouts from Canvas polls or sections and can even place phone calls and send SMS messages to students from my education entities number.

All this is done inside my course shell. Very soon, I'll be able to give notes on Zoom whiteboard and have them auto populate my Canvas course as well. Joining from the classroom is also a snap thanks to this partnership. The classroom is reserved as a part of the integration or via a twenty five live schedule. So all I have to do as a teacher is walk in, touch the start button, and begin class.

Steve, I just want you and your friends in the room to know that this experience would not have been possible without the amazing collaboration provided from the instructor team. You all made this development easy with an ample supply of knowledge based articles, examples, and development toolkits. Thanks for your commitment to providing faculty members like me, with tools that serve as the conduit for class, not the topic of class. Everybody, enjoy the rest of the show, and thanks again for having me, Steve. I'll see you soon.

Isn't that cool? Thank you, Doctor Ford. Now it's clear to me. Hopefully, it was clear to you. That this type of in innovative integration makes life easier for teachers and improves the educational experience for students. Now, many of you, as Zach mentioned, have already developed great integrations with our APIs and with, with Canvas and studio with new quizzes, etcetera.

But there's also partners, down in the exhibit hall that do the same thing. Many other partners that do this same type of integration. We encourage you to go see them. Now, Zach, you're not only the chief architect who has said on the slide, but you also lead our advanced development I do, Steve. So how do you how have you been using these APIs and these principles to generate new innovation on the platform? Oh, excellent.

So Our advanced development team is a group of technologists that's responsible for researching the latest in technology and figuring out how we can effectively apply those tools to the most pressing educational problems that we see today. And as you can imagine, we've spent a lot of time in the last eighteen months talking about generative AI. In fact, I think every time I say generative AI, Steve, an angel gets its wings, loses its wings, I don't it's one or the other, anyone. Yes. And, I'm gonna talk a lot more today about the specifics of our research both here on this stage and in the educational moments of the future room later today, so please come check that out.

But the most important thing that I wanna call out right now is that whether we're talking about some generative AI revolution or we're talking about students just all needing to successfully log into Canvas and take a quiz, the same principles are gonna make us successful. Right? There's no tool that will solve our challenges without us collaborating together, being open, being honest and intentional and ensuring the safety and privacy of student data and educators to build the kind of future in education that we want. So we're very excited about these tools. We really, love the learning and the partnership that we've had in the past, and I can't wait to keep working with you in the future. So thank you all. Thank you all. Have a great day.

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