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Instructure Awards $100,000 in K-12 and Higher Education Grants

Independent Panel of Judges Names 15 Award Recipients

SALT LAKE CITY, March 5, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Instructure today announced at SXSWedu in Austin, Texas, the winners of Canvas Grants, a program that awards $100,000 in education grants to spur technological innovation from within the education community. The program provides $50,000 for K-12 initiatives and $50,000 for select projects in higher education.


Canvas by Instructure.


"Our goal is to fuel innovation and creative thinking within the existing educational community," said Jared Stein, vice president of research and education at Instructure. "We believe the real innovators are those within the education system who focus each day on modernizing the teaching and learning experience. This program aims to support these innovators by providing funds that can help make their ideas a reality."

In October 2013, Instructure announced the grant program and specific categories for K-12 and higher education. Applicants submitted more than 400 proposals, which were then evaluated by an independent panel of educational leaders, analysts and journalists on the basis of originality, creativity, feasibility and potential to drive meaningful change in the quality of education.

The 10 winners in K-12 will be awarded $5,000 and the five winners in higher education will receive $10,000. The results are as follows:

K-12 Winners

  • Julie Braly with the Video Think Project, winner of the "1:1 Initiatives" category for her interest in exploring how student-generated video can play a greater role in the classroom.
  • Larry Mendte with the Philadelphia School District, winner of the "Extending the Classroom" category for his plan to equip inner-city schoolchildren with the resources to record stories about their communities and to share them with the world via the Web and as part of a TV show.
  • Jonathan Briggs with Eastside Preparatory School, winner of the "Involving Parents in Meaningful Ways" category for his proposal to create user-friendly dashboards for parents, so they can know how to get involved in helping their students.
  • Aaron Cuny with Ingenuity Prep, winner of the "Meeting Demands of Standards" category for his work utilizing video in a purposeful and structured manner to build school community around a blended learning model.
  • Bonni Jones with Venture Academy High School, winner of the "Personalized Learning Paths" category for her effort to create quest-based learning applets that are open and work on any device.
  • Nancy Jo Lambert with Ruth Borchardt Elementary Frisco ISD, winner of the "PK-5 Technology" category for her plan to create a Makerspace in her school with LEGOS, littleBits and MinecraftEdu licenses.
  • Daniel Ching with Minarets High School, winner of the "Project-based Learning" category for focusing on preserving the language and cultural heritage of the North Fork Rancheria of Mono Indians, one of the largest tribes in California.
  • Erica Marshall with Huntington County Community School Corporation, winner of the "Special Education" category for helping students with cognitive disabilities integrate into the community through technology and a cooperative with the local university.
  • Andrew Hollstein with North Penn School District, winner of the "STEM" category for his goal of providing students with an opportunity for real-world problem solving by using the engineering design process and the scientific method. Grant funds will allow students to be introduced to the world of 3-D printing and the many impacts it has on society.
  • Garrett Barnes, Environmental And Spatial Technology (EAST) facilitator with Douglas MacArthur Junior High School, winner of the "Universal Design for Learning" category for his EAST program's commitment to design, develop and implement an app that will help assimilate Spanish-speaking students to English-speaking environments in both their school and community.

Higher Education Winners

  • Ted Curran with Carnegie Mellon University, winner of the "Facilitating Competency-Based Learning" category for his goal to create personalized plans/dashboards so students can see how they track against their own educational and career objectives.
  • Virginia Stewart Huntley with Alamo Colleges, winner of the "Engaging Students Throughout Their Education" category for her request to use problem-based learning and a cloud-based, open source ePortfolio solution as part of an interdisciplinary core curriculum program.
  • Robin Bartoletti with Texas Woman's University and North Central Texas College, winner of the "Blended Online and Face-to-Face Courses" category for her plan to create a blended learning MOOC that can evangelize the maker movement.
  • Katherine Winsett with the University of Southern Indiana, winner of the "New Models of Content Curriculum Development and Sharing" category for her work to develop a tool that makes it possible to conduct robust data collection, analysis and collaboration to support active inquiry.
  • Karen Tinsley-Kim with the University of Central Florida, winner of the "Applying Universal Design to Online Learning" category for her proposal to develop a tool that will allow instructors to quickly and easily review their course content for accessibility and universal design compliance.

The independent panel of judges included the following:

K-12 Judges

  • Steven Anderson, Web 2.0 Classroom
  • Jaime Casap, Google
  • Sean Junkins, Horry County Schools
  • Chris Lehmann, Science Leadership Academy
  • Scott McLeod, Prairie Lakes Area Education Agency
  • Linda Nathan, Boston Public Schools
  • Tom Vander Ark, Getting Smart and Learn Capital

Higher Education Judges

  • Michael Caulfield, Washington State University
  • Larry Cooperman, OpenCourseWare Consortium and University of California, Irvine
  • Jim Groom, University of Mary Washington
  • Joshua Kim, Dartmouth and Inside Higher Ed
  • George Siemens, University of Texas at Arlington
  • Jesse Stommel, Hybrid Pedagogy and University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Audrey Watters, Hack Education
  • Nancy White, Full Circle Associates

"I saw a great set of proposals and am excited about the energy among the academic community around innovation," said Josh Kim, a judge for the higher education category and director of digital learning initiatives at Dartmouth. "We need to continue this and other efforts that will pour fuel onto the fire on innovation within education."

The grant program is the latest in a series of efforts by Instructure to promote innovation from within the educational community. In April 2013, Instructure launched an open API for building educational software applications on a common standard, a key step in establishing a collaborative education technology ecosystem. In May, Instructure partnered with other edtech companies on an "app bounty" that provided cash awards for educational apps built on the LTI standard.

More information about Canvas Grants is available at www.instructure.com/canvasgrants.

About Instructure:
Instructure is a technology company committed to improving education. We provide instructors and students with modern tools and resources that empower and simplify the learning experience. Instructure offers Canvas, the open, easy-to-use, cloud-native learning management system, as well as Canvas Network, an index of open, online courses by educators everywhere — from Ivy League institutions to community colleges.

Copyright © 2014, Instructure, Inc. All rights reserved. Instructure, Canvas and their respective logos are registered trademarks or trademarks of Instructure, Inc. in the United States and/or other countries. Other brands and names may be claimed as the property of others.


Devin Knighton, Director of Public Relations at Instructure
(801) 722-8187  |  [email protected]
Twitter: @devinknighton  |  www.instructure.com

Brad Plothow, Method Communications
(801) 461-9777 | [email protected]

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