This press release was originally published by Instructure on December 17, 2020. link to the press release
In December of 2020, Instructure announced it had been joined by Concentric Sky, Nearpod, Unicon, and Zoom in urging the incoming Biden administration to secure sufficient education funding, achieve education equity, and address ongoing issues impacting our nation’s education system.
While millions of American students have depended on reliable and robust learning management systems during COVID-19, thousands of school districts across the country were already leveraging digital platforms to better serve students and educators in years prior.
Public policy has struggled to keep pace, despite the increased use of technology for teaching and learning year-over-year. Further, local and state governments seeking to invest in digital platforms have had to forego these critical tools due to revenue shortfalls, leading to increasing inequities in our digital education infrastructure.
Accordingly, Instructure, the makers of the Canvas Learning Management System, along with fellow industry leaders, outlined four key priorities for the Biden administration to take substantive action on behalf of students and educators.
- Funding: Districts across the country need federal assistance in order to make the investments necessary to successfully offer high-quality education. Districts also need flexible funding, both in the COVID-19 stimulus and relief bills and in the appropriations bills currently under consideration by the House and Senate.
- Staffing the Office of Education Technology: Students need improvements to their online learning experience now and into the future, and a fully staffed, well-funded OET is the first step toward accomplishing that goal. A fully-staffed OET will help our districts navigate the uncertain months ahead, but also plan for increased future use of digital platforms.
- Revitalizing America’s Assessments: Educators need better insight into students’ progress, growth areas, and strengths. We strongly encourage the administration to revisit America’s approach to testing, ideally leveraging regular formative assessments at the classroom level for accountability and to give educators the information they need to target interventions, adjust instruction, and re-assess for mastery.
- Preparing America’s Educators: Our educators should be given the tools they need to succeed. Digital tools were becoming an integral part of American classrooms before the pandemic.
Instructure helps people grow from the first day of school to the last day of work. More than 30 million people use the Canvas Learning Management Platform for schools and the Bridge Employee Development Platform for businesses. Learn more at www.instructure.com.
Nearpod offers an interactive, instructional platform that merges formative assessment and dynamic media for live and self-paced learning experiences inside and outside of the classroom. Nearpod is a device-agnostic platform that engages students with activities such as Virtual Reality, PhET simulations, and Desmos, and features more than 8,500 ready-to-run interactive lessons and videos created in partnership with leading brands like Common Sense Education and Smithsonian. In 2019, Nearpod acquired Flocabulary, a learning platform that engages students in an academically rigorous K-12 curriculum while promoting literacy through hip-hop videos. Together, Nearpod and Flocabulary reach educators in 99 of the 100 largest school districts in the US. In 2018, Nearpod was named EdTech Digest’s Company of the Year. To learn more, visit www.nearpod.com.
Zoom Video Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: ZM) brings teams together to get more done in a frictionless and secure video environment. Our easy, reliable, and innovative video-first unified communications platform provides video meetings, voice, webinars, and chat across desktops, phones, mobile devices, and conference room systems. Zoom helps enterprises create elevated experiences with leading business app integrations and developer tools to create customized workflows. Founded in 2011, Zoom is headquartered in San Jose, California, with offices around the world. Visit zoom.com to learn more.
About Concentric Sky
Founded in 2005, Concentric Sky is an award-winning software design and development firm located in Eugene, Oregon. The company has successfully launched hundreds of products for partners, including The World Bank, the United Nations, the MacArthur Foundation, Intel, National Geographic, and Encyclopedia Britannica. Badgr is a registered trademark of Concentric Sky. Visit concentricsky.com to learn more.
Unicon, Inc. is a leading provider of IT consulting, services, and support for education technology and works with institutions and organizations to find solutions to meet business challenges. Unicon specializes in using open source technologies to deliver flexible and cost-effective systems in the areas of identity and access management, student success, mobile computing, learning management systems, learning analytics, portals, online video, calendaring, email, and collaboration. Unicon is a Commercial Affiliate of the Apereo Foundation; an InCommon Affiliate and Participant; an Industry Member of Internet2; an Affiliate Member of IMS Global Learning Consortium; an Advanced Consulting Partner in the Amazon Web Services Partner Network; an Organization Member of the Drupal Association; a Pantheon Gold Partner; a Solution Partner of Kaltura; and a reseller of Zimbra. For more information, visit http://www.unicon.net.