2022 ASU+GSV Conference Notes by A Pass Education

Many great educational conferences happen each year, and one that happened recently was the 2022 ASU+GSV Summit, from April 4th to April 6th in San Diego, CA. Arizona State University and the Global Silicon Valley co-produce the event, held annually. The summit invites innovators, entrepreneurs, educators, and changemakers from around the country to address challenges like educational technology, climate change, and access. The virtual conference was free to attend, and these two sessions provided great information.


How Digital Education Platforms Lead to Greater Equity at ASU+GSV

This session, led by Laura Porter-Jones, MA, a consultant for Edmentum, delved into the many issues that education encountered over the last two years. The session highlighted these key points: the differences between personalized and individualized education, social-emotional learning, emergency remote learning, and presentation strategies, focusing on equity and inclusion. Many views changed because of the different results of remote and online learning. Thus, parents and students noticed some benefits.


For example, students can take a course not offered at their school or take classes specifically for their IEP. They can make up courses for credit recovery, or students can use supplemental tools to practice. As well, many students were worried about bullying or other social issues. Therefore, virtual learning was a better fit for them to avoid anxiety and stress. Overall, publishers and providers can benefit from this session when producing materials for the K-12 market.


The Power of Partnership: Expanding Educational Access Through Digital Transformation at ASU+GSV

Andrew Hermalyn, President of Partnerships for 2U/edX, and Caroline Levander, VP of Global and Digital Strategy for Rice University, led this session. The discussion presented how digital offerings online led to a diverse, online learning community. Rice leadership noticed they needed to change to build an online learning environment. When Rice University began its partnerships, it thought about the strengths and weaknesses—what the university could do.

“The parts can be more than their sum,” stated Levander.

Thus, they started offering courses back in 2013 through edX. They tried a few things—”trial balloons” for offerings and formats to see what worked best.


“The parts can be more than their sum,” stated Levander.


During the pandemic, Rice offered online summer sessions for their residential undergraduates, and it was successful because undergraduates had more time to do things for the summer. Also, the summer sessions helped decrease students’ overall credit load. Thus, Rice sees their online learning as “a resilience strategy” and not as “a peripheral.” Additionally, the online programs helped increase the diversity in online programs for master’s degrees.


To sum up, these two sessions provide a sample of the amazing discussions at the 2022 ASU+GSV Summit. For both sessions, the question asked toward the end is how to use what was learned during the pandemic years to improve educational access and teaching. Many methods and tools were birthed in these times like Zoom. How can K-12 and Higher-Ed keep these new methods and tools for the future? Is it only in-person learning, or online learning, or is it a hybrid model? Leaders can consider these points for their institutions as they continue to face the various challenges of education.


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