If you'd have told me four years ago edtech was going to be the hottest tech around, I'd have called you crazy. Since its inception, edtech has had highs and lows. When Devlin and I started Instructure in 2008, edtech was at a low. Lots of companies were tossing eLearning around, but the excitement just wasn't there. Now I can't go a week without finding another infographic on the surge in technology adoption in education.
Education and Technology can be friends.
So what changed? Actually, a lot of things, and all at about the same time. The price of low-end computers dropped, tablets became a thing, cloud adoption skyrocketed across sectors, Big Data rose as a talking point—and software development took up the usability mantra.
A lot of the software being used in education four years ago was not user-friendly. Educational software was a tool for data management, not making end-users happy. In building Canvas, we focused on administrative functionality and user experience.
Our goal was to get out of the way and let teaching and learning take center stage by cutting down the time it took to manage homework submissions, communicate and update grades.
The results have been phenomenal. We're excited and proud to have done our part to push the edtech needle forward. Across the education sector we're seeing user experience getting a renewed focus. That's exciting because, as the infographic above shows, it means adoption of technology is increasing. The more adoption, the more focus on the learning experience as technology saves students and teachers more time and fosters positive outcomes.
I'm happy to say, as edtech continues to grow and expand, Instructure is here to stay. We're far from done driving innovation forward—both in the product we build and in the people we partner with. We've got a major adventure still ahead of us, and we can't wait to share the ride with the dedicated, passionate instructors at our schools.
Keep learning and Happy Valentine's Day, Brian
P.S. If you have an extra 30 seconds, watch Panda and some of the Canvas crew do the Harlem Shake.