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Instructure To Award $100,000 in Education Innovation Grants

Instructure, the maker of the Canvas learning management system and the Canvas Network MOOC platform, is awarding $100,000 in grants to K-12 and higher education institutions.

The grants are being offered as part of Instructure's effort to promote technological innovation within education by rewarding promising technology programs and initiatives. The awards were announced at the Educause 2013 conference, taking place this week in Anaheim, CA.

"We want to stimulate and reward creative thinking within the existing educational community to create a vibrant ecosystem of new technologies to advance education," said Brian Whitmer, Instructure's cofounder and chief learning officer, in a prepared statement. "The conversation around technology's role in remaking education has been largely dominated by third-party vendors. We want to see what can happen when the educational community works to drive innovation from within."

Five $10,000 grants will be awarded to projects in colleges and universities; 10 $5,000 prizes will be awarded to K-12 institutions. Entries will be judged by two independent panels.

According to information provided by Instructure, the higher education panel will include Mike Caulfield, Washington State University; Larry Cooperman, OpenCourseware and University of California, Irvine; Jim Groom, University of Mary Washington; Josh Kim, Dartmouth College and Inside Higher Ed; George Siemens, Athabasca University; Jesse Stommel, University of Wisconsin-Madison and Hybrid Pedagogy; Audrey Watters, Hack Education; and Nancy White, Full Circle Associates.

The K-12 panel will include Jaime Casap, Google; Sean Judkins, Horry County Schools; Chris Lehman, Science Leadership Academy; Scott McLeod, Prairie Lakes Area Education Agency; Linda Nathan, Boston Arts Academy; and Tom Vander Ark, Getting Smart and Learn Capital.

"I believe there is considerable innovative energy among my peers in the academic and educational communities," said Athabasca University's Siemens, in a prepared statement. "I am excited to assess the proposals we receive and firmly believe some of them will lead to significant positive change for education."

Submissions are due Jan. 20. Complete details will be available at

About the Author

David Nagel is editorial director of 1105 Media's Education Technology Group and editor-in-chief of THE Journal and STEAM Universe. A 29-year publishing veteran, Nagel has led or contributed to dozens of technology, art and business publications.

He can be reached at [email protected]. You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at or follow him on Twitter at @THEDavidNagel (K-12) or @CampusTechDave (higher education).

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