Tech Showcase highlights 5 digital projects at ASU

3. Bridging Educational Gap with Study Hall

Presented by Wayne Anderson and Sean Hobson

Sean Hobson, EdPlus’ chief design officer, and Wayne Anderson, director of strategic design and development, next took the stage to discuss one of the university’s recent initiatives.

Study Hall is a collaboration between ASU, Crash Course and YouTube to provide accessible educational content for transferable coursework to millions of viewers and learners. The project focuses on three main strands: a How to College series, a degree and major series called Fast Guides, and a unique path from YouTube curiosity to academic achievement.

“By leveraging the technology and access to YouTube, we are pushing the boundaries of our learning architecture, ultimately bridging the gap between informal and formal education, and providing our learners with enriching and scalable experiences,” said Hobson.

ASU faculty worked closely with the Crash Course team, led by Hank and John Green, to develop the Study Hall series, which has garnered over 3.4 million views. The seven-week courses cover subjects such as English composition, collegiate math, US history and human communication. This innovative method meets learners where they are and offers new ways to engage in the university experience, expanding the university’s mission to democratize online learning.

4. Empowering “100 million learners” around the world

Presented by Laura Polk

The Francis and Dionne Najafi 100 Million Learners Global Initiative, led by the Thunderbird School of Global Management, aims to provide learners with free online education in 40 languages. Aiming to be the boldest and most ambitious global education initiative in the history of higher education, this program was designed to provide world-class education to individuals who may not have access to traditional learning resources.

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The program offers three pathways to advance the learner’s personal and professional development: a basic entrepreneurship bootcamp course (for learners of all educational levels) and intermediate and advanced pathways for learners at the senior, bachelor’s or master’s level. To break down language barriers, the content of the program has been translated into 20 languages, with priorities based on the number of native speakers and the greatest educational needs.

Plans for the future include adding another 20 unique languages ​​to reach all learners, no matter where they live, anywhere in the world. Participants who satisfactorily complete the intermediate or advanced programs may apply for credits that can be used toward degrees at ASU and universities around the world.

“Our focus is on delivering transformative learning experiences that not only address the unique needs of our learners, but also continuously adapt and evolve in this ever-changing educational landscape,” said Laura Polk, executive director of digital initiatives and learning experiences at Thunderbird School for global management. “Through this commitment, we are changing the frontiers of global education and ensuring that every learner, regardless of location or native language, has access to an empowering educational journey.”

5. Bridging the AI ​​knowledge gap with Simpli-fAI

Presented by Mickey Mancenido

The Simpl-fAI project aims to make artificial intelligence more accessible and understandable to a wider audience. Mickey Mancenido, AI researcher and assistant professor in the math and science department, emphasized the need to simplify AI education.

Mancenido, who is also a graduate of Enterprise Technology’s T4 Leadership Academy, suggests using social media as a tool for AI education, using short, engaging informational videos, and capitalizing on social media’s popularity among younger generations to dispel misconceptions about the eliminate new generative technology. At Empower, he emphasized the importance of a well-informed society in our increasingly technology-driven world and highlighted the Simpl-fAI project’s commitment to bridging the gap between AI and the general public.

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“One approach we can take as educators is to use social media as a platform to educate learners and the general public about artificial intelligence technologies,” Mancenido said. “We can simplify AI concepts and counteract the fear and sensationalism that often surrounds them.”

Read more about the annual Empower event here.