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Instructure Selects K-12 Canvas Grant Winners

Instructure has selected the winners of its Canvas Grants program, an initiative designed to encourage technological innovation from within the K-12 and higher education communities. The ten K-12 winners will receive $5,000 each to fund their winning proposals, and the five higher ed winners will each receive $10,000.

"Applicants submitted more than 400 proposals," according to an Instructure news release, "which were then evaluated by an independent panel of educational leaders, analysts and journalists on the basis of originality, creativity, feasibility and potential to drive meaningful change in the quality of education."

The 10 K-12 winners and their projects are:

  • Julie Braly won in the "1:1 Initiatives" category for her Video Think Project, which will explore student-generated video in the classroom;
  • Philadelphia School District's Larry Mendte took home the prize for the "Extending the Classroom" category for his "plan to equip inner-city schoolchildren with the resources to record stories about their communities and to share them with the world via the Web and as part of a TV show," according to a news release;
  • Eastside Preparatory School's Jonathan Briggs won in the category "Involving Parents in Meaningful Ways" for his parent dashboard proposal;
  • Aaron Cuny, from Ingenuity Prep, is the winner in the "Meeting Demands of Standards' category for his idea to use video to build community in blended schools;
  • Venture Academy High School's Bonni Jones took the top spot in "Personalized Learning Paths" for her "quest-based learning applets that are open and work on any device," according to a news release;
  • Nancy Jo Lambert, of Ruth Borchardt Elementary School topped the "PK-5 Technology" with a plan to create a makerspace at her school using Legos, LittleBits and MinecraftEdu;
  • Minarets High School's Daniel Ching was awarded first place in the "Project-Based Learning" category for his focus "on preserving the language and cultural heritage of the North Fork Rancheria of Mono Indians," according to information released by Instructure;
  • Erica Marshall, of the Huntington County Community School Corporation, won in the "Special Ed" category for her work helping students with cognitive disabilities integrate with their community using technology;
  • North Penn School District's Andrew Holstein led the "STEM" category for "his goal of providing students with an opportunity for real-world problem solving by using the engineering design process and the scientific method. Grant funds will allow students to be introduced to the world of 3-D printing and the many impacts it has on society," according to a company news release; and
  • The top spot in the "Universal Design for Learning" category went to Garret Barnes from Douglas MacArthur Junior High School for his Environmental and Spatial Design "program's commitment to design, develop and implement an app that will help assimilate Spanish-speaking students to English-speaking environments in both their school and community," according to information released by Instructure.

"Our goal is to fuel innovation and creative thinking within the existing educational community," said Jared Stein, vice president of research and education at Instructure, in a prepared statement. "We believe the real innovators are those within the education system who focus each day on modernizing the teaching and learning experience. This program aims to support these innovators by providing funds that can help make their ideas a reality."

More information about the grant winners is available at

About the Author

Joshua Bolkan is contributing editor for Campus Technology, THE Journal and STEAM Universe. He can be reached at

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