ASU GSV Summit 2016 Notes from the Eyes of a Disruptor

2016-mcgraw-hill-prize-winners-ASU GSV Summit 2016

In 2016, AchieveIT360 was thrilled to be nominated for the Harold W. McGraw  Jr. Innovation in Education Awards. Through the ASU GSV Summit 2016, our eyes have been opened to new avenues to learn and continue to innovate ourselves. We want to congratulate each of the award winners for their exceptional contribution to education and for inspiring us to keep going with our vision. Watching this event via 2016 Summit via Livestream was so powerful that we decided to write our “Aha Moments”  from this event to show the direction and educational trends in the next 10-20 years and have set a commitment to attend this event live in 2017, in addition to committing to take action and challenge you to do the same.

DAY 1-Monday April 18

ASU GSV Summit 2016

Speaker 1-Dan Rosensweig, CEO, Chegg

Dan Rosensweig, CEO of Chegg (an online portal where you can search for free scholarships, browse course reviews, get 24/7 study help and rent textbooks for a fraction of the cost of your bookstore) spoke of the idea of a bubble where “a good or fortunate situation that is isolated from reality or unlikely to last.”  He reminded us of the 2008 housing crisis, rising tuition costs,  and asked us to think about whether “Higher Education is a bubble about to burst?” After analyzing the scary statistics he mentioned where 41% of students drop out of College, 45% are in jobs that do not require a four year degree, $35,000 is the average debt of 2015 graduates, and 43% of students default or are behind on their Federal Student Loans, he paints a horrific picture of the reality of the future, if something does not change. “Is this the American Dream, or American Nightmare?” he asks.

Next Rosensweig introduced the Class of 2020 and called them the “On Demand Generation.”  Facts about these students include:

  • They were born the same year as Google!
  • Only 6% complete homework by hand.
  • 1/5 have never used a landline but may send 40 text messages a day.
  • 70% will have more than $40,000 in debt at graduation.
  • They understand SMS and SnapChat
  • They don’t need a car since they Uber everywhere
  • They binge watch Netflix
  • They get caught up in the YouTube wormhole (loop of videos that never ends).

This generation of students have shown that times have changed and that in order to continue to reach this student, so must education. This generation needs online learning (when they want it) to be more readily available. Students will not appreciate “graduating with debt, attending classes they do not want to attend” Rosensweig reminds us. Some more facts about this NEW generation of students include:

  • 62% watch online tutorials for school
  • 49% can learn a new subject effectively online or offline
  • 81% use a device in class every day
  • 75% prefer classes at their own pace

AchieveIT360’s Aha Moment from Dan Rosensweig: As an organization building online courses for students (leadership and character), we know that we must continue to build innovative, engaging content to keep the attention of this modern learner. Our eyes opened up with the statistic of 70% of students  who will graduate with more than $40,000 in debt at graduation. As a mother of two young children, this statistic is one I won’t ever forget, for myself and for others.  It made me think about The American Dream and whether I think it is possible for these students. I do believe it is possible, but also agree that education is going to have to innovate quickly in the next 10-20 years to accommodate the learning that needs to take place to prepare students for jobs that are forever changing and might not have even been created yet. This presentation has given me hope that there is a blueprint or plan in place to improve education and the way content is delivered. There is a whole room full of educators, vendors, investors and visionaries who are working towards this common goal.  When my children are in high school, many of these advancements will be in place. I just know that AchieveIT360 must step up and take a more active role in the community to continue to help students learn, innovate and create. We also must be at the 2017 Summit.

QUESTION FOR THE READER– What impacted you the most with Dan Rosensweig’s presentation? We urge you to post your comments below.

Speaker 2- Michael Moe, Co-founder, CEO, and Chief Investment Officer of GSV Capital

Michael Moe ASU GSV Summit 2016If anyone was not motivated to go all out after the first session and give a little extra towards innovating in their industry, Michael Moe continues on the thread of empowering the leaders in the room by reminding them that “people who come to this Summit make things happen.” The first Summit took place in 2010 and $550 Million was raised in education technology from Venture Capitalists.  This number tripled in five years to $2.1B raised. Moe goes on the highlight some of the companies that have grown as a result of this Summit with their impressive results.

Companies to Learn From:

  • Knewton, the world’s leading adaptive learning company, founded by Jose Ferreira, is a personalized learning platform that partnered with ASU with a goal to remediate Freshman Math. The results showed that drop out rates were reduced, and achievement increased. Since then, the company has rapidly scaled to 16 Billion recommendations and counting. Knewton measures student understanding of every concept, and defines the relationship between those concepts to provide a framework for student learning.
  • 2U, partners with top-tier universities to create online degree programs that are equal to — or better than — traditional programs, expanded it’s services with a $1B valuation.
  • Remind, a company that reaches parents and students wherever they are, increased to 35M users, with 50% of public schools using their services.
  • ClassDojo, a simple, safe classroom management app that helps teachers encourage students in class, and easily communicate with parents was founded in 2011 and now has 50M users.
  • Clever, founded in 2012, a program that keeps educational applications (anything that needs a user name and password) up to date so that students log into their applications in one place, with a simple process, now has 20M users across the country.
  • Stanford AI Lab, had 160,000 students in 2011, and has now grown to over 4M users.
  • Coursera had 18M students in 2012, now has over 35M. (AchieveIT360 is one of their users, and will continue to share this service to inspire students to keep learning).

gordon_moore ASU GSV Summit 2016Moe continues to explain why these companies have experienced exponential growth with Moore’s Law, that states that “computing power will double every two years.”  These numbers have shocked Gordon Moore (Intel co-founder and author of Moore’s Law) himself, as shown in this image.

So what’s next for this next generation of students with these current trends? We do know that 50% of the jobs that currently exist will be replaced in the next 20 years, bringing up new challenges. How are we preparing our students for jobs that don’t yet exist? How do we ensure that “every person has an equal opportunity to participate in the future?” Moe asks and replies with some solutions to consider. Think of ways to “apply imagination to come up with ideas to solve big problems” with these companies as examples.

  • Facebook re-imagined communication
  • Airbnb re-imagined travel
  • Uber re-imagined how to hail a cab

How can we mind the gap of where we are now in education? His solution is written in a 478 page white paper  called “2020 Vision: A History of the Future” that you can download from his site site

Moe outlines a few solutions to consider today and dares us to challenge our mindsets, and to be great!

  1. Media- for more engagement
  2. Big Data- to track what students know, what they need to know and what they should know
  3. Mindset-to continue to challenge what we know and where we are going

AchieveIT360’s Aha Moment from Michael Moe: We not only know we must attend the 2017 Summit now, but we will take his challenge to be great and push harder. With Moore’s Law, we know there’s still time for our vision. We see students learning and exploring their future careers via Virtual Reality and were most intrigued by page 459 of the white paper he mentioned “2020 Vision: A History of the Future” where they discuss training the brain and the direction that neuroscience plays within education. Educators have told us that this is the direction they are going, which was the reason why we hired a neuroscience researcher to help us to create the science behind our “Level Up” book and teach students the importance of understanding how their brain works, and why effort and persistence are such an important component of learning. We know that we belong in this mission to Innovate and reinvent education in the next decade and have some clearly defined goals after this presentation.

QUESTION FOR THE READER-We do wonder what YOUR goals are? Have you been moved so far? What action steps will you take now? Who do you need to contact? How will you find them? What exactly do you need to make more on an impact with your message?

SPEAKER 3-Dr. Paul Jacobs, Chairman of Qualcomm

Dr. Paul E. Jacobs is the executive chairman of Qualcomm Incorporated, where he is responsible for helping guide the development of new technologies and Qualcomm’s long-term opportunities. A leader in the field of mobile communications for more than 25 years and a key architect of Qualcomm’s strategic vision, Dr. Jacobs spearheaded Qualcomm’s efforts to develop and commercialize mobile technology breakthroughs that have significantly contributed to the growth of both the Company and the industry.

Dr Paul Jacobs ASU GSV Summit 2016In his presentation, Dr. Jacobs spoke of the vision of Qualcomm in healthcare: where devices will monitor you after being prescribed a medicine to see how you are responding, in automotives, where cars are now driving themselves, and that 60% of cars will be “connected” in the next few years,  as well as with education and the ability to prescribe a student’s learning path. He spoke of the “anytime, anywhere” education that students are now being accustomed to. He noted that although teachers assign homework that needs an internet connection, many homes are not yet connected. The biggest obstacle for bringing more technology into the classroom is “not enough connectivity outside of the school” Jacobs mentions.


The exciting part is that with time, more affordable devices will help with this initiative.  An exciting statistic is that 76% of elementary schools in 2015 use tablets in the

Globalization, connection, connect ASU GSV Summit 2016

Globalization, connection, connect.

classroom, which is up from the previous year, and can only go up moving forward. Since technology is always changing, his stance is to continue to find ways to provide safe and secure content to the K12 classroom. “Why do they care so much” he asks?  It stems from his Dad’s vision, Professor Irwin Jacobs, and has expanded into the 40 projects Qualcomm has running in many countries, focused on educational reform and experiential learning with a goal in mind to motivate students. He gave examples of ThinkItLabs, First Robotics, and High Tech High that are all using design as a way to motivate students.

There are always questions and obstacles to effectively run these new programs. He thinks about:

  • How are these new programs funded?
  • How can we ensure all students are “connected” at school and after school?
  • How will teachers be trained to effectively use and implement these programs?

With optimism, he closes that these obstacles will not get in the way of his vision.

AchieveIT360’s Aha Moment from Dr. Paul Jacobs: AchieveIT360 sees Dr. Jacobs’ vision as clear as ice. It’s only a matter of time before the vision catches up to reality and is running effectively in more schools, which is why we want to be a part of this vision. Once programs are funded, the easy part is training teachers, especially with the right team of trainers. Teachers can be kept up to speed with ongoing training that would be automated (we use Infusionsoft)  and easily accessed by them throughout the year with screencast video training, (we use Camtasia for Mac for our video training) and a way for them to provide feedback on how the programs are working/running. This is exactly how we operate our Character and Leadership programs and can see our services expanding in the next 5 years as we partner with others to expand our reach and help more students.

ASU GSV Summit 2016 condoleezza rice

SPEAKER 4- Condoleezza Rice

Former U.S. Secretary of State, spoke of what is at stake when we talk about education. She often reminded the audience that “they can come from humble circumstances and do great things” in the United States of America. It’s now all about “human potential” she notes, and that “it matters where you are going, not where you have come from.”

ASU GSV Summit 2016

AchieveIT360’s Aha Moment from Condoleeza Rice: We felt like you were speaking directly to us! Our founder, Andrea Samadi came from humble beginnings with one goal in mind in the late 1990s, to empower young people to learn, create and innovate. 16 years later, we are making an impact, and agree with you that “it’s a crime to go through College and not know how to secure a job.” What else can we do to prepare our future generations for a world we don’t understand ourselves? We will just keep on keeping on…

DAY 2- Tuesday April 19th

SPEAKER 5-Ted Mitchell, US Department of Education, Under Secretary.

Ted Mitchell ASU GSV Summit 2016

graduate ASU GSV Summit 2016

Ted Mitchell spoke about the “completion crisis” in the US where only 60% finish their higher education degrees.

AchieveIT360’s Aha Moment: We do see a vision where this improves as more of the initiatives presented at this Summit are put into place, but we also see a motivation/mindset issue that goes along with starting and finishing projects, commitments, and responsibilities that reach far beyond schooling. Why can so few people commit to a healthy lifestyle once they join a gym? Why do many pay for educational programs and never once even login?  What is really the problem here with completion? Why are so few committing to complete? This is a problem that we want to get to the root of.


SPEAKER 6- Sal Khan, Khan Academy and Mark Hoplamazian, President and CEO of Hyatt talking about the Launch of LearnStormASU GSV Summit 2016 Carol Dweck

We all know of the successful Khan Academy that Sal Khan has created, but he’s taking his expertise now to a new level with his new experiential platform called LearnStorm. 

Sal Khan has partnered with Mark Hoplamazian, CEO and President of Hyatt to create a program that “rewards hustling to learn new things, rather than just testing what you already understand” since research is proving that when students persevere through a challenge with grit and resilience, they will actually grow and change their brains. Rewarding students for these traits is a powerful way to motivate them to keep going through the challenges to experience breakthroughs.

AchieveIT360’s Aha Moment from Sal Khan and LearnStorm: This session blew our minds to the possibility of student achievement. AchieveIT360’s Level Up Online teaches students to recognize how their brain works and why persisting through challenges is so important, but we do not link up to curriculum as a way for students to keep pushing through. We would love to partner with this program to see if we can push more students to practice the growth mindset, grow their brains, and push through academic challenges. Stay tuned as we work on ways that we can connect with this program and help spread this concept to more schools. Learnstorm Arizona! Let’s make it happen.

learnstorm ASU GSV Summit 2016


SPEAKER 7- Justin Kitch, CEO of, Mike McCue, CEO and Co-founder of and Alison Miller, President and CEO of Public Radio International

ASU GSV Summit 2016

These speakers all demonstrated how they became interested in computers, coding and creating as young students, and want to be sure this opportunity exists for others. Their passion for learning was evident and their ability to take this passion to innovate is truly inspiring.

AchieveIT360’s Aha Moment from Justin Kitch, Mike McCue and Allison Miller. How do we INSPIRE more CREATORS, THINKERS and INNOVATORS? This is our MISSION at AchieveIT360 and know of hundreds more stories like these three inspiring speakers, but what about the others who were inspired, but found themselves stuck? What support can we offer to this group in the innovation process?

SPEAKER 8- Common, Hip Hop Artist and Actor

Common ASU GSV Summit 2016

Common, Hip Hop artist and actor spoke of the ways to get celebrities to endorse our work.  He suggests:

  • Have something great
  • Be forward and progressive
  • Find someone to engage and elevate youth…your way

AchieveIT360’s Aha Moment from Common: AchieveIT360 agrees that celebrity endorsement goes a long way. When we were running our Teen Performance Magazine, we interviewed Sean Kingston and Cymphonique Miller, the daughter of Master P and students loved these clips.  We also found that finding young entrepreneurs who were making inroads with product creation was a key to inspiring young students, and this is what spearheaded our Expert Interviews, featuring ABC Shark Tank Success stories like 14 year old Ryan Kelly (Ryan’s Ruffery) and Tiffany Krumins (Ava the Elephant).

Reaching celebrities like these to interview were not difficult at all. We just used persistence and grit to find their publicist, explained our cause and BAM, set up an interview.  The most challenging part we faced was finding Hollywood celebrities that were of integrity, who matched AchieveIT360’s values for young people and with that in mind, we approach Hollywood with caution. Connecting with Shark Tank Success stories was much easier using social media, and for young entrepreneurs, their publicists are usually their parents, making this connection much easier. We challenge you to go for it, and pick 5 celebrities you would like to endorse your work, and start making phone calls to make it happen.

SPEAKER 9- “The Future of Education” John Fallon, CEO Pearson, Rick Levin, CEO Coursera

This session started out with some trends in education, where Rick Levin spoke of the power of “reaching people globally to help with career skills” as being an eye opening trend. However, he mentions some problems with students from low income areas and wishes that technology could be the answer to solving these problems, but still

thinks there must be human intervention as well as technology. These issues he mentions have evolved because “parents were not reading to their kids and there is still a need for human intervention, not just technology as a solution.” John Fallon agrees that the “rising inequality” is a concern for him, but also talks about the challenge that Arne Duncan set of “how would you have an impact at scale?”

Bill Gates ASU GSV Summit 2016

Fallon speaks of three ways this impact can occur:

  1. Great teaching! Sharing and championing great teaching.
  2. Personalize the learning process to students.
  3. Improve productivity and efficiency of the school or University so there is more teaching and learning.

Rick Levin talks about the quality of educators being there as he “partners with Universities with a high quality course content.”  His platform draws the best of the best but the larger issue now is that teaching “doesn’t have the best rep” so he would like to see “Teach for America” scaled by 50 times to give more exposure to the teaching profession.

Also, from Rick Fallon “Think about how you can try new things. How can we solve problems elsewhere in the world?”

Fallon spoke of the most innovative risk taking initiatives being in the US (particularly with folks at the Summit) but also to be sure to note what’s happening with the Khan Institute, Kipp Schools and Michael Crow. There are a lot of pioneers but we need more! Fallon notes that education is a “dynamic process between teacher and student so you can’t just consume it, but we can do a better job of engaging teachers on their terms.”

Other Countries to Watch:

  • Korea (same path as China)
  • Singapore (has elevated the status of teaching-teachers work together-share lesson plans).

Record “actionable data” towards personalized learning. Mobile devlces are the medium that courses are delivered, especially Internationally.

Pearson Education ASU GSV Summit 2016AchieveIT360’s Aha Moment from John Fallon: AchieveIT360 founder Andrea Samadi worked with Pearson Education (2004-2010 Digital and ELL Sales Rep) and always wondered why there was a Baywatch Penguin reader in our book bag.  The gaps have finally been filled in!   On a serious note, we are impressed with Marjorie Scardino’s choice with her FIRST Pearson hire. We love how Fallon is focused on “making high quality education available to everyone.” We also use Coursera to upgrade our own skills, and continue to recommend this platform to students. We know that “skill requirements for jobs will change” and we want students to be prepared. We continue to do our best work, by “doing the right thing every day” and will never forget our roots at Pearson Education.


Dr. Crow ASU GSV Summit 2016

SPEAKER 10- Dr. Michael Crow, President of Arizona State University

Wave_5 ASU GSV Summit 2016

Career, growth, rise. ASU GSV Summit 2016

Career, growth, rise.

Dr. Crow introduces his session by talking of the need for “getting to the root of human potential, activating that potential and producing at a high speed adaptive, creative foundationally educated individual, (that) unbelievable things can happen.”  WOW! The first minute and we are captured!

He speaks of the continuous waves of change, or forms of education that can emerge.  He lets us know that you can download the slides for his presentation “Wave 5: Launching a New Wave in Higher Education” at


AchieveIT360’s Aha Moment from Dr. Michael Crow: We are most interested in Wave 3,  Wave 4, Wave TBD and how AchieveIT360 can assist his initiative of “Education Through Exploration.” We have always had a vision of teaching students Character and Leadership via Virtual Reality, and see the power of learning through exploration, especially with the new psychology of brain research and neuroscience techniques that have been proven to accelerate learning. We will be in touch with Dr. Crow to see how we can get more involved in Arizona schools. It’s not an accident that we live a few minutes from the campus, and are bursting at the seams to do something to make an impact in our schools locally, as well as globally.

SPEAKER 11- McGraw Hill Jr Innovation Awards 2016 Winners

2016-mcgraw-hill-prize-winners ASU GSV Summit 2016

Anant Agarwal (edX), Alberto Carvalho (Superintendent of Miami Dade County PS), Sakena Yacoobi, (Founder of Afganistan Institute of Learning).

AchieveIT360’s Aha Moment from these AWARD Winners: Anant Agarwal- spoke of the importance of having access to a GREAT mentor! This is what we have been working on providing students by interviewing some of the top leaders in the world, in different industries, to share their tips and tricks with students on how they broke through to success in their industry. LEARN MORE

We do wonder:

  • How can we provide mentors to students in high poverty areas? Would our programs work if we partnered with Dr. Sugata Mitra and his Hole in the Wall Project?
  • We will be reaching out to Sakeena Yacoobi to see how we can assist her initiatives).
  • We agree with Superintendent Carvalho that we want to create “students who think, create, are compassionate and passionate, global and accepting.”

SPEAKER 12- Bill Gates Microsoft

Bill Gates 2The best for last! Bill Gates confirmed that “technology can take education to the next stage” but in his Gates Notes, reminds us of the importance of “working more closely with teachers to understand their needs, and to make sure their products deliver measurable results in the classroom.”  We must make education “relevant and help students persist” Gates reminds us and we can do this with a combination of teachers and technology. Keep the standards high, with high expectations, and across all curriculum subjects.

We must increase “College and Career Readiness” today.

Only 12% of African Americans, 25% Hispanics, and 50% Whites graduate from high school prepared for College.  Of all the students who do get their degree, “half do not receive their credentials within six years.” Gates shares.

There is now a “NEW MAJORITY” of students where ESL is the fastest growing student population, 40% of students now who are going to higher education are older than 25 years (after spending some time in the work force with aspirations to get a degree that will change their career), and 1/3 College students are the first in their family to attend College.  Gates visited some schools and met students that all match students of this NEW MAJORITY (Sir Betsy Lane, KY, Rio Salado CC, AZ). For students like these, we must make education relevant, help students to persist and keep going when they are stuck.

great teachers

The job market is also changing, so students must be taken to a higher level. This is accomplished with a combination of teachers and technology.  In 2025, 2/3 of jobs will require a post secondary education.

Digital Solutions can help teachers focus on their student’s needs more effectively. Gates outlined the funding that has gone towards education and noted that there will be a 50% increase in funding for educational digital materials at $1.1B in funding. Post Secondary Education will receive $1.8B by 2020.  Courseware will need to continually improve and change, not be sold as is.

AchieveIT360’s Aha Moment from Bill Gates: Bill Gates said” I encouraged them (developers)  to work more closely with teachers to understand their needs, and to make sure their products deliver measurable results in the classroom. This is exactly where we are at the moment. We have some thinking to do on this….

Final Thoughts and Big Ideas from AchieveIT360

Idea, business, electricity.

Idea, business, education

We thoroughly enjoyed learning new ideas, trends and opportunities in education from this event. We hope that those who attended do take action on their notes and that the excitement for change continues.

Big Idea for ASU GSV SUMMIT 2017-

Charge for Streaming in 2017: Why not charge attendees to access the streaming component of the program? Most events we attend these days have a streaming component that draws people from all over the world. This streaming income could further fund this Summit, or a tech company, like AchieveIT360 who has a vision and passion to make an impact, but needs more financing.  If ASU GSV Summit 2017 charged $200 for each streaming participant (this is the average rate we have seen but can be higher) then imaging the funds that could be drawn in even for those viewers who watched Bill Gates (3,715 x $200) = $743,000 additional income.

What BIG IDEAS do you have? We would love to hear from you. Contact us at i[email protected]







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