ASU creates digital platform promoting education for all

ASU for You contains academic resources ranging from crash course videos to lesson plans for teachers

With classrooms and lecture halls across the country moving to online platforms due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for online tools to support students of all ages is more important now more than ever. 

ASU is establishing partnerships with local, national, and international organizations for people to continue learning. This is all housed in one digital platform: ASU for You. 

Jay Thorne, assistant vice president of media relations & strategic communications, said the platform would have been in effect even if there was no pandemic. 

"We would still be doing ASU for You. It's just got special utility especially given what's going on in the world right now," Thorne said. 


What is ASU For You?

Launched on March 27, ASU For You is an online educational platform designed to advance remote learning.

Philip Regier, University dean for educational initiatives and CEO of EdPlus, said this platform holds several kinds of educational resources. 

"It's not just educational opportunities that we currently have for students in face to face classes and online classes, but it also aggregates all of our digital material that we have available to learners of all ages," he said. 

Kimberly Merritt, managing director of Learning Enterprise Center at ASU, said it is crucial for the University to provide educational information for the general community. 

"ASU for You is our way to bring those resources and tools that we have as a university to our audience of our community," Merritt said. 

Services and Programs offered in ASU For You

ASU for You offers a wide variety of academic material from virtual tours of national parks to teaching materials for educators.

Students and teachers can engage in services such as Ask a Biologist or Ask an Anthropologist, which offer learning resources such as puzzles and worksheets. 

ASU's Libraries now provides online archival collections for all learners to look at, as well as peer-reviewed research journals and research data repositories for free. 

Jennifer Duvernay, an associate university librarian for communications and donor relations, said delivering credible information is crucial for learning. 

"The ASU Library have worked to curate high quality open publicly accessible information to bring together in one spot," Duvernay said. "Part of this is to save people time and energy." 

Duvernay said the library has resources for the community to view photos and oral histories from cultural organizations, such as the Library of Congress, Arizona Memory Project, and Europeana

READ MORE: ASU libraries go remote, offer services digitally

For Secondary Students 

Students in middle and high school are able to take courses on ASU's Prep Digital, which is an online high school part of the ASU Preparatory Academy. This educational tool has videos and lessons ranging from math to history, allowing students to work ahead. 

Amy McGrath, chief operating officer at ASU Prep Digital and associate vice president of Education Outreach, said ASU Prep Digital is continuing the momentum of learning. 

"We have several assets that are already in digital form, so we have curated assets that would be helpful for schools and teachers as well as families and learners who are trying to navigate this new world of homebound learning," McGrath said. 

Miacademy Learning Channel is also another resource available for secondary school students that offers educational videos for students to learn about science or foreign languages. 

"This is about inclusivity and access and making sure that we don't bring down our expectations for learners to continue to thrive and keep momentum," McGrath said. 

For Educators 

ASU designed a teaching resource, called ASU Teach Online. In Teach Online, ASU equips teachers with an online toolkit comprising of curated resources, steps and strategies to jumpstart online classes. 

"All of these assets are available digitally, so you don't have to come to the university to access it," Regier said. 

Another resource for educators is Infiniscope, which allows teachers and educators to join in digital learning content through webinars about professional development or participate in discussion forums. 

How will this benefit the ASU and global community? 

McGrath said the platform is a centralized location for academic learning. 

"ASU as an enterprise creating assets for learners at every stage is a gift to the community because they are a trusted source for high-quality education," McGrath said. 

Regier said the importance of this platform is to provide high educational content for people who are at home.  

"People like my 92-year-old mother is stuck at home herself, and is looking for something to do other than watching CNN or Fox News," Regier said. 


Reach the reporter at anatar12@asu.edu or follow @AnushaNat1 on Twitter.

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