I’m excited to introduce myself to the Canvas Community! My name is Ben Friedman and I’m a new Product Manager at Instructure, working on Outcomes within the Canvas LMS.
One of the reasons I’m so excited to work on the Outcomes team is how passionate I am about helping all types of students (and the stakeholders supporting them) understand what targets they are working towards and how they are making progress towards those targets. I believe this is essential to the process of students taking ownership over their own learning! As a former educator myself, I am also deeply committed to bringing products to in-person and virtual settings that make the learning experience better.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve been getting to know how people like you are using Outcomes through reading Community posts, talking with CSMs, and digging into feedback some of you have shared. I’m also in constant communication with Jody Sailor, the previous PM for the Outcomes team. I look forward to hearing from and working with you as we continue to improve Outcomes. Please check back here in the Community for exciting updates on what we’ll be releasing in the coming months. I’ll also be sharing research-based strategies for getting the most out of Outcomes, product tips and tricks, updates on my new pandemic related hobbies, and celebrity gossip (maybe?! - more on that later).
If you are using Outcomes in Canvas and would like to share your experience, provide feedback, or discuss needed functionality, click this link and sign up for a time to have a brief chat with me. I look forward to speaking with you! Also, feel free to add a comment below. Thank you for your interest in Outcomes and dedication to your students!
I’m lucky to have had varied experiences working in education and Edtech. I worked for 6 years as a Special Education teacher in New York City public schools just as new rigorous standards took hold across the country. Some of the proudest moments of my life were helping students who had struggled with reading or math have a breakthrough! I then entered the Cognitive Studies in Education program at Teachers College, Columbia University and got to dive deep into how people learn and what can facilitate learning. I love the science of learning! I even got to teach a few graduate level courses online and saw what value and difficulties an LMS can bring to teaching and learning in higher education. Since then, I’ve worked at the intersection of technology, product, and data - including on products that were built from the ground up with Outcomes use cases in mind like Competency-Based Education and Standards-Based Education.
In my personal life, I’m the father of two amazing kids and husband to an ESL teacher (also amazing!), all of whom will be using Canvas next fall. During the pandemic I picked up gardening, teaching piano to my kids, and attempting to train our new rescue dog as hobbies - all of which are keeping me extremely humble on a daily basis. I’m originally from Wisconsin, and yes that means I love cheese, beer, and keeping up with the Green Bay Packers - including any Aaron Rodgers celebrity news ;-).
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