Corporate Conversations: Google's Steven Butschi on Student Success

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Google Cloud's Director of Education, Steven Butschi, talks about ways in which Google supports the mission of student success.

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Steven Butschi
Director of Education, Google Cloud

Steven Butschi: We view that student success is all about helping learners achieve their goals. And for some, that means getting a specific job or earning a specific salary. And for others, it may be getting a degree or a credential. And I think when we're working with institutions, it's helping those students achieve those goals in a financially sound way, and at the learner's pace, and adapting to the learner's needs. And so as I think about it, and probably a little bit biased, because I'm going to use a Google analogy, but I almost think of Google Maps where you're putting your destination and they can choose, do you want to get there via walking, biking, driving? Do you want the fastest route? Do you want the greenest route? Do you want the shortest distance? And then that map starts to adapt based on your personal preferences. And so we know that there are a lot of students that are interested in getting their first degree, others that have degrees and getting reskilled or upskilled, others that don't have degrees or interest in pursuing something. And so our student success services is all about adapting to individual institutions and the students that they serve, and how we can help them progress against those goals. And the way that we do that is twofold. One, we usually start with some sort of TedX thinking or brainstorming workshop to think about the user journey. What are those pain points? How can we use technology to assist, along with the amazing faculty that you have and support systems that you have? And then second, where it usually devolves from there from the technology side, is that a lot of the issues stem from data, and that we need great data in order to help provide that personalized and lifelong learning journey for students. So we usually will work with institutions to understand how do we un-trap the data that's in stalls at their university sitting across different departments or different areas, adding in data governance to them, and then capitalizing on new and value add opportunities to engage students by building applications around machine learning models, chat bots, et cetera. And that's where our Google Cloud learning platform comes in. A perfect example of that is work we've done with one university, Walden, to develop an interactive chat tutor that provides students at any time of day or night, the ability to practice more on what they're learning in class and understand and check for their understanding on texts and provide different options to reengage. So it is important to note that all that data we recognize it's sensitive, often regulated by FERPA, and requires a fulsome and proactive security strategy. And so, especially in light of a lot of the ransomware attacks and security attacks we've been working on zero trust models to ensure that data stays safe, is owned by you, and only allowed access to those who you grant access to. But in closing, I'm really excited for how we can work together to help students achieve their goals. And I believe, just like how smartphones changed our world 15 years ago I think the machine learning and artificial intelligence have the opportunity to change education and help students accomplish their goals. And we're here to work and design with you and we are really looking forward to figuring out how we can help students continue on their lifelong journey of learning.