Digital Credentials and the Trusted Learner Network with Kate Giovacchini

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Hello everyone! My name is Ladek and my guest for today is Kate Giovacchini, who is the Co-Executive Director of Engineering and Managing Director of the Trusted Learner Network at Arizona State University.

In this very ‘connected’ conversation Kate and I talk about

00:00 › Start

6:28 › The Trusted Learner Network—What it is, how it’s connected to ASU, and… what are Kate’s thoughts about the landscape for digital credentials right now?

10:25 › Networking—How can individuals and institutions join and benefit from the Trusted Learner Network?

19:34 › Hall Cred—Taking into account the Trusted Learner Network’s case as a bridge that connects people and institutions, how do you build trust and credibility?

31:01 › Future Meeting—What is Kate’s opinion on future interactions with other non-education organizations and platforms?


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Learn more at Open LMS .net Hello everyone, my name’s Ladek, and my guest for today is Kate Giovacchini, who is the co -executive director of engineering and the managing director of the Trusted Learner Network,

both of which are at Arizona State University. In this very connected conversation, Kate and I talk about what exactly is the Trusted Learner Network and how is it connected to Arizona State University and what is Kate’s opinion about the landscape for digital credentials right now?

We then talk about how can individuals and institutions alike use the Trusted Learner Network specifically, like how can you connect with it, what is it used for, those kinds of things. We then talk about,

you know, taking into account that the Trusted Learner Network is a bridge that connects people and institutions, what has Kate and her team done to build trust and credibility around all of these different parts that are connected together now?

We then talk about, you know, what is her opinion on future interactions with other non -education organizations and platforms as the Trusted Learner Network continues to grow into the future. Now,

remember, we record this podcast live so that we can interact with you, our listeners, in real time. So if you would like to join the fun every week on LinkedIn, on Facebook, on YouTube, just come over to elernmagazine .com and subscribe.

Now, I give you Kate. Hello, everyone. Welcome to the Elern Podcast. My name is Ladek, and I’m coming to you from Open LMS. Open LMS. And today, oh, no. Kate,

now I have the pronunciation of your family name incorrectly in my head. But wait. I think you should talk about it. Joe. You can do it.

Joe. Yeah. Jovachi, please help me. That’s great. So, so I say Giovacchini. Giovacchini also works. Yeah,

there’s, there’s lots of ways to get my attention and it works. So, hi. Kate Giovacchini. Excellent. I’m, so, you know, you and I have been talking about having this conversation actually now.

We’re, we’re months in now. And because I wanted to actually talk to you, I believe, is it EDUCAUSE last year, is that right? Exactly. We weren’t able to make that connection happen.

But the reason I wanted to talk to you is because you run something called the Trusted Learner Network. And the Trusted Learner Network is everything to do with about building an ecosystem around digital credentials and essentially the learner credentialing of the future,

right? And I don’t want to butcher that. I want you to explain it to us. But before we go there, if you would mind, could you tell us about who you are? Like, where are you sitting? Like, you know,

what institution are you with? I know all these answers, but I don’t think anybody else does yet. Sure. So, Atlantic, thanks for having me. Kate Giovacchini. I work at Arizona State University. I’ve been here.

This is my 10th year. I have two degrees from ASU. Both of my parents have a degree from ASU. The second generation Sun Devil is what that makes me,

but also somebody that’s extremely passionate about higher education. And I am specifically here because ASU’s mission of of inclusion over exclusion are a desire to sort of serve the communities that surround us locally and globally.

Those really speak to me. As far as where I’m sitting, I’m in an enclave room in Tempe, Arizona. My work entitles working with the Trusted Learner Network is sort of the director of the Trusted Learner Network and I wear another hat,

which is I get to work with some fabulous software, platform, network and system engineers here within our enterprise technology group, which is our sort of central technology group here at the university.

– So a second generation Sun Devil, I love that. That’s fantastic. How does one end up in like a position that you had? Did you follow? Have you just been sort of a tech geek your whole life and like that’s where you got a degree and then now you’ve stumbled into this as a thing or like so many of us,

you were actually studying butterflies and then this kind of came along. Believe me, that’s how so many of these conversations happened, right? So how did it work for you? – Oh yeah, so I received a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature actually.

– Thank you. – Thank you. – Oh great, yeah, I’m in fabulous company. So I went to college and I really stuck into the thing that I was really good at.

I really loved literature. I really love language. I love communication and then there’s, I think a lot of us evolved from those positions and ended up in other places because those types of skill sets are valuable everywhere.

So I ended up at a tech company here in town, I worked with them for about five years. They did everything from answering support phone calls to doing stuff like QA to program development.

And then a wonderful friend came over to ASU as a business analyst and she said, “Hey, this is a great job, you should come over.” And I came over and I immediately fell in love with the work of sort of translating and creating common language,

right? Between all different types of people that have different goals, perspectives, skill sets. And I would say that that kind of defines my career here at ASU all the way through. So I’ve done business analysis,

I’ve done business intelligence, project management, I’ve led teams. I’m very, very privileged to be working with enterprise technology now and bringing sort of these facilitation and bridging skills,

because I think technology always needs bridges for us all to be able to cross over. Hi there. I’m sorry to break into the show right now, but if you’re enjoying this show, if you are challenged,

if you’re inspired, if you’re learning something, if you think that you’re going to be able to get something out of this to put into your practice, do me a quick favor. Pause right now and just hit subscribe on your podcast player right now. It doesn’t matter which one,

just hit subscribe, because that way it’ll make sure that you never miss an episode in the future. Thanks. Now, back to the show. You could not have said that better. It’s not unsurprising to me,

even in the day of chat GPT, where it’s like literally front page news everywhere, and tech has been sort of the center of so many people’s lives forever.

I’m still sort of jaw on the table, kind of surprised at how many conversations I have with individuals who, unlike you and I, they’re not thinking about tech all day long. They’re not thinking about how these things,

and they don’t have the depth of experience watching how they grew up so that they know how they connect, and it’s just fascinating. That translation and that bridge provider that you’re talking about,

that role that you hold is just still so essential. Do you think that’s going to continue? Yeah. I think it has to continue forever, because I don’t think that this really is exclusively a technology function.

I think that we all develop our own language and sort of exist in our own discourse, no matter where we are and all the sort of facets of our life. And translation,

sort of this dream of a common language is something that connects us all together for everything. I mean, when you meet a new friend at a party, you are working together to figure out what shared language,

what shared experiences you have. I think that’s just a part of being people and wanting to do things that are bigger than ourselves. We always need to think about how do we tie these to the things that we know,

to the things that we don’t know. But maybe I’m just being self -aggrandizing and saying that I always am going to have a job. You know, we’ll figure it out.

So, again, I want to get us to the trusted learner network. But before we do that, you know, you and I had talked in the green room just before we started this. And I had made a comment, I had made an assumption,

I said, “You know, we don’t really need to talk too much about digital credentials because I feel like so many people know what those are.” But I want to hear, as someone who is building out and cultivating this new network,

can you give me your perspective on, first, you know, how important are digital credentials today and like what does the landscape look like of digital credentials right now?

Oh, man. That’s a… Yeah, we only have 22 minutes left, by the way. Yeah, I think a good way to start is sort of what are we talking about when we’re talking about digital credentials?

Many of our credentials are any digital, right, and they sort of fly around the world in different formats, you know, they’re sort of a batch process and kind of an exchange between different organizations at a high level to support their business processes.

They’re also the digital versions of the diplomas and transcripts that people might receive or their certifications. When I think of digital credential in that platonic sense of the work that we’re doing with trusted learner network,

what I think we’re talking about is a series of, you know, of containers and data items and data schemas. And those are important, but contextually what we’re talking about is we’re talking about achievements and we’re talking about valuable pieces of information that now can be freighted with lots of contextual information.

They can come with, you know, we can imagine a course, oh my gosh, my phone is beeping off. We can imagine a course, a credential that indicates that somebody went and they got their Math 142,

they passed their Math 142 course, but we can also imagine that digital credential freighted with information like what was the course description? What were the things that were covered?

What were the skills that the person received by achieving the course, the competencies? What are they set up for? So when I think about digital credentials, I’m thinking about discrete items that are full of potential.

This is what we talk about when we talk about learner employment records, being able to create that bridge between learning, employment, recognizing that that’s not a one -way trajectory from learning to employment,

but it’s sort of a circle where we’re continually learning new things, we’re trying new things, we’re creating new things. So that’s how we define digital credentials. Where are we right now?

I think we’re at a really incredible moment of growth. It’s hard to talk about because digital credentials is sort of so many different efforts,

right? We talked about skills and competencies, you know, it’s just, what is the really valuable information that we know exists that we’re really just not capturing right now and allowing learners to walk away with?

We talk about learner agency initiatives, things like wallets and self -sovereign identity that empower a learner to put a credential on their phone and walk around the world with it,

and for that credential to sort of self -identify and self -verify. We talk about things like governance, like standards, I always describe this, this may be the most boring metaphor because I keep saying it,

but this is like a pond, right? right? And I’m from Arizona, so I’m not an expert in this actual metaphor. But we picture a pond in early winter and the ice begins to form on the edges.

And it’s only until, I don’t know, when you need this sort of certain mass of ice, right? In order for the skaters to be able to come and skate across the pond and avoid having to walk all the way around to get to where they need to go.

That’s what I think about the digital credential ecosystem. There’s just a lot of stuff and a lot of folks are pushing that ice out towards the middle with pilots, with new ideas. And what we are all,

I think, aiming for is, is we need that pond to freeze over so our learners can start crossing it and getting real value. – That was,

okay, so now take me to how does the Trusted Learning Network fit into, what is the correct metaphor now for that? Is it weaving it all together?

Is it creating buckets that these things fit in? Is it connecting them through, you know, known channels so that we can say,

yeah, these two things are connected and we can trust it using that trust word? Like what, what was the genesis of the Trusted Learning Network? And then they kind of take me to today where, you know, where’s it at and what is it,

what is it, if I want to use it as an institution today, how close am I to being able to use it? – Sure, okay, that’s a big question. Okay, so let’s start at the beginning.

So the genesis of the Trusted Learning Network was here at ASU working with some fabulous people, including our CIO, some wonderful people inside of all the different parts of our organization.

It sort of started with this hypothesis around blockchain technology, which had emerged, right? And blockchain kind of gave us a new language to talk about what immutability means,

right? So that you can create a record and it can immutably exist and not be changed. And there’s a huge level of trust trust that you can anchor onto that concept. Right? This is a truth that we can sort of substantiate out into technology.

Identifying digital credentials, that’s digital credentials in blockchain and sort of distributed ledger technologies have really been in the mix for many, many years now.

Right? That’s not the bridge that we crossed. We started to experiment and did multiple sort of prototypes over the past five or six years to explore what’s solid about this technology,

what needs to evolve, what are the challenges that we might run into as we think about how we can instantiate this technology. And as time has passed by in 2020, right before the COVID epidemic hit,

we convened our first un -conference around this concept of digital credentials in the education space and the learning space, brought together about 100 people and really folks sat down around some topic areas,

like, “How does this technology work? “How do we govern it? “What are the legal implications?” And folks really scrummed around these ideas and kind of convened this auditorium of open thought,

right? And the idea behind that was, again, if we think about this ecosystem, there are going to need to be lots of players, right? There’s going to be lots of technologies,

lots of thinkers, lots of policy changes, lots of mental changes, and that’s not something that any one organization can do alone. And so that’s when we had sort of instantiated this idea of the trusted learner network as being a network of people and organizations that are committed to moving digital credentials forward,

just to helping to freeze over that ice. So we think about that as sort of a cooperative space where lots of different folks with different goals might come together to talk about this.

So that’s one of the things that TLN is. It’s a convening of people. It’s a community of folks and organizations that believe that digital credentials are the way to move forward. As we’ve continued to evolve,

other things have come, have made themselves apparent and we’ve grown our vision and grown our action plan to encompass those. So another one of these things is governance,

right? So we talked about a trusted learner network, right? We think about what makes credentials trusted. So there’s sort of the cryptographic proofs that we can get with a verifiable credential that can say,

“Latic earned this credential “and we can verify that it was issued by an issuer.” But I think we’re also recognizing that sort of cryptographic verifiability may not be enough to help folks transition into a future where the paradigm for trust and asserting trust and understanding trust is gonna need to be different.

So we took on the role of forming governing bodies to try to talk through these topics. So we came up with a governance charter and we started working through,

what does it mean to be a trusted contributor? – I’m glad you went there. I was like, what would be the issue? Is it just like, ’cause any Schmo can throw up a website and say,

“We’re an institution “and we’re gonna issue credentials?” Is that, I’m throwing a hypothetical out there. – Yeah, yeah. I think with verifiable credentials, there are,

I think the bar is still pretty high. I mean, I don’t think I could go out and jump onto AWS and issue my own verifiable credential tomorrow. I could probably figure it out, which is constant, not me bragging about my tech skill,

but about how technology is accessible. Yeah, I think it’s about that, right? So being able to issue a verifiable credential, it just think that there’s a lot of opportunity we don’t understand yet,

I think as a society of learners and a society of workers and a society of organizations, kind of what these paradigms mean mean and how to tell what came from where and how do I use this and how does this work for me?

So governance was sort of a response to, “Hey, let’s think about, “how do we bring trust into this? “How do we take trust models that we have “and how can we apply them moving forward?” Again, I’m gonna say bridge about 1 ,500 times during our conversation,

but how do we bridge from trust paradigms that we understand, right? I mean, think 80 years ago, if you got a diploma from a Midwestern University and you went out West,

which is where I am, in the United States, you would unfurl that diploma and it would have the seal on it and the embossing and people would say, “Oh, I trust that. “That looks really heavy.

“That’s expensive.” And now we think about transcripts being sent through by a Manila envelope to another institution and that seal being the sign of trust.

We just have new signs of trust. So how do we create governance that helps to bridge and helps folks to understand? How do we trust this new technology?

And that governance sort of came along with the recognition of, hey, we need some technologies in the space that can make this future accessible.

And so that’s how the sort of trusted learner network digital repository came to be. So that’s sort of the third leg on our stool. And the idea there is let’s develop sort of a data -centric,

distributed digital repository that can allow learners to potentially access and share their credentials and that can allow learners to springboard their credentials into a digital wallet.

Digital wallets are really big right now in the VC space. They’re really important. ASU is also actuating a fabulous digital credential wallet and portfolio project called Pocket.

These are terrific technologies. Again, we’re thinking about TLN as a bridge. How do we help get institutions into this space? How do we introduce learners into this space? Set them up for success.

So, TLN is sort of three things, which is a lot of things for one network to be, but we’re sort of a convening and a community, and we believe in the mission of that.

We are a, we’re not a governance body, but we wanna invest time and energy into getting thought out there about how governance might function. And then we’re building a technology that can help bridge and help some institutions and different types of players maybe get into this space.

– Fantastic. How much of this conversation that’s going on right now? I wanna, you know, I’m looking for the right word,

’cause the only thing that’s coming is gravitas, is experiences, is known. And here’s the analogy I wanna put on the table for you. – I’m ready. – That is, I hope not too far out there, but we have the pro -golf associate,

the PGA. – Okay, I’m gonna try to stick with you. People generally speak, like, I say PGA, and I mean, even if you don’t play golf, you’ve heard of this before, Jack Nichols was a thing.

You know, like this is– – Where’s the green jacket? – Yeah, yeah, yeah, green jacket’s the master’s innocent. But recently, you know, there’s a whole new network that just started up called Live Golf,

right? And it’s extremely well -funded, and it is, you know, it has attracted, but here’s the thing, the reason why I’m bringing this analogy up is because it’s attracted a lot of top golfers,

right? – Oh, okay. – And so it has gained instant legitimacy because the people who actually can, you know, hit the golf ball and put it in the cup and, you know, like they,

you know, so when we come to this idea of governance and trust and like, how does this work, how much does that play into this equation for you in terms of,

hey, you know what, ASU signed up to this. And so therefore, this is a thing that we should look at and listen to, you know, as opposed to somebody who put together an online school and,

you know, Kurosawa and, you know, that’s, that’s, you know, we, maybe we shouldn’t trust them so much. You know, I guess, does that question make sense? Yes, I think it does.

Trust is such an interesting, I mean, trust is in our name. So, so we’re very invested in it. I think we’re talking about trust and we’re talking about credibility here,

right? And we’re sort of living in a world now where trust and credibility is sort of slowly changing. You see these, the sort of trust barometer reports coming out that dictate how much do people trust in government?

How much do they trust in nonprofit organizations, all this type of stuff? And then that’s all sort of slowly changing. I think the PGA and live golf, I don’t think that this is going to be about,

we’re abandoning an old way and we’re adopting a new way and we need to throw ourselves into this new trust. When I, when I talk about bridging, I’m thinking about, we have,

we have some very substantive and effective trust mechanisms, right, that help people understand, you know, you think about an institution like Arizona State University or you think about an institution like,

like any of the other hundreds of fabulous, thousands of fabulous, incredible institutions in this country that are, that are educating folks and you can sort of trace trust back to something like accreditation,

right? A university is, is accredited to provide X number of degrees. You go out to an average learner and how aware or how connected are they to,

like, you know, the credibility, the way that accreditation functions in the country. I’m just saying, what am I trying to get at? Trust is sort of ephemeral,

right? Credibility is something that builds over time and changes over time. I think with our governing body, some of the things that we’ve targeted in honor, trust is about a learner being able to say,

hey, I think my record is wrong. Is there a process for me to sort of request that my record be corrected? That’s a sign of trust, we think. We think a sign of trust is that a record that should need to,

you know, carry a minimum amount of data that provides value to the learner, right? If it doesn’t have enough data, then is it really valuable to the learner? Should the learner trust it? And we also think about trust as an,

you know, is an institution or an organization, do they see their peers participating in the network? And do they understand how their peers are participating in the organization?

These may all seem disparate, but these are all sort of signals of trust. How do we pull out and identify signals of trust? And how do we amplify them through things like our TLN technology and our governance body?

But also, how do we amplify them through the entire digital credential ecosystem? I mean, I think that that’s something that’s growing, that’s building. And I think in previous podcasts,

you’ve described yourself as a serial entrepreneur or an avid entrepreneur. And I would be curious, what are your thoughts about trust? How does trust sort of build in a new idea or a new tool or a new technology?

How would you reflect on that? You’re officially the first guest to ask me to reflect on a question. That’s fantastic. Thank you so much. Yeah,

I mean, directly. I would, I think that you’ve characterized it correctly in that trust is ephemeral, right? And trust,

and the reason why I love the word ephemeral is because imagine how or picture in your mind, I asked the listeners, how easily trust is lost, right? You know what I mean?

Like how easily something can that, you know, that thing that you trust again, just like that, for you and I, if you and I were to show up to a job tomorrow and we put a resume on the table and we said,

“Oh, hey, I’ve got this degree,” or “I did that thing,” or “I went to this place,” or “I wrote this paper,” and they hired us and we were, you know, and then low and behold,

90 days, six months, whatever it is a year later, somebody comes back and says, “Hey, actually, that wasn’t a thing,” right? My credibility, the trust people have in my word,

in anything I put on the table going forward is just instantly evaporated, right? And so you can work so hard at building trust and yet it can be question or tainted,

you know, very, very easily, which is, you know, we’re going to dive into some deep philosophical stuff here right now, but that is one of the, you know, that’s one of the great, very interesting things that are happening in the country you and I are from,

United States right now, but around the world in, you know, public figures questioning, you know, truths and questioning, you know, facts and those kinds of things, and that rather than looking to those areas and those places of where we used to say,

“Hey, we trust this institution,” so many people have started to plant seeds, these little drops of poison in the well, right, of, “Oh, maybe we don’t trust that so much,” and because we’re in an age of information and there’s so much information around us all the time,

it’s overwhelming, it’s very, very difficult to pick out those signals that are truthful, right? Yeah, I think that kind of takes us back to this idea that there’s,

we can get these sort of, a security -based trust, right? Like I can share how the TLN uses public and private keys to make sure that a learner’s data would never be viewable or accessible to anyone that they didn’t consent to share that with.

So that’s sort of a security layer, pretty difficult to access unless you have very specific training in that. We think about, again, we talked about these trust signals. Can a learner signal that their record is incorrect and go through an arbitration process to have it corrected?

Can a learner, does a learner see all their data as their learner data provided? Also, institutional trust, you know, as an institution, can I look and say, I know that this came from my institution down the street and I trust that because I trust them.

Yeah, to your point, like all of these are sort of, there’s a lot of little pieces that go together to sort of make up this trust profile that we experience. I know with the TLN,

again, coming back to bridging, how do we bridge from the way that we view, understand trust credentials right now? How do we bridge that into a future where we’re going to need to be a lot more sophisticated,

right, with our trust? Take that one step further in that I’m interested to hear what’s happened in your,

you know, your unconference and the conversations we’re going on right now, in that we have this very, very interesting moment where what the usual gatekeepers to credentials are individuals and groups that aren’t necessarily comfortable with the speed of change,

the technology we have on the table today, the things that we would maybe use to indicate trust, right, in some way. And yet the people who want to rely upon them, the students, right, so I’m thinking, you know, the older generation are usually the leaders,

the hiring people, the, you know, the people in the, you know, the gatekeepers. And then we have students, the learners, who in our case, we’re talking about ASU right now, we’ve got 60 ,000 ,000 students.

I’m gonna get a large portion of them are sub 30, right? And these are all people who’ve grown up with, you know, discord and blockchain and,

you know, like, you know, things appearing and disappearing overnight and, you know, YouTube and Mr. Beast and all this stuff, right? And so what they consider okay and true and factual and acceptable are very different in many cases than those gatekeepers.

How much of that conversation is a part of the TLN right now? – So I think that there is room for,

I think that there’s room for all different kinds of ideas and all different kinds of credentials under this big, circus tents and I say circus tent in the most generative,

like there’s stuff that this is exciting underneath here and dynamic and people are doing different things at different places. It’s a great, I’m so privileged to be able to sort of, you know,

walk around a room and hear all, you know, tons of fabulous ideas happening all at the same time. But digital credentials is exactly this type of tent that can hold all of these different concepts,

right? So, you know, you could probably argue that trust in our, that there is a relationship between trust and the movement or the change of an organization,

right? So an organization that changes less is more predictable and more predictable means that you can have typically higher trust, right? You’re seeing the same types of transactions repeating over and over,

you know, we think about banks. But the thing is, is that digital credentials and digital credentialing, things like the TLN and all the other fabulous, you know,

companies and initiatives that are emerging from this, it’s not just about the credentials that we can envision right now, or the credentials that you could walk up to somebody on the street and say, “Hey, what’s a credential?” And have them produce that,

produce an answer. But there’s, you know, been incredible work happening with micro -credentialing, with non -credit credentialing. There’s fabulous work with certifications.

There’s fabulous work with a You know brand -new Experiences that are designed to help people to learn that help people grow to share information I Think that’s really cool that a digital credential can be something from say PhD a doctoral degree which describes an extremely narrow right set of experiences all the way to a Hey,

I did my CPR training with the city of Tempe and that’s fabulous or Hey, I learned how to do this specific editing tactic in tick -tock and now I’m like capable of doing that and that adds to my You know social media portfolio,

so I think we’re in a really cool place And we’re also in a position again to think about trust to think about how do we build? How do we sort of build and reveal more value that kind of already exists?

And if we can build and reveal that value And we can empower learners with it I think we’re hoping that and we’re expecting that learners will be able to take that new That new information and run with it and do something new and interesting with it.

So I mean sense. Yeah, totally does so so sort of my Last set of questions are around. How do how do I participate functionally in this,

you know at this moment, right? You know here we are we’re talking February 2023 with TL in you know, if I’m an if I’m do I Is there a place for individuals right now? Is this an institutional conversation?

You know, is there specific technology that you like I could go to TL and be like, oh, hey I’m gonna pick, you know AZ and G and we’re gonna use those but we know it’s part of a system How do I connect? Like, what are those functional pieces that somebody could actually participate or,

I guess, an institution could participate? Yeah, fabulous. So what folks can do is they can go to tln .asu .edu, TLN for Trusted Learner Network.

You can learn a little bit more about us. We’re driven by a set of principles, things like interoperability first, open source first, accessibility. We make some strong statements about what we feel like learners should be able to do.

You can check that stuff out there. And like I talked to, we’re a three -legged stool. We have our convening, our events, our desire to bring people together. We have our governance components,

and then we have our technology components. So absolutely, everybody is invited to come participate in our events. 100%. No holds barred.

We’ve gotten some really fabulous different types of folks, individuals, organizations, institutions. So you can sign up for more. We will be hosting our unconference in May of this year, and should be sending out a Save the Date this week.

As far as– so I think that’s the first step, is sign up, participate in an event. And always, you can reach out to me. You can email us at tln @asu .edu.

And then from there, the folks that participate in our governing body are folks in our community that expressed an interest, and that we reached out to and said, oh my gosh,

you’re really making moves in this space, and we would love to have you contribute. As we continue to build out our technology in our current design cycle and moving forward,

we’re looking forward to some opportunities to build some partnerships, some pilots, specifically in the summer and fall. So if there’s interest in stepping up and saying,

I want to be a bridge here too. I want to see how this type of technology could work for my organization or my institution, I would love to hear from you, because we’re interested in doing some road testing on some really cool technology components that we’ve built that feel very strongly.

Put learners and organizations in a great position to spring forward into this paradigm. You also stole my thunder of my usual last question. Like, what’s happening now? You know,

there’s no apology. That’s fantastic. I love it. You have super clear things that are going to come out of the May conference into the pilot and those kinds of things you just described. So here’s what I’m really interested as truly my last question for you is,

how involved is the non -academic space within this network? I think one of the things that a lot of people become wary of is that,

hey, this is a bunch of universities talking to one another, but there’s always that gap between edu and .com, right? Or .net, or whatever, through the corporate space.

Have you guys been successfully able to draw corporations in and draw business in and tech to get their opinion and have them be a part of this to create that continuity?

Yeah. So we’ve had some fabulous participants at our different events and conferences. You know, folks from some of these major learning organizations that are non -EDU.

We’ve had some great representatives from larger tech organizations, large Fortune 500 companies that are interested in getting into this space. I think that that is a really exciting place that I’m excited for the TLN to grow into.

Because I think, you know, again, we talk about this. We used to think about the trajectory of being, you know, you go to school when you’re little, and then at some point, you’re making a choice and you’re springboarding out into employment,

right? Into making a living and living the rest of your life. And you maybe don’t go back. It’s just not the world that we live in right now, right? You know, we think about this circle. So when we envision this sort of instantiation of the trusted learner network,

there are three big participants, not just two. It’s not just the learner and the learning institution. It’s also the employer, the organization,

the volunteer organization that wants to consume that data and help make choices with the learner on how they move forward. So we’re extremely excited to be engaging more in that space and trying to envision what is that full circle from education to employment back to education.

How do we instantiate that full experience? Because ultimately what the trusted learning network comes down to is, you know, we want to remove friction and we want to create,

bring forward value that we know already exists and make it really tangible and accessible and available for people to use. Awesome. Kate,

I’m going to try it again. Jovicini. That’s great. I love that. Jovicini works. Kate, this has been fascinating, delightful conversation.

And you know, something that I just, what I love about it is it feels like the future already. You know what I mean? It feels like let’s, and this is one of the things that we rely upon our institutions for is like,

let’s think about the complex conversations. You know, we can’t solve this in a TikTok video. We can’t solve this in, you know, a 30 minute meeting. This is something we got to really ruminate on and navigate,

right? It’s going to evolve. And I absolutely love it. I’m super excited for you to be a part of it and helping to leave the way with the trusted learning network. Thank you so much. Thank you so much for having me. It’s been a real, it’s been a real pleasure.

I hope you have a great rest of your day. Thank you again for listening to the Heal Learn podcast here from Open LMS. I just wanted to ask one more time, if you enjoyed this show, if you learned something, if you were inspired,

if you were challenged, if you feel like, you know, this is something you can take into your practice, please do me a favor. And right now on your podcast player, hit subscribe. That way you’re never going to miss a future episode.

Also, come over to elearnmagazine .com and subscribe there as well because we have tons of great information about how to create killer online learning outcomes. Thanks.

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