Technology Tools
Technology Tools

Educators often take advantage of educational technologies as they make the shifts in instruction, teacher roles, and learning experiences that next gen learning requires. Technology should not lead the design of learning, but when educators use it to personalize and enrich learning, it has the potential to accelerate mastery of critical content and skills by all students.

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If you’ve taken or have taught postsecondary courses in the past 15 years, you’ve likely encountered the LMS – at College for America, it’s taken on a new form.

“I don’t ever remember having an educational institution that was on Fast Company’s Most Innovative list. That’s a fascinating perspective to bring to the market…”

Brian Peddle, the chief technology officer for College for America at Southern New Hampshire University, nods modestly at this introduction. The comment, which was made at a conference, was in response to College for America’s unique approach to competency-based learning. Peddle has led a transformative effort in many aspects—most recently, in converting a popular cloud-based sales tool into a Learning Management System (LMS).

If you’ve taken or taught postsecondary courses in the past 15 years, you have likely encountered the LMS as a user or administrator. Some institutions are now rethinking these systems, however, preferring to organize them around students instead of courses.

At College for America, shifting to a focus on students was essential for their student-directed degree program. And they found a good match in’s Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool, which is designed around individuals—not groups. And so, with a small development team, College for America used the popular CRM tool to build its own student information system, an online coaching model, evaluator portals, student portals, and its own LMS—all in one year.

" has been there since the beginning. We've gone from the whiteboard last August to the White House when Obama mentioned us in a speech."
–Brian Peddle, CTO, College for America

Interested in learning more? Find out how College for America repurposed Salesforce for their competency-based degree program in CfA Learning Environment [CLE], a 2-pager from NGLC that describes how this tool supports the academic program and includes screenshots from the innovative platform.

Kristi DePaul headshot

Kristi DePaul

CEO, Founders Marketing

A Pittsburgh native, Kristi is an avid content marketer, blogger, educator, speaker, and world traveler. Most recently, she managed marketing efforts for NGLC, a $65m education investment network and EDUCAUSE, the world’s premier higher ed IT association. Previously, she led strategic initiatives and marketing communications across four continents for three international start-ups. Combining her expertise in marketing, social media and influencer relations, Kristi has formed Founders Marketing, a firm that helps start-ups create effective messaging to grow global audiences.