Burns' BYU education prepared him to lead an award-winning educational company

Barclay Burns graduated from BYU with a PhD in instructional science in 1995. Just five years later, he was at the head of the internationally renowned website and company Learning.com.

“I had the experience of teaching at Orem High School while I was working on my doctorate,” said Burns. “During that time I really focused on how learning takes place in a school setting.” He went on to continue his studies at Cambridge, which to him was a dream come true. “I grew up as a farm kid, so the thought of ending up at Cambridge was a remarkable thing,” he said.

At Cambridge Burns got the idea for Learning.com, a website that aids teachers by supplying interactive games and activities to help students learn. “During the time I was at Cambridge, the realization that we still hadn’t taken full advantage of the Internet hit me hard,” Burns recalled. “I really felt like I needed to go out and create something.”

Learning.com has since become an award-winning company that serves over 3,000 school districts and two million students; Burns credits the quality education he received both at BYU and Cambridge for this success. “I’m sure that without my educational background Learning.com would have ended up in a much different place,” he said.

In October of 2009, Burns stepped down as president of Learning.com to return to BYU as a professor in the Marriott School of Management, while completing his second doctorate at Cambridge. “The importance of an education is really hard for me to overstate,” said Burns, who encourages students to take their education seriously. “You’re getting great training, and you’re getting great knowledge. I hope you realize how important this is to the world,” he concluded.

April 1, 2011