Helping schools harness the latest technology to help them run more efficiently has so far proved a difficult nut for technology companies to crack. Until now.
While businesses across the Globe latch on to new technology, education has been a little slower to catch on. In a bid to help improve things, new start-up Clever has entered the fray and already has 2,000 schools signed up to its services. If you’re looking for media job, it might just pay to be Clever.
Add to that the fact that the company believes it’s one of the first K‑12 start-ups to be accepted onto Y‑Combinator and it seems they may be onto something.
Education – Slow to Innovate?
Traditionally, the problem with the education market has been that tech companies were unable to access data on student attendance and grades. Because of this they haven’t been able to develop technology that can assist schools in running their operations more effectively.
Important data that’s been stored away in Student Information Systems (SIS) has been seriously off limits, and as a result, innovation and advancement has suffered. This has caused some serious problems for schools as the rest of the World embraces 21st Century technology and races ahead.
Why is Clever Different?
Many start-ups have attempted to tap into the education sector and failed, but where Clever is different is that it has devised a way to work with schools to help them access truly useful solutions.
Rather than develop technology they hope will work within existing systems, Clever have got the schools on board, it’s got developer buy-in and by introducing the two it’s hoping sweet music will be made.
“Moving and managing data is one of the biggest things holding education back today,” said Clever co-founder Tyler Bosmeny. The company’s traction, he said, shows how badly developers and educators need tools that integrate and normalize student data.”
Anyone looking for a job in the media industries would be wise to watch what happens with Clever as it seems to be a company that’s going places.
Monetizing the Clever Offer
Some of the schools currently working with Clever include big charter network schools including KIPP, Aspire and Green Dot, although it says around 50% of its schools are based in traditional districts. It charges 30 software companies, such as Sokikom, Mastery Connect and TenMarks for access to its API so that the software companies can process educational data and in turn charge the school districts for their services.
According to Bosmeny, the number one gripe with developers is the cost associated with moving data, and it’s the biggest complaint from teachers about previous products. When software goes out of date rapidly, teachers get cranky, but with Clever the products are automatically updated, meaning that working with out-of-date products is no longer an issue. And what’s more, developers get clean data from the school.
Clever claim the benefits of their service are two-fold. They say they can shrink support costs by 50%, and they can get products into schools and installed in minutes. What’s not to love?
“We really want to show that education can be a valuable business if you approach it the right way,” said Bosmeny. “We hope we can take away the barrier and prove that education is a real market and there’s a lot of room for innovation in this space.”