(NPR) – Think of an educational tool and you might picture beloved standbys from our Tools of the Trade series, like the abacus and the wooden block. But educators are increasingly turning to software and websites like Khan Academy, Google Apps and Code.org to help them deliver lessons, manage collaboration, do real-time assessments and more.
The problem is that juggling all these applications can be messy, complex and even unsafe. Increasingly, teachers’ computer monitors are festooned with Post-it notes holding the logins and passwords of various programs. Districts don’t always know what applications are being used in classrooms. Student records, including sensitive information, may be shuffled around on filesharing sites like Dropbox and accidentally exposed in the process.
A three-year-old San Francisco-based startup called Clever is catching on in schools by offering a digital-age solution to all these digital-age problems.
The company announced this week that its application has been adopted by 44,000 schools across the country, or approximately one-third of the nation’s public and private schools. It’s nearly unique for its services offered; one partial competitor is the nonprofit EdFi Alliance.