Education startup BrightBytes has created data analytics software for schools linking various classroom technologies to student achievement. The software is currently used in around one in seven schools across the country.
Combining academic research with data collected on students, teachers and schools allows the software to create analyses of each school in addition to individualized action plans for the implementation of technology. The entire process offers educators and administrators to determine where to put their funding.
"It's a business intelligence platform written for schools," says BrightBytes CEO Rob Mancabelli MBA '12, who worked in the education sector for 15 years before co-founding the startup. "Instead of a return-on-investment, though, it's a âreturn-on-learning.'"
Mancabelli went on to say that the software aims to make fund allocation easier for educators. The country currently spends billions of dollars each year on technologies for classrooms, and until now has not had an accurate way to measure student success as a direct result of these additions.
"We think the best way to improve student learning is to give decision-makers who control the time, budget, and resources the best information to make decisions," Mancabelli says. "If, along the way, it helps to eliminate financial missteps, then that's fantastic."
The BrightBytes platform, called Clarity, contains six modules that each pertain to separate issues schools deal with. The module that measures technology within the classroom is called CASE. An additional module, Early Warning, came out in September dealing with the identification of at-risk students based on a variety of factors, both individual and school-specific. Five more modules are expected out this year.
Clarity blends human interaction with computers by offering users a team of researchers who look into academic papers and other various research pertaining to what typically works in the classroom, and combining that with software technology that takes information from surveys and questionnaires in order to evaluate each school's proficiency in a particular area.
While some schools are labeled "proficient," others who are not receive suggestions from the software on how to make better use of technologies in the classroom to have an increased impact on student success.
The company made headlines last year after it raised $750,000 from Learn Capital, NewSchools Venture Fund and ReThink Education by offering educators the chance to identify learning gaps and providing recommendations on how to fill the gaps. The company now has 10,000 schools using its platform, reports Rip Empson for TechCrunch.