You may not have heard of Clever, but chances are you know someone who's using it.
The little-known app Clever by a three-year-old startup is being used in 44,000 schools across the US, which amounts to one in three private and public schools, offering a single log-in for all information systems students use and integrating them for convenience and added data security.
Clever is used by one third of all public and private schools in the country and addresses two major pain point for schools: data security and user privacy. With this app, schools are able to manage their digital databases of enrollment, attendance and other student and study information more efficiently.
By using Clever, schools can integrate disparate systems to facilitate the process between schools and third parties, ensuring at the same time that sensitive student data are protected. Student privacy advocate Joel Reidenberg at Fordham University says about Clever's potential:
"I think they're setting up a tool that's really useful for school districts. They're sitting in between school districts and vendors and they're handling aspects of the data handoff, so they're enabling the districts to have a better handle on what data is going to their vendors and how it's getting there."
With almost nine in ten parents being concerned about their children's educational data being hacked Clever CEO and co-founder Tyler Bosmeny says that Clever's priority is to:
"Set the highest bar in the industry for student data security."
Apart from parents, school districts are also concerned about their ability to protect student data. Clever works with only about 200 applications out of hundreds that schools are using, and the main reason is that the company wants to make sure that the apps integrated with Clever meet its security and privacy standards. As Molly Hensley-Clancy of Buzzfeed explains:
"Clever vets the security and privacy policies of the apps it works with — [Clever] says it won't allow an app to work with it unless it is compliant with federal privacy laws."
Using the app doesn't protect the information systems from data breaching, however. Bill Fitzgerald, director of Common Sense Media privacy initiative says:
"Clever is really a conduit for info collected via other apps. So they have an enormous responsibility as a good steward, but they are also connecting other applications, all of which have their own privacy policies and terms."
As learning becomes increasingly digital, Clever wants to help schools and educators manage their educational apps and software in a way that's constructive for students and safe for everyone's sensitive information.
With this app, Clever is trying to allow teachers and administrators to better-manage the applications students are using and to make multiple log-ins a thing of the past.