Leslie Strong Product Line Manager Tweet Skyward + Clever = Good for Kids What is the number one factor holding teachers back from getting the most out of the educational apps and digital resources available to them? Too often, complex and disparate systems make it difficult for even the most tech-savvy educators to embrace all that edtech has to offer. A tangle of logins and passwords and a high risk for data mismanagement can cast a shadow on the benefits of technology in the classroom. Let's take a closer look at three major obstacles to the adoption of technology – and one very Clever solution that Skyward students, parents, and teachers can take advantage of today! 3 EdTech Obstacles You only need to look at the impact of well-known apps like Khan Academy, code.org, or Duolingo to understand the potential that edtech has to engage and empower students. But the obstacles to integrating edtech make it harder for any teacher – or any school or district – to fully embrace these benefits. Here’s a look at three of edtech’s most challenging hurdles: Safety & Security: If you cringe when you see the amount or type of information many educational apps require for setup, your instincts are right on track. In her New York Times article on the privacy pitfalls of educational apps, Natasha Singer says it’s a “herculean endeavor” to protect against data breaches, identity theft, unauthorized student profiling, and more. How can you better ensure that your students – and their information – stay safe and secure? Selection: In a market saturated with thousands of educational apps, it can be hard to know that you’re choosing the best ones available. When you find a new app, how do you know whether it will be worth the time and effort it takes to download, create and manage student accounts, and ensure data security? The sheer number of login IDs and passwords that many teachers manage today is mind-boggling, and with so many apps clouding the marketplace, it’s no wonder some teachers decide to stick with their tried-and-true but low-tech methods. Scalability: It’s one thing for a teacher to discover and use a great educational app within his or her own classroom; it’s another thing entirely to scale that technology use to the building or district level. Most schools have a handful of teachers who are ahead of the curve, but few districts have found a way to extend that success between classrooms and buildings. Taking technology integration past a classroom-by-classroom, teacher-by-teacher approach is a complex challenge that calls for a more systematic approach, strong leadership, and fair but flexible policies. ↪ Push, pull, or nudge - what's your approach to edtech integration? Click here to read the white paper. 1 Clever Solution What if you didn’t have to choose between stronger data security standards and easier access to edtech in the classroom? What if you had a partner that helped you select and organize the best apps, simplify login processes, and keep student information more secure? Skyward is proud to announce our new partnership with Clever, a service that helps districts manage and secure educational applications. Used by one in three K-12 schools in the U.S., Clever makes embracing edtech easier by integrating the student data exchanged between Skyward and your district’s authorized apps. Just how Clever is it? Let’s see how well Clever addresses the three obstacles to edtech outlined above. Safety & security: Clever is FERPA compliant, has signed the Student Privacy Pledge (incidentally, so have we), and works with top security firms to maintain high standards. Schools always maintain control of their data and can set the sharing permissions for each application. Read more about Clever’s security measures here. Selection: You can browse Clever’s application gallery and explore 225+ leading educational applications. If you are already using some of these apps, Clever can transition your existing accounts. Don’t see an application you want? Submit a request for new apps! Teachers won’t have to limit the number of apps used in their classrooms based on the difficulty of managing the setup and storage of their students’ accounts and passwords. Clever brings your district’s approved educational applications together in one place and requires just one login to access them all. Yes, you read that right – one login! Scalability: Clever helps districts large and small extend technology use across the board by making a common set of high quality apps available to all teachers and students. With concerns like transferring rosters, maintaining login credentials, and ensuring data security off of teachers’ plates, more time remains for exploring the applications and finding creative ways to integrate technology into the daily routine. With 89 of the top 100 school districts in the U.S. currently using Clever, you can count on the fact that Clever will grow with you. Bonus benefit! Logging in can be difficult – and time consuming – for young kids that are still learning letters and numbers. Clever Badges offer a quick, easy, and fun way for even your youngest students to log in safely and independently. I already know about Clever – what does the partnership actually mean? With our new (free) API, you can transfer student data through Clever to district-approved apps using single sign-on. It's a safe and secure way to reduce data entry and make valuable applications more accessible for both students and teachers. If you need help setting up the API, enter a service call and our support specialists can walk you through the process step by step. (Not a Skyward Support contact? Reach out to your administrator for help!) Don’t let a lack of integration hold you back from giving your students what they need to become future-ready digital citizens. Skyward’s partnership with Clever allows for more extensive use of educational apps, while still ensuring better student data security – that’s a win-win for sure. Read the press release here, or contact us to learn more about how you can save time and improve accessibility with Skyward’s free Clever API.