Somewhat related to the last post’s exhortation of data and algorithms, I was intrigued by this Techcrunch article on a new Y Combinator startup tackling standardizing education data systems. The idea is to not have the teachers and administrators add another data silo every time a new technology comes around, and to encourage adoption of new tools by providing standardized API’s.
Although I am not sure if this is something that a private sector startup could tackle given the usually resistant nature of school systems, it is one of the few edu startup ideas that lit a spark in my eyes in a while. I would be excited to see if they gain traction– and if not, to see what stands in their way.
But they have to spend way-too-much time integrating their apps into complex data systems. As with everything else in the tech industry today, problems and solutions begin and end with data. “Moving and managing data is one of the biggest things that’s holding back education today,” Bosmeny says. So, Clever interfaces with these data systems for developers, making it easier for them to access the information they need from a SIS, so they can get back to focusing on building great software, not doing grunt work….
The team is building one simple, clean, universal API so that, once schools give authorization, developers can quickly access and port that data into their apps. Student Information Systems were not built for the API Era, so it’s an on-going battle, but the team believes that if they can build a common data platform for educational systems, all sides will benefit as a result.