With the U.S. leading a global trend towards greater edtech investments, many are questioning the efficacy of such investments. With over $14B USD invested this year in software and digital content alone in the U.S., the ultimate question remains, “Is learning happening because of, or in spite of those edtech investments?”
As seen across multiple studies, experts agree that Time on Task remains one of the most impactful factors in learning. Yet schools are unable to accurately measure time on digital tasks. PAPERbasket is equipped with a patent-pending method to help the schools with device use data that will not only improve actual usage of digital resources by students and teachers but may even cause some content and software publishers to think twice.
Enhancing Adoption of Educational Technologies
PAPERbasket, a California-based company, provides a solution which provides device use analytics at the end user level, helping measure the “active time” students and teachers are using digital resources, including software and subscription-based websites. Its patent-pending technology comprises a method of distinguishing active versus inactive use, providing more objective and accurate data than any tool on the market.
Device Use Analytics is a new element of the edtech market, as a 2017 EdWeek survey found that 40% of school district edtech directors identified budget as their top concern for the next five years. Thanks to company’s unique intellectual property and approach to edtech, it was named the ‘Best New Product’ for 2018, beating other 20 finalists including billion dollar companies with popular brands.
Agile Leadership with Diverse Experience
Tammy Farrell is Co-Founder and Director of PAPERbasket since 2016. She launched this start-up venture with a simple mission of helping educators maximize the return on their edtech spend. A 25-year fintech executive, with experience at such companies as Bloomberg and the London Stock Exchange Group, she is part of a larger team of experts that came together to address this solution.
Bringing together a core team and a board of advisors from the edtech vertical, each of which has 20-40+ years in the education industry, the team is unlike most start-ups. The team and advisors have worked with such companies as Pearson, Apple, IBM, HP, Dell, Gateway and countless other well-known education brands.
Solving the Technology Adoption Problem
The team identified a common technology adoption challenge in schools during an informal discussion and decided to do something to solve the problem. “The school system did everything right on the surface, but students weren’t improving,” Farrell commented. “From my years at Bloomberg, we were successful because we always knew what users were doing.”
Having seen this problem first-hand for many years and seeing the lack of viable solutions in the market, the team sets out to help level the playing field with innovative solutions. Working with edtech experts and fintech developers, the company created a solution to help give accurate use of data, so schools could make more informed decisions about all of their digital resources in one place.
Unique Product Designed for Client Needs
PAPERbasket works with school district leadership, as they oversee and are ultimately responsible for the results of their edtech efforts. Within weeks of implementation, institutions can start making data-driven decisions based on real-time information. Officials can make more informed and more accurate decisions about their digital learning efforts.
In addition to a portfolio of thirteen unique edtech adoption reports school officials can run at any time, PAPERbasket has a proprietary ROI calculator. This report measures the overall net adoption rate for a software or website subscription, also provides a dollar value contrasting the amount paid versus the actual amount used.
Competitive Device Level Solution
PAPERbasket’s method of collecting usage data is unique. Many companies attempt to collect data on the server or cloud level and rely only on data from select website publishers, with each method leaving major gaps in the total use picture. Unlike these, PAPERbasket company that collects active use data on the device level across multiple operating systems. It helps educational institutes to maximize the return on their edtech spend with the first EdTech Adoption Metering Solution. PAPERbasket’s solution measures exactly how much time students and teachers are active and inactive while using devices as well as software and digital resources from any place like school or home.
Steady Progress through Value Addition
U.S. school districts alone are investing as much as fourteen billion USD annually in software, curriculum, and other digital resources. Helping them make sense of their annual procurement process which is a challenge for many schools. The company is assisting them by measuring their current state of edtech adoption. It provides the accurate and objective use of data to determine resources are worthy of being renewed in a budget-constrained market. Some of the largest districts in the country have already engaged PAPERbasket, as the potential for savings is in the millions of dollars annually.
What happens when a school system realizes they’re paying $100,000 USD for a product with a relatively low net adoption rate of less than 10%? For the school, it means an easy way to recoup funds by canceling the subscription. But for the entire edtech industry that relies on annual subscriptions, informed customers may represent a threat to many content and software publishers. Often, they provide little, if any, use data on their systems. If they do, it is often slanted in the publisher’s favor, reporting cumulative time students are logged in (versus actual time actively working in the system).
The Future of e-Learning Solutions
The decade began with an Age of Access, giving students devices and connectivity to be that gateway to learning. We are now in the Age of Outcomes, where emphasis is placed on delivering meaningful results for students. I think next comes the Age of Expectations, where schools will treat edtech no different than any other educational approach. Results will be expected and monitored, where investments will follow those actual results. For companies that deliver meaningful outcomes, they will thrive, while those tools that deliver negligible outcomes will find themselves quickly out of business.