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The EdTech Awards recognizes people in and around education for outstanding contributions in transforming education through technology to enrich the lives of learners everywhere. With more than 15,000 companies comprising the edtech ecosystem, institutions have invested more than $50B across the global edtech landscape in just the past few years. According to EdTech Digest, this year's finalists and winners, selected from thousands of entries, were narrowed from the larger field and judged based on various criteria, including: pedagogical workability, efficacy and results, support, clarity, value and potential.
What stands out for this bootstrapped startup is who they beat out to earn this honor. "We were recognized among many distinguished finalists with a long track record in education, including several companies valued in the billions of dollars," shared PAPERbasket president Mark Onderko. Among some of the larger finalists in the new product category included Amplify, LEGO Education (a division of Lego), Renaissance Learning and PowerSchool as well as many others.
In presenting the award, Digest's editor-in-chief Victor Rivero described the PAPERbasket solution and team as, "a small dedicated group of edtech veterans huddled for schools and came through with a unique solution that peers behind the curtain for a much clearer view that helps make every edtech dollar count." The complete list of winners and finalists may be found at https://edtechdigest.com/2018-finalists-winners/.
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Solving a Simple Problem
With K-12 schools now spending more than $6B annually on devices, subscriptions for applications, learning platforms and digital content, school district leaders remain unable to determine if the resources purchased deliver fidelity, or are ever really used at all. Developed by a team of edtech industry veterans, PAPERbasket's new edtech metering solution offers a patent-pending method of distinguishing active versus inactive use, providing more objective and accurate data than any tool on the market.
A recent industry study from Project RED (http://one-to-oneinstitute.org/images/remository/Finance_Brief.pdf) reports that schools, on average, invest approximately $128 per-student annually for all software and content. In many instances, less than half of those resources are used within recommended time factors, suggesting schools are buying software and content that isn't being used.
Even beyond dollars, Onderko emphasized that tracking for fidelity and learning outcomes is an even greater challenge for schools, as a recent state study (http://le.utah.gov/interim/2015/pdf/00004617.pdf) found that 87% of schools did not meet fidelity requirements for their software results in the 2014-15 school year.
"Is it because the resources aren't relevant? Is it because professional development and change management has been lacking? Without accurate usage data, schools will never know," Onderko added. "Not only will PAPERbasket help ensure schools adopt digital learning more effectively, but by simply identifying the bottom 10-25% of resources being underused by students, that equates to real savings where the district can take immediate action."
PAPERbasket differs greatly from other accountability tools that have been introduced in recent years. Unique to PAPERbasket is its method of distinguishing "active versus inactive use". While some other companies may measure hits or cumulative time logged into a system, neither of those models tell the full story. If a student logs into a system, only to minimize the screen and watch videos for the next hour, the current products in market have no means of identifying that behavior. PAPERbasket TRACK's patent-pending technology distinguishes active versus inactive time, so school district leadership knows the difference when a student is actually using a resource, or it's simply running idle in the background.
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"Even the most effective learning resource is useless if students aren't actually using it," says Kathy Hurley, former SVP of Pearson Education and currently CEO of Girls Going Global and a Board of Advisor to PAPERbasket. "PAPERbasket solves the missing link to give real, accurate data to know when and if resources are being used."
While a few companies have emerged in the user analytics space, their approach to data collection varies greatly, often leaving major gaps in the validity of their data. "That differentiation can make a meaningful difference in the data and ultimately in the reports generated," Onderko added. In the past school year, companies have introduced methods to collect data by compiling claimed use direct from specific publishers, by accessing click-throughs from single sign-on tools or by installing passive DNS appliances on their school networks. In every one of those models, collection methods are unable to collect a true comprehensive picture of edtech usage across the institution, as reflected on the diagram featured on our homepage, www.paperbasket.com.
Only PAPERbasket collects data directly from the device – the true source – across multiple operating systems, tracking active use of devices, software and web content whether at school, at home, or anywhere in between. It was this unique differentiation that helped the company win the "Best New Product" award for 2018.
PAPERbasket's mission is simple. We help educators maximize the return on their edtech spend with the first EdTech Adoption Metering Solution. PAPERbasket's patent-pending solution measures exactly how much active and inactive time students and teachers are using devices as well as software and digital resources at school, at home, or anywhere in between. To learn more about PAPERbasket, watch our 60-second video at www.paperbasket.com and follow us on Twitter @PAPERbasketEDU (http://www.twitter.com/paperbasketedu).
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