BrightBytes, an American educational analytics organization, recently raised $15 million to fund its international expansion and growth, and much of the funding will go toward data analytics. Data scientists at the organization collect information from schools across the United States – and soon the globe – and use analysis tools to extrapolate findings that are transforming the educational system.
"The ability to take the vast amount of data that's available about schools, make sense of it and use it to improve the education of millions of students has been incredibly rewarding," said Esthena Barlow, a BrightBytes data scientist.
Putting $15 million to good use
BrightBytes currently works with about 10,000 schools, implementing a program called "Clarity" to analyze and improve the way teachers and students use technology and other resources to fuel learning. Big data analysts work together with K-12 educators to find gaps in the educational process and uncover new ways they can improve how students are learning so they get the most out of their time in the classroom.
The main focus of BrightBytes' strategy is technology. According to TechCrunch, the organization looks at how technology is impacting schools and determining what problems are surfacing in its implementation, such as teachers being improperly trained in how to best use devices and other modern learning tools to reap the highest reward in terms of student learning.
Taking data analytics to a global stage
Since Clarity has proven successful for American schools, BrightBytes is ready to expand the program to educational facilities around the world. Clarity analyzes four different areas – classroom, access, skills and environment when it comes to students, faculty and administrators. In turn, it can help school officials choose the best technology upgrades for their facilities, allowing for the educational system to be personalized based on the needs of a particular student population. Clarity handles the big picture as well, allowing federal and state officials to more closely examine the impact of government spending and programs that affect education.
The program is designed to be used by anyone, and not just big data experts, making it easy for educators to access information that has the potential to change the way they teach children. By understanding the way schools are using funds and technology, administrators can better structure their spending to reap the most benefits for the student population.