Sobrato: The software we created, Alloy Learning, is a fully customizable online assessment tool. A teacher is able to use this online platform, which is web-based, to give any sort of assessment across any subject area. It allows teachers to input whatever information they want to assess the students on—which means the assessments are more closely aligned to the curriculum. Teachers get excited because they don’t have to do as much grading and can go paperless, and not waste as much time in class administering. I and the other team members realized the real power of the software is the ability to understand your students better through data. The tough thing for a teacher in the modern world is, you really have a heterogeneous classroom. There are so many different identities at play: gender, race, socioeconomic status, parent education level, special needs, what students’ language acquisition level is. You have to be able to drill down and know how to help them best. The software automatically pulls that information from the school and makes it accessible to any teacher within the school site. They can view all those facets of each student and support them and really help them achieve.
We’re trying to empower educators: making teachers not only more efficient but more intentional. Too often in education, without evidence and data, teachers don’t have to be intentional. That can lead to some bad outcomes for students. We read stories all the time about how the educational institutions in the United States are crumbling and students are not being prepared properly. We want to be doing our part to work on correcting that and make teachers stronger.