Edsby differentiating itself: Analyst
The Electronic Education Report, a newsletter from Simba Information that has been publishing about technology in education for nearly twenty years, has published a front-page article profiling Edsby in a latest issue.
In the article Edsby Targets Engagement in LMS Offering, Edsby cofounder and vice president of sales Scott Welch notes Edsby was born out of a desire to build a great education product that would address a specific problem: dissatisfaction on the part of schools with tools for driving student and teacher engagement and providing parent access.
“The idea that you are going to move the needle in a district with a bunch of off-the-shelf tools that teachers are going to integrate themselves is unrealistic,” Welch said.
Welch said Edsby is not the same in any two districts. Rather, the product is highly customizable based on the policies, websites and gradebooks of each customer.
What is consistent is Edsby must operate in conjunction with a student information system. The SIS populates Edsby and is the system of record that drives it.
The result is there is no change to standard operating procedures and passwords when Edsby is implemented. According to Welch, this drives adoption to much higher levels than is typically seen with new technology products.
The article points out that all Edsby sites are paid accounts. There is no free downloadable version of the Edsby software. And when it is adopted, the system is used heavily, the profile notes. At Edsby’s single largest installation, Hillsborough County Public Schools in Florida, with 204,000 student accounts, 16,000 staff accounts and 53,000 parent accounts, up to 62% of all students (even including K-4 students!), 80% of staff and 22% of parents are logging in at least one time per week.
Almost half the users (47%) access Edsby solely by mobile device, while 44% use a mixture of web and mobile access and 9% access solely by web browsers.
“If you don’t have a truly mobile solution, you cut almost half of your potential users out,” Welch said. “Most LMS vendors are clueless about this.”
Edsby is a cloud-based product with upgrades and support managed in the cloud. Data is kept on Edsby’s secure server. Welch emphasized that the data is not mined, rented or sold by Edsby.
“Because we are not freemium, we are quite clear on who owns this data—the school district owns this data,” Welch said.
The focus on addressing parent access is one of the things that separates an LMS built for K-12 from an LMS repurposed from higher education, where the emphasis is on self-paced student learning, Welch said.
While a paid publication, this article and excerpts above are made available by special arrangement with Simba Information. To read the entire article, click here.
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