Key Considerations in Selecting a Digital Backbone for your K-12 School
October 6, 2020

The COVID19 pandemic revealed in the starkest relief yet how the nation’s K-12 school districts, comprising more than 50 million students, critically need new technology to meet the demands of remote learning, to achieve the resilience in education that our kids need.

The most deeply ingrained problems showed up immediately and were, sadly, no surprise: students in rural areas and underserved urban communities had no computers or internet access. Teachers had no experience and little instruction on remote learning’s capabilities. And many parents felt pressured either to continue working or to compromise their family finances to stay home to help their children gain a context for their learning experiences.

Add to those problems students who predictably went AWOL with difficult to use and low-quality platforms, and school administrators forced to plan until the last minute for in-person, hybrid and all-remote learning possibilities. Yet it wasn’t for lack of trying.

A “Chicago Connected” program aims to provide free, high-speed Internet access to 100,000 Chicago Public Schools’ students’ homes. In August, the families of 24,000 students had signed up. In Los Angeles, 60 percent of students participated daily in online learning during the spring, the school district superintendent said. The Fall term sought to boost that showing by requiring teachers to report absences and develop outreach programs to find left-behind students.

Privacy issues popped up, too. An e-learning tool that Chicago Public School teachers used inadvertently gave them access to tens of thousands of students’ computer cameras and microphones. The situation, quickly fixed, let teachers “look” into students’ home without families’ permission or knowledge.

The bottom line: Schools desperately need an easy-to-use backbone that’s simple to use and to learn.

What can resolve such seemingly overwhelming hurdles?

  • Compliance

    Platforms that sell data fall short of an all-important requirement: Conforming to federal laws such as the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) that protects student records’ privacy, and the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) regulation that aims to let people control their personal data, among others.  

    FERPA applies to schools that receive funds from a pertinent U.S. Department of Education program.
  • Security

    Everyone has heard a horror story such as a repugnant, even horrifying video suddenly taking over an eighth-grade remote Zoom class and other such Zoom-bombing incidents. Only after the traumatizing images sear children’s imaginations do teachers get trained in setting up passwords, requiring authorization limits and establishing security parameters. The answer is a solution that defaults to a secure setting and enables teachers and administrators to stay in control.
  • Ease of use

    A first-class platform requires sophisticated software that performs a variety of functions so teachers and administrators can focus on their work.
  • Engaging interfaces

    Rather than require parents to struggle to keep their children focused, the solution must rivet the students’ attention and enhance their ability to engage with teachers.
  • Capable of accommodating many kinds of learning experiences, as well as both traditional and competency-based learning.

    Educators are starting to realize that students’ fear, whether of getting a B instead of an A or disappointing their parents, isn’t a true learning motivator. So they’re increasingly turning to competency-based learning practices in which learning is best measured by students demonstrating mastery of learning, rather than the number of hours spent in a classroom. The assessments aren’t based on competitiveness, but are participatory and evidence-based.

The bottom line: School districts need software designed for LEARNING — not repurposed or free software meant for casual interaction.

How Amesite Meets These Needs

Amesite, Inc., uses artificial intelligence technologies that are:

  • Scalable
  • Secure
  • Single platform
  • Modern and sophisticated code architecture that can grow with you

Amesite meets these critically important requirements with customized environments, up-to-the-minute, curated content, and easy-to-manage interfaces for instructors and students and learners. Our remote learning and working platforms have been deployed throughout the country. And the move into the business and management consulting sector is a crucial next step in helping the economy recover.

We convert customer content onto our proprietary platform, or generate content for our customers, and use the proprietary data we collect on learner behavior and responses with their consent, to deliver to learners engaging, effective college courses. We aim to reduce the cost of delivering outstanding online learning products, and improve learner experience and performance.

Our codestack offers the ability to curate information in real time and our business model enables us to generate content rapidly. We consider it a core part of our business to be continually seeking opportunities to adapt our platform into new areas.

Our architecture enables us to achieve full integration of best-in-class third party tools and custom-built features, delivering on-demand and as-needed, such as leading calendar platform integrations, and high quality, encrypted video calling. We believe that online learning products are essential for accessibility, engagement and scalability for educational institutions and businesses alike.