Education technology company Clever has created a simpler way for students in K-2 classrooms to log into their computers, a process that it says will cut down on the time teachers have to spend before actually diving into the day’s lesson plan. Called Clever Badges, it lets students take physical badges and scan them with the computer’s camera to instantly gain access.
Right now, there’s a conflict between privacy and accessibility — everyone wants to protect individual user data, but it’s difficult for young students to use complex passwords to secure that information. In fact, Clever said that weak passwords are often used, or are even written on a chalk board. Clever Badges are intended to overcome this issue.
The company customizes these physical badges with codes configured for each student, and the badges are then distributed by the teacher. Students can decorate their badge however they want, and when it’s time to begin learning, they visit the Clever Instant Login page and hold their badge up against the Chromebook camera to have it scanned. At the end of class, teachers collect the badges for safekeeping.
Clever told VentureBeat that it has piloted its identity mechanism with 200 pre-K and kindergarten students at the Rocketship Brilliant Minds school. Based on this test, the company said: “Rocketship’s pre-K teacher estimates that the kids spend between 1 and 5 minutes on average typing in their password per session. With Clever Badges they take about 10 seconds to learn the first time and then about two to three seconds each time thereafter.” Other schools using this system include the Aspire school in Oakland and four other schools in the Oakland Unified School District.
A 2012 graduate of Y Combinator, Clever is a technology platform for schools. It currently services 51,000 academic institutions throughout the U.S., giving educational-focused apps direct pipeline access to classrooms. By doing so, it eliminates frustrations developers and administrators may have in getting things synced up between the two systems. Schools are not charged anything to use Clever.