Doing the bright thing.
A different kind of company
As the first Certified B Corporation serving the education technology industry, and a founding participant in GIIRS (Global Impact Investing Rating System), Skoodat meets rigorous, independent standards of environmental and social performance.
Our triple-bottom-line commitments.
Skoodat focuses on improving our communities by giving back, particularly in the area of education, based on the 1/1/1, triple-bottom-line model. Skoodat has established a minimum standard of 1% time, 1% technology and 1% resources to leverage our core strengths on behalf of our communities.
1% time. Skoodat employees volunteer and get engaged in the local community. Every year, each Skoodat employee is encouraged take at least three days of paid time-off for volunteer projects.
1% technology. In addition to developing special, pro bono customizations unique to the needs of nonprofit and education organizations, Skoodat deeply discounts certain application licenses for qualified nonprofit and education organizations.
1% resources. Skoodat focuses on making matching contributions to qualified nonprofits in our local communities, particularly those connected to employee volunteer time. Our goal is to contribute up to 1% of net profits.
The environmental impact.
Education organizations have made a tremendous investment in computing hardware and software, mostly using a client-server model, which requires expensive server equipment, racks to store them, load balancing hardware and software, cooling systems, and increased building footprints. Billions of dollars have been put into building local server rooms for each school and district. This trend is akin to building individual electrical and water production services for each school, as was common in the early part of the 20th century. But just as 90% of schools plugged into electric and water grids by 1930, Skoodat is making it possible to move computing power to a utility model in the cloud.
Cloud computing benefits the environment by enabling shared, optimized resources. An average school runs at least ten servers, often many more. Large districts may have hundreds of servers. There are significant environmental problems created by the build-it-yourself strategy. First, all of the servers installed by schools and districts require physical space, increasing the footprint of school and administration facilities. This space costs public tax dollars to build and maintain. But this is just the tip of the iceberg.
A school must purchase, install and power enough servers to handle peak usage, which may only occur for a few minutes per day. All the servers continue to run throughout the day and often all night, even though only one or two are required throughout those time periods. The heat generated by these inefficient (not to mention extremely noisy) server rooms is voluminous. So not only is excessive power used to keep the servers running, additional power is needed to cool them down. What’s worse, the average server will only last about 4 years until it is retired, often contributing to toxic waste in landfills.
Skoodat platform-as-a-service and software-as-a-service solutions are built in the cloud, using a platform-as-a-service strategy. There are two significant environmental benefits to our production strategy.
First, by building our software-as-a-service in the cloud, Skoodat helps educational institutions get out of the technology infrastructure business and into the education innovation business. Skoodat solutions contribute to environmental responsibility, as no local servers will be required. Moving power- and space-hungry data processing to the cloud has the potential to reduce inefficient server rooms by up to 90%. By consolidating computing power within centralized and highly optimized cloud server facilities, Skoodat solutions can dramatically decrease the environmental impact of educational computing by balancing the load among thousands of schools and districts around the world.
Second, Skoodat walks the talk. We have no on-site servers. Instead we have made an intentional decision to run a cloud-based customer relationship management system, email system, and document storage and creation services. Furthermore, all of Skoodat products are developed on a cloud-based platform. This enables us to eliminate the need for on-site servers to develop, test and host our applications. This delivers dramatic cost savings while dramatically reducing our impact on the environment. Keeping all of Skoodat’s product and service delivery functions in the cloud also allows us to better serve our customers, as marketing, sales, development and support information is available from anywhere. Our employees and contractors can (and are encouraged to) work from home, reducing travel time and consumption of fossil fuels.
At Skoodat, we're committed to stewardship of the earth. As our business grows, we want to make sure we minimize and even eliminate any
negative impact on the earth's climate and natural resources, while helping education organizations follow in the same path. So we’re taking every step
we can to implement innovative and responsible environmental practices across our company to reduce our carbon footprint, ensure efficient computing and
to help our employees, partners and customers follow the same practices. Achieving Carbon neutrality is one of the first steps in reducing a corporation's environmental footprint.
In this regard, we are committed to every employee following the following guidelines, based upon the
Sierra Club's 10 Ways
to Go Green at Work recommendations.
The social impact.
Despite the massive infrastructure build-out by schools and districts, student learning has not substantially improved in our schools. In many instances, learning is still in decline, particularly among underserved communities in both rural and urban areas. We believe this is because too much attention and money has been paid to the wrong things. Specifically, instead of focusing on education innovation, schools have been focusing on building and maintaining their own computing utilities. They are focused on things that are not and should never be their core competency.
Skoodat built the first cloud platform for education, bringing a host of new applications and customization capabilities to schools that were never before possible. Cloud computing is perhaps the most potent force toward democratizing education since the invention of the personal computer. Why? Applications delivered over the Internet through massive computing utilities can deliver phenomenal new capabilities never imagined in the personal computer era. With cloud computing, the Internet becomes the computer, unleashing tremendous speed, gigantic storage capacity, and distributed computing power. For education this means underfunded schools no longer have to miss out on the data processing power afforded by more affluent districts. A web browser and an Internet connection can provide a small, rural school with access to the same level of capabilities as a school in downtown San Francisco. People can participate from home, work, a wheelchair or a car. Any place with an Internet connection becomes a place where learning can take place.
Skoodat is turning the tables, providing high quality data capabilities to those under-served schools who have traditionally been forced to go without due to lack of funding. All schools can cease wasting education dollars on the old client-server approach and reallocate those dollars to teaching and learning. We fully expect Skoodat applications to save hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars across the USA alone, enabling those dollars to be refocused directly on learning-focused initiatives.
Traditional software production processes create closed, proprietary systems, where schools cannot customize the most available
software to fit their individual needs. With our unique platform, educators can still customize their software, then upgrade without expensive rewriting of code.
Closed software limits innovation. Skoodat’s methods of production create a very different scenario.
Meeting challenges head on.
More than 30 years ago, educators began exploring how schools with high numbers of disadvantaged students could be as successful as schools in more advantaged communities. Preparing all students to thrive continues to present a set of unmet challenges. The educational achievement gap between the performance of white students and minority students, including Native Americans, is widening. The economic success of our nation hinges on changing our educational system to address these concerns.
Skoodat solutions enable innovation to fulfill the promise of learning for all. We envision an education system where every person can master competencies that will improve their ability to positively contribute to society. Unlike a "sorting" system, the education system of the 21st century must focus on learning for all, preparing each person for the information economy and active participation in the public square. Research has proven that all can learn and that technology can play a key role in enacting a movement toward learning for all. We aim to bring equity to the system, ensuring that the needs of underserved communities are met though innovative approaches to gathering and reporting on education data to promote rapid intervention.
Skoodat applications were conceived to accomplish the goal of making education data meaningful, for everyone, in real time. Research indicates that certain school characteristics lead to increased student achievement and performance, even in schools with large numbers of disadvantaged students. High-achieving schools exhibit high expectations for success, frequent monitoring of student progress, a clear mission, instructional leadership, improved opportunities to learn and time on task, a safe and orderly environment, and positive home-school relations. Skoodat applications support these characteristics with the full intent to reach all underserved populations in the following ways:
High expectations for success. Skoodat applications enable schools and staff to define expectations and measure mastery of those expectations. Though it may seem obvious, most students, parents and even teachers in unsuccessful schools do not know what essential content and skills should be mastered at each grade level. Skoodat applications help all education stakeholders get on the same page, so that every parent, student and teacher understands what should be learned and when. As a result, schools can set, communicate and measure high goals for their students, and focus professional development activities around building classroom environments that support and nurture students in appropriate ways.
Frequent monitoring of student progress. Skoodat applications make ongoing, realtime assessment possible so that teachers can effectively individualize instruction for underserved students. Skoodat applications help teachers assess students, determine areas in which they need help, and plan or change the instruction to meet individual needs. The capacity to gather and respond to student performance data promotes higher levels of student achievement, particularly among student populations that are more likely to fall behind without such intervention.
Clear school mission. Skoodat applications will help teachers aligning curriculum with instruction and assessment to provide teachers with a successful learning system. Skoodat applications make sure that instruction follows established curriculum, creating a higher likelihood that students will be taught the material they will need to be successful at their grade level.
Instructional leadership. Skoodat applications, particularly because they are cloud-based and accessible from anywhere with an Internet connection, promote a collaborative decision-making model. Administrators can include staff in key decisions regarding school matters as well as curriculum and instruction. In addition, work-flow approvals can be incorporated at every level of the school organization.
Opportunity to learn and student time on task. Skoodat applications enable teachers to spend more time in planned learning activities and less time on repetitive administrative tasks. Teachers will be able to allocate more classroom time to instruction in the essential content. In addition, Skoodat applications make it easy for teachers and administrators to collaborate across grade levels and curriculum areas, helping students receive the support they need to succeed.
Safe and orderly environment. Skoodat applications help to create an orderly, purposeful, businesslike atmosphere that is free from the threat of physical harm by giving teachers the ability to monitor, report and share information related to student behavior.
Positive home-school relations. Skoodat applications promote family involvement in a child’s education to positively impact student achievement. Through parent and student portals, Skoodat applications help schools work together with families and encourage participation in the school and at home. This helps students to learn and meet grade level expectations.
At Skoodat, we deliver cloud apps and agile development components to help you innovate more quickly and flexibly.
We use cloud technologies to dramatically reduce your environmental impact and costs. Skoodat makes data useful, in real time.
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