The Details & Backstory
Schoolzilla was launched by Aspire Public Schools, a leading charter school management company in California. The Aspire team currently serves over 12,000 predominantly underprivileged students. The goal of Schoolzilla is to create a platform for districts and teachers to quantify, analyze and, ultimately, effectively visualize student data. The CEO of Aspire, James Willcox, has extensive experience in leading school districts and has served as a principal at New Schools Venture Fund.
As a part of Schoolzilla's offerings, Aspire has created a separate training program to help teachers to become "data champions" (see vialogue below) and is meant to support a district's purchase of Tableau, a data visualization software. Currently, the Schoolzilla platform is powered by Tableau.
This startup was developed by a leading education stakeholder to serve educators in districts they provide service to. This in and of itself is a unique differentiation. While we are in the midst of a rise of "teacherpreneurs," for a whole district or managing organization to develop a platform to serve their educator's needs is truly a new direction. Despite the fact that Aspire is ultimately a reseller of the Tableau software, they are still creating a free platform for districts to access, share, and easily organize this proprietary information.
As we move forward with our own data analytics efforts and assess the needs of the EdLab and higher ed space, it may be valuable to explore the low-hanging fruit of creating a proprietary access point for visualization software we already use (or plan to use). Additionally, and perhaps most importantly, creating proprietary educational materials to help users become champions of their data will be a great opportunity to leverage both mSchool and Edfluences.
Schoolzilla is a fresh take on an often daunting problem; that is, making sense of student data.
The Schoolzilla "monster"...