InBloom, the Gates-funded nonprofit that houses student data in the cloud, will ‘wind down,’ according to a Monday announcement by CEO Iwan Streichenberger.
InBloom found itself in a swirl of controversy over how student data would be used, culminating earlier this month with New York passing a bill stopping student data from being collected or stored in a dashboard or portal by third-parties. Parents in several states were skeptical of how the company would use the data it collected.
- "The unavailability of this technology is a real missed opportunity for teachers and school districts seeking to improve student learning," Streichenberger wrote in Monday's release. His sentiments were echoed by a Gates Foundation statement: "Teachers should be able to easily support the individual learning needs of students. We believe the technology behind inBloom is an important part of making that a reality."
The shuttering of inBloom is a blow not only for the company, but for the Gates Foundation, which gave the company over $16 million in 2012. Gates is a backer of both inBloom and the Common Core, which has also seen its fair share of controversy.
While the Common Core is more nationally known, inBloom represents a different national trend: the metric-breakdown of education.
While we live in an era of constant data mining and social media connectivity, the failure of inBloom indicates a fear of privacy encroachment. For companies looking to get into the education data game, inBloom should serve as a cautionary tale of what education stakeholders are and aren’t comfortable with.