How do you find the best web 2.0 education tools? Do you do some arbitrary Google searches, check out the Edudemic ‘Best Of’ list, or ask a colleague? There’s truly not a one-stop-shop for the best tools … until now.
ClassroomWindow, a new Needham, MA startup is set to become your main guide to finding the best tools from around the world. Boasting data-driven results that feature everything from student test scores to publicly-available research, the directory will be a great place to find new and exciting education technology.
According to Kirby Salerno, founder of ClassroomWindow, the current method that schools use to obtain new technology is essentially a crapshoot. “It was never really clear to me why we won or lost a deal,” Salerno said. “For one of the biggest deals we won, a multi-million-dollar deal, I think it was because the superintendent liked me.”
The ClassroomWindow slogan is “Where the best solutions win” which speaks volumes about how the rankings will be organized. The site will feature a style similar to Trip Advisor and Yelp. As a user, you’ll be able to offer reviews, tips and tricks, and of course vote for your favorite tool.
Salerno says everything from textbooks, to iPad apps, to interactive white boards and overhead projectors should find a place on the site. He expects that along with reviews, teachers will also offer up tips on how to modify products and technologies to make them more effective in the classroom.
Salerno expects ClassroomWindow to be fully launched by 2013. But he’s not planning to wait until then to make a business out of it; he expects to start earning revenue from vendors by the middle of next year. He plans to charge vendors a subscription to get access to an online dashboard that will let them zero in on reviews about their own products and data on competitors’ products.
School districts will also be expected to pay a subscription to get a custom dashboard, which is expected to be inexpensive. But using the site will always be free for individual teachers, Salerno said.
ClassroomWindow is starting out with a private beta to a few hundred educators around the country.
DISCLOSURE: Jeff Dunn is on the board of advisors for ClassroomWindow.