From the Project Archives: Our Impact Over the Years
October 7, 2022
This week I was looking at some archived projects and was impressed by the depth and breadth of our work over our 25+ years. While you can see our most representative examples of our work with clients in our portfolio, what you can’t see are some of the more unique things we’ve done over the years. I’d like to share a few of those fun projects with you in this post that in their own way, helped improve the process and practice of teaching and learning.
Association of Educational Publishers
The Association of Educational Publishers (AEP) partnered with Creative Commons and Schema.org to create the Learning Resource Metadata Initiative (LRMI) to help solve the problem of discoverability and filtering search results of digital curriculum resources. For the project, AEP needed temporary “sandboxes” for publishers to explore the new LRMI standards, refine how they applied them to their existing workflow, and prepare new metadata that conformed with the standards.
We began by tracking the ongoing development work by other third-party contributors. As the associated technologies became stable in their development, we then provisioned technology infrastructure, installed the necessary components, and customized the configuration for each publisher sandbox. The LRMI sandboxes helped more than a dozen publishers during the pilot program.
Girls Thinking Global
Girls Thinking Global was seeking more effective ways to demonstrate their progress in empowering young women worldwide. They asked us to help develop a way for the organization’s donors, and other stakeholders to more easily understand the full extent of their efforts.
We first used empathy maps to determine which features would provide a more intuitive user experience, and prototyped the website to simulate how it should work in the future. After researching our options and designing the interface, we created a tool that allows visitors to connect with one another and share relevant resources. Compiling data for more than 250 organizations, we built an interface that can work graphically or through text, allowing for browsing and searching by a variety of parameters.
Having launched its innovative Success Highways curriculum, ScholarCentric sought out our expertise to help build and maintain their backend data collection, analysis, and reporting systems. Pleased with the results, ScholarCentric selected our team of experts to perform the technical implementation of a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant from the U.S. Department of Education to study different models of online content delivery for the Success Highways curriculum.
After performing an initial technical analysis, we performed mission-critical fixes to the legacy system as a stopgap measure while engineering a robust replacement solution. This included developing a new data validation and storage engine and a flexible report generating front-end. For the SBIR grant, we developed the underlying content delivery tool and interactive multimedia elements of the instructional content jointly developed with ScholarCentric.
Green Bronx Machine
The Green Bronx Machine’s self-contained garden model was shown to be effective, but needed a way to scale up—helping students around the world and not just in the Bronx. Stephen Ritz needed to find a way to reach and support teachers as they began their own classroom gardens, and was finding he had less and less time in between giving workshops, presentations, and tending to his own school garden in the Bronx. On the advice of the co-author of his new book, Stephen came to Clarity for help in furthering his reach and making his dream curriculum a reality.
We could see that part of Stephen’s success was infusing the garden project across the learning day, rather than confining it to science instruction—and that, most of all, it had to be fun! We worked closely with Stephen to understand what kinds of activities, resources, and assessments he had been using, and then brought our own expertise on student learning, teacher professional development, and national standards. We leveraged our content and pedagogical knowledge to create a nine-week, standards-based curriculum that includes math, science, ELA, social studies, and the arts— all in one easy-to-follow Teacher Guide. Each week, teachers are provided all the worksheet masters, activities, and assessments needed, and supported through differentiated activities and online resources.
Portland Metro STEM Partnership
The Portland Metro STEM Partnership (PMSP), a regional collaboration of STEM organizations, found an emerging need to connect partner organizations, educators, and administrators via an online community. PMSP sought assistance in designing and building out its sub-community, including finding a means to support a new “resource checkout” service that would allow educators to borrow science equipment for short periods.
Clarity created detailed requirements for the online community, including flow and structure, user access information, and content types. We integrated a custom PMSP look and feel by customizing the default styling of the host Jive site. In order to support the need for resource checkout, we also developed a separate yet integrated Drupal-based site where educators can browse a library of equipment and send reservations that are easily managed by PMSP staff.
It’s so exciting to see the ways that Clarity has helped make a difference in education. Over the past few months, I’ve learned so much about the ways that Clarity helps to “imagine, design, and build the future of education.” We have had the opportunity to work with some of the biggest names in edtech helping make a difference for millions of educators worldwide. It’s also rewarding to know that our team is trusted by smaller organizations that are making a difference in education in big ways. I look forward to posting a few more blogs on archived projects.