CatchOn’s mission is to support teaching and learning through the smarter use of data and technology. By capturing and sharing insights on which technologies are truly effective for schools, learning outcomes can be improved at a lower cost, thereby providing a gateway to a higher quality education for more students.
The company was founded in 2016 by Jena Draper, who, as a recent graduate, recognized that school districts often face challenges when trying to apply generic, “one-size-fits-all” software applications to their specific teaching and learning needs. CatchOn was designed to help districts meet and adapt to changing needs and trends as they happen, through the use of real-time data and cutting-edge technology.
Before embarking on software design, Draper spoke with a diverse group of school districts across the country, and found that they were struggling to gauge how the devices and applications they had invested in were being used (or not) in their classrooms. Vendors were not making this usage data readily available to them, and the schools had the challenge of compiling myriad disparate data points to try and determine if students were even using these tools. CatchOn set out to serve as a neutral party that could arm school districts with data – that is, their data – to make informed choices about the apps and digital resources they were adopting. Giving schools a window into what students were really doing would allow them to support real and changing classroom needs, at an efficient cost.
The company launched its product at the SXSWedu conference in March 2017 and is an administrative tool that collects real-time data on every device type and all app, software and website activity. CatchOn supports iOS, Mac OS, Windows Surface, Android and Chromebook devices. The tool provides granular evidence on what’s happening digitally in classrooms, enabling district leaders to make data-rich decisions about app use, implementation fidelity, cost and ROI.
Since the launch districts with a combined enrollment of more than 1 million students implemented CatchOn to optimize their digital resources.