Clickedu, the digital school in the cloud

Hundreds of schools are already using the academic, economic and administrative management provided by this Catalan startup's software

On Monday, classrooms were once again full with the return to school
On Monday, classrooms were once again full with the return to school
The digitalisation of schools is a process that parents, pupils and teaching staff all have to do together. To give them a hand with it, for the past 16 years the Catalan company Clickedu has provided hundreds of schools with management software that aims to make life easier (and more digital) for everyone associated with a school.

A program to educate all
Clickedu is school management software, a program in the cloud that helps with the tasks a school needs to do on a daily basis. That includes managing official documents, evaluation, marks, communicating with families, psychologists, applying diversity and all those tasks that take up the time of the teachers as well as the administrative staff. And all of it with cloud technology.

"Schools with little technology or that have not upgraded theirs, use office software, like Excel, which they use to make bills, while the teachers have notebooks with the names of the pupils on each page, beginning with Álvarez and finishing with Zamora, among other things," says Montserrat Brau, administrator of Clickedu. With the software from this large Catalan company set up with the help of Barcelona Activa, the problems arising from using these traditional methods can be resolved.

There are a great many advantages to a centralised database in the cloud that help with school management: "Everyone who makes changes to it is updating the data for everyone who consults it." That means that "if the parents of a child change their mobile phone number or separate, the data are updated so that communication can continue correctly and can even be duplicated so as to avoid errors, among other things." Moreover, the fact that the database is in the cloud means that it can be accessed from any device, whether computer, smartphone or tablet.

The software includes "personalisable but not separable options" and at the same time "options with a great many possible parameters." Thus, there a modules to manage timetables, marks, tutorials, lists, and so on. "When we configure the module for marks, for example, it can be configured by stage, course, styles, numerical evaluation or according to whether the mark is an excellent or sufficient, thereby adapting to the needs of the school."

Moreover, there is also the option of using a superstructure for school collectives, such as Vedruna, which is one of Clickedu's major clients. This option acts as an umbrella for coordinating some of the software options the different schools use "to make management and decision making easier among the group of schools." At the same time, an accountancy module can be added so that "many schools can outsource or delegate to a management agency."

One idea, one company
The seed for this company goes back to 2000, when it was set up along with partner Ignasi Nogués as a company devoted to ClickArt communication projects. "We made catalogues and cards, as well as websites for certain clients," says Brau. In fact, the company made one of the first digital catalogues for Phillips: "When we sent the distributors of the electrical appliances a disk with a pdf catalogue that could be searched by reference number and then took you directly to the page, it was received as something revolutionary!" The company can boast to being technologically strong from the very beginning.

"We had the immense luck to work for the Ipse school, who asked us to make its website and to add a tool for monitoring access to it," says Brau. They wanted to keep track of who could and who could not pick up their children from school at the end of the day: "It might seem a very easy thing, but it was very important. Even if it has no educational value, this issue can cause the school a lot of problems."

With a dedicated database the problem was solved "and they asked us to implement it." Little by little "we began to introduce improvements: staff, marks, accountancy..." until finally "it was no longer a website project, as it had become much more." As the project was so large, they proposed marketing the system they had designed.

Montserrat Brau is the head of Clickedu. Ceded

"We never imagined we were developing software as a service solution at a time, in 2004, when no one had yet heard of cloud technology. It did not take long for other schools to take an interest.

Company innovation in the school
With the restructuring of the teaching and the decline in lectures, change is part of a school's routine. That is why "Clickedu has no R&D department, because we do not carry out what we would like to do but rather what must be done," says Brau. The company collects feedback from the schools to improve the tool on a daily basis.

"Schools ask us to be the doorman, the cleaner, the teacher of PE, Latin, English, to deal with the official documentation, pay the salaries, produce the bills and oversee work done on the school." This is why innovation is required.

Catalan software in the schools of the world
The company, which had a turnover of 3 million euros last year, employs 53 people and is located in Barcelona's Poblenou neighbourhood, in the old Hispano Olivetti building. They also have offices in Madrid, Chile, Colombia, the UK and, from this September, also in Granollers.

The company's expansion into Latin American, Andorran and Anglo-Saxon markets in the past few years has led to the creation of an international department to deal with the needs of the schools abroad that use Clickedu. The new office in Granollers will be the site for the international department as well as the Clickedu commercial department.

Clickedu provides a service to more than 450 schools, most of which are in Catalonia. At the same time, "we have an ongoing process of internationalisation in England." The schools involved are public, private and semi-private, secular and religious, cooperatives, all sorts of schools. "We like to explain that the government of Andorra is working with us as are Terrassa's municipal schools," says the businesswoman.

Clickedu, wants to continue growing and helping schools to digitialise, and Brau adds that "we want to present the project to Barcelona's municipal schools."
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