Complex Topics Explained Simply: Hashing

Why is it that websites require you to reset your password instead of just reminding you what it is? After all, they check your password when you enter it, can’t they just look it up? It turns out they can’t actually – websites don’t know your password and instead use a technique called “hashing” to check if what you log in with matches what you set when you created your account. This is strange! It seems like if I’m going to tell you whether or not something matches your password, I have to know what your password is, right? Well,…

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May 26, 2015

Give Your Sync a Summer Vacation

We’ve released a new sync “pause” function to manage school-year rollovers! Schools can now freeze data in their applications for the summer while they make changes in their SIS. What will happen when a school sync is paused for the summer? SFTP uploads will not be processed, and automatic syncs will not run. This means a school can make changes in their SIS without interrupting student and teacher access to applications. Schools can continue to update sharing permissions with applications, but an application’s sync status will appear as “paused” in the Clever Dashboard. What do schools need to do? We’ve…

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Setting the Bar Even Higher

At Clever, we have a clear commitment to student data privacy with three straightforward policies: We only collect personal information schools choose to share with us We only share data when schools instruct us to Schools always own their data We recently updated our terms and privacy policy to make that third commitment even stronger: In section 2 of our Privacy Policy: “In the event of a change of control: If we sell, divest or transfer our business, we will not transfer personal information of our customers unless the new owner intends to maintain and provide the Service as a…

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Apr 21, 2015

Welcome to Clever, Ben!

We’re so excited to announce Ben Adida has joined Clever as our VP of Engineering! Before Clever, Ben worked at Mozilla and most recently Square. Ben’s passion to use technology to make the world a better place is a perfect fit with our mission. Read more about Ben on his blog and on TechCrunch. Welcome to Clever, Ben!

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Mar 18, 2015

Open Sourcing Our Policies

Student Data privacy and security are our foremost responsibilities here at Clever. We invest heavily to ensure that we are improving privacy for schools, students, and teachers, and we make sure that everyone at Clever is constantly working towards this goal. About five months ago, we were made aware of aspects of our privacy policy that did not clearly and explicitly match our intentions. Our policy included a standard legal clause that allowed for changes to the policy without notification or consent from our schools. We didn’t intend to leave schools exposed in this way, but we knew that a…

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Sep 29, 2014

Clever and “Shellshock”

Clever’s Response to the “Shellshock” Security Issue Recently, a critical security issue was discovered and disclosed to the larger community. This issue, nicknamed Shellshock, could have allowed an attacker to take control of certain systems using specially crafted HTTP requests. The vulnerability came from a flaw in Bash, a tool used by the majority of Internet web servers, including some of Clever’s machines. Even though we had no reason to believe that any of our services were directly vulnerable, we immediately took action on Wednesday, September 24th to completely secure all of our systems. Our developers worked around the clock…

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Jul 23, 2014

Updates to the Developer Experience

Clever aims to deliver an amazing developer experience for our partners building off the Clever API. In the last few months we have rolled out our single sign-on solution, Instant Login; we have also focused on making it an incredibly simple experience for developers. There are few recent or upcoming changes that we want to share: Simpler developer environment We set up our developers with two applications: a development app and a production app. Previously, each of those apps had two sets of credentials. While this system was flexible, it was unnecessarily complex and confusing. Now, each application has a…

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May 14, 2014

Forget Passwords: Introducing Instant Login

In a previous blog post, we explored the pain of passwords in the classroom (just imagine getting a room full of second graders logged in to a website). Teachers lose countless hours to login problems, with 25% of online learning time lost. Today we’re excited to share a new solution to the password problem: Instant Login. How it works Instant Login offers students and teachers one-click access to learning software. They no longer need to keep track of multiple passwords. Students and teachers first sign into Clever using their existing school credentials. From Clever, they can click into any of…

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May 7, 2014

The Serverless School

Three years ago, I sat in a cramped data closet, sweating profusely and cursing at my servers. The combination of a heat wave and a power outage had turned one of my server closets into a sauna, frying the server hard drives inside. As the machines began restoring from backups and my teachers scrambled to remove technology from their lesson plans, I began to dream of a serverless school. In the past three years, the serverless school has gone from a dream to a reality. When I talk to tech directors opening up new schools this year, few even consider…

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May 1, 2014

Losing Class Time to Logins

The problem How many times do you reset a password each week? Anyone reading this post knows what a hassle it is to manage passwords for dozens of accounts. Teachers and students share the same pain, with dire consequences. If you’ve been a teacher, you know what it’s like to have those three students with their hands in the air, unable to log in, just as you’re finally ready to get kids started on the computers. A recent survey by MDR found that 25% of digital learning time is wasted on setup, troubleshooting, and logging in. One teacher writes, “Every…

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