The Legacy of inBloom

Organization: Data & Society Research Institute
Author: Monica Bulger, Patrick McCormick, and Mikaela Pitcan
Published: February 2, 2017

InBloom was an ambitious edtech initiative funded in 2011, launched in 2013, and ended in 2014. This report addresses why the story of inBloom is important. For some, inBloom’s story is one of contradiction: the initiative began with unprecedented scope and resources. And yet, its decline was swift and public. What caused a $100 million initiative with technical talent and political support to close in just one year? A key factor was the combination of the public’s low tolerance for risk and uncertainty and the inBloom initiative’s failure to communicate the benefits of its platform and achieve buy-in from key stakeholders. InBloom’s public failure to achieve its ambitions catalyzed discussions of student data privacy across the education ecosystem, resulting in student data privacy legislation, an industry pledge, and improved analysis of the risks and opportunities of student data use.