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Abre.io: Building simple, connected software that allows educators to focus on student growth

About Abre.io

Abre.io is an EdTech company that provides a software platform that centralizes all the tools to manage student information and learning management and for connecting students with programs they need in their community. A Google for Education Build Partner and Google Cloud Partner, Abre.io is available on the Chromebook App Hub.

Industries: Education
Location: United States

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Abre.io built a suite of software using App Engine and other Google Cloud products to provide educational solutions to meet the needs of the entire learning community.

Google Cloud results

  • Increases infrastructure scalability through flexible cloud technology
  • Saves time and money during peak platform and software usage periods
  • Enhances customer experience with platform thanks to increased innovation
  • Unlocks ability to leverage automation and machine learning

Helps further simplify software for better school and community performance

With education budgets consistently tight across the U.S., technology costs—from purchasing and deploying to ongoing management—play a big role in any school’s decision to adopt new solutions. Fortunately, there are some education technology (EdTech) companies providing powerful tools to drive positive student growth. But these new solutions are only effective when teachers and students can quickly and easily access and learn to use them.

When Chris Rose, VP of Product and co-founder of Abre.io, was a high school math teacher, he saw a flood of new technologies enter the classroom. He also saw schools struggle with many of those technologies, ending up with costly and complicated solutions. He decided to create a platform to alleviate the strain and unleash the power of software in education.

“Abre.io started and grew for three years in the school where I taught, which was an incredible testing ground,” says Chris. “After three years of building and refining our toolset, we began to make it available to other schools.”

Chris and Zach Vander Veen, VP of Instruction and co-founder, knew that their product would require cloud computing to ensure the platform’s reliability, accessibility, and usefulness. Abre.io decided to partner with Google Cloud for its education ecosystem and powerful IT infrastructure solutions.

“We had a lot of work to do in the first six months after establishing the company and offering the platform to other districts. We had to scale our infrastructure to meet the demands of multiple school districts while ensuring quick response times. Google Cloud was the clear choice for us.”

Chris Rose, VP of Product and co-founder, Abre.io

Abre.io focuses on being simple to learn and use

Schools and individual teachers adopt a variety of software. Software management has become integral to the successful use of technology in classrooms, but schools also have to consider teachers who might be less comfortable with technology.

“Abre.io was built with the goal of centralizing technology management in schools,” says James Stoffer, Chief Executive Officer of Abre.io. “Everything we do is built off of the simple question of how we can simplify software environments for schools.”

Abre.io devised a platform to consolidate and simplify software, centralizing data from different applications, and to integrate systems, reduce costs, and shorten the time to train teachers through an intuitive interface built using Google Material Design. The result is a platform that gives teachers, students, and families access to modern education software and saves time to focus on what matters most—teaching and learning.

Abre.io offers its flexible platform to address the unique challenges of school. After years of real-world testing in a single school district, the company knew it needed to scale to serve more educators and students.

The company’s all-in-one software platform supports activities both in and out of the classroom, including learning management, professional learning, and community engagement. Abre.io is flexible, so it can be a one-stop shop for schools ready to consolidate their software, or solutions can be purchased individually.

All of the solutions Abre.io offers provide fast implementation and familiar, simple interfaces to help teachers, students, and families focus on the task at hand rather than on the software.

“Teachers didn’t enter education to focus all of their time and effort on learning educational software—they did so to teach and enrich the lives of students,” says James. “Our approach is to give teachers tools that work quickly and support them rather than creating headaches.”

Abre.io offers a popular community engagement solution that helps to connect students with support programs from within both the community and the school. The solution tracks participation in these programs and measures student growth.

Integrating solutions that connect teachers, students, families, and the community while securely providing the right people visibility into a range of student data creates a greater likelihood of student success.

“It’s been great to transition to a new technology platform without having to spend too much capital on it. We’ve grown a lot, but there hasn’t been a linear impact on our budget. We’ve also not encountered any issues with uptime and latency, thanks to features like auto-scaling in Google Cloud.”

James Stoffer, Chief Executive Officer, Abre.io

Ensuring the Abre.io system can scale to match its rapid growth

“We had a lot of work to do in the first six months after establishing the company and offering the platform to other districts,” says Chris. “We had to scale our infrastructure to meet the demands of multiple school districts while ensuring quick response times. Google Cloud was the clear choice for us.”

Abre.io began using App Engine to auto scale its instances throughout the day, saving time and money while also providing the fastest speeds even during peak usage times. Cloud Storage enables easy integration of file storage into the application.

The combinations of App Engine, Cloud Storage, and Cloud SQL integrated into a single console makes it easy to expand into other services that benefit Abre.io while not having to devote time to other service integrations. Further, Compute Engine runs overnight processes and provides a SFTP drop location for customers.

“It’s been great to transition to a new technology platform without having to spend too much capital on it,” says James. “We’ve grown a lot, but there hasn’t been a linear impact on our budget. We’ve also not encountered any issues with uptime and latency, thanks to features like auto-scaling in Google Cloud.”

With its production environment, live services, data management, and other functions in Google Cloud, Abre.io saw an immediate impact on school districts that adopted the platform.

From there, the company adopted more Google Cloud solutions, such as Cloud Vision, to bring more value to users. Because students use Abre.io to upload school projects and assignments, Abre.io knew it was important to provide a way for teachers to easily monitor images. Vision API provides automated image vetting and content in real time and sends administrators alerts if inappropriate content is uploaded.

“As an early-stage company looking to increase product awareness, the Chromebook App Hub has been invaluable to us. And that’s just one of many benefits we enjoy from the Google partnership.”

James Stoffer, Chief Executive Officer, Abre.io

Capitalizing on the Google for Education ecosystem

Abre.io is part of the Google Cloud Partner Advantage Program, giving it access to a centralized set of training, marketing, and technology resources that at once boost the power of its platform and expand its visibility.

“As an early-stage company looking to increase product awareness, the Chromebook App Hub has been invaluable to us,” says James. “And that’s just one of many benefits we enjoy from the Google partnership.”

Abre.io also takes advantage of the large reach of Chromebooks, Google Workspace for Education, and Google Classroom across U.S. school districts. Integrating Abre.io as a learning management system in this ecosystem furthers the power of these technologies in the classroom and uses interfaces and collaboration software largely familiar to many teachers and students.

All of this combines to unlock the power of more advanced automation and machine learning technologies to enable teachers to offer students more personalized learning, build out curricula in a smarter way, and increase administrative efficiencies. Data-driven learning will be especially critical as factors such as COVID-19 push more aspects of education out of traditional classrooms and into the digital space.

“We’ve seen the so-called ‘EdTech hangover’ many times after a district purchases a lot of complex software and struggles to use it,” says Chris. “Google for Education, Abre.io, and other EdTech partners are simplifying technology so educators can focus more on teaching and improve student outcomes.”

Abre.io is available on the Chromebook App Hub.

Tell us your challenge. We're here to help.

Contact us

About Abre.io

Abre.io is an EdTech company that provides a software platform that centralizes all the tools to manage student information and learning management and for connecting students with programs they need in their community. A Google for Education Build Partner and Google Cloud Partner, Abre.io is available on the Chromebook App Hub.

Industries: Education
Location: United States