Meet Dave Tucker, Founder & CEO at Note Taking Solution: Glean

Glean exists to help learners from all backgrounds to gain the confidence, motivation and ability to build useful knowledge from the world’s information. Glean is the note-taking solution designed to improve learning from classes, lectures, and other environments; it scaffolds the learning process using best-practice techniques from cognitive science.

In a post-pandemic world, we believe that the greatest opportunity for global impact is to use technology to empower individuals themselves to learn better and to develop the skills and knowledge to be successful in a rapidly changing, globalised world, both in formal education and beyond.

Previously known as Sonocent, we have been supporting learners for over 14 years and now help 100,000s of users to improve their study skills by using spoken information more effectively.

Glean’s simple administration features are incredibly easy to use and make it effortless for institutions to invite, manage, monitor and support hundreds of students at a time. Students can easily capture audio from the class alongside any slides or handouts, making what’s important. This means that students can capture all of the information in one place, making it easier than ever to follow a class.


How did you come up with the idea for the company?

Glean’s vision has been born out of a decade’s experience working with students and educators whilst developing our original product, Sonocent Audio Notetaker. During this time I saw firsthand the challenges students with disabilities faced while studying and I realised many of these challenges were universal and born out of how we expect students to learn from class content.

I also saw the difference that relatively simple technology can have on an individual’s learning outcomes, as well as their own self confidence. Given that we spend so much of our time in classes, it felt imperative that we put focused attention into understanding how students of all abilities can learn better. It became clear to me that the ultimate learning product would be one that helped students develop the skills to learn better, simply by using it. This became one of the core aims of Glean.

I think my root interest in learning has stemmed partly from my own personal experiences of doing a degree in Japanese. In the space of three years, I went from zero ability to being highly proficient; the structured process of learning a completely new domain of knowledge helped develop an understanding of how we can learn effectively.


How has the company evolved during the pandemic?

According to McKinsey, digital transformation has accelerated by seven years due to COVID-19, as traditional classroom solutions no longer solve the challenges of learning in the online/offline hybrid environment. This has created a window of opportunity for us to integrate into the new digital learning ecosystem. We are now prioritising integrations with remote learning tools, such as Zoom, and offering functionality such as Q&A to enhance the interactive online lecture experience, as it is clear that the current student experience is lacking.

We have also pivoted our core product offering to universities, launching our ‘Glean for Education’ solution which aims to support entire departments with their digital transformation initiatives.

What can we hope to see from Glean in the future?

2021 is a big year for us, having recently rebranded from Sonocent to Glean. As Sonocent, we dedicated ourselves to improving learning for students with disabilities, becoming Glean marks a shift in our focus to improving learning for all. With this we aim to be more disruptive, to showcase our expertise, and provide learners with the ability to build their own tools for success.

We hope to increase the potential of the Glean platform by going to market with our new product with Zoom integration and capitalising on the opportunity it creates in Higher Education and K12.

Keep your eyes peeled, this is only the beginning!