Blogs

September, 2021 We are about a month in from the start of school for my kids here in Texas. Everyone has a renewed energy and is happy to be in person and engaging with their friends. I have two in high school and one that is a freshman in college. With the first month under our belt, I have reflected on some of the changes our local school district and university have implemented. I believe these are positive changes, made in response to the global health crisis, that will greatly benefit our kids in the long run.Social Emotional Learning (SEL) is at the forefront and attention of both school districts, as well as universities. SEL in schools helps educators reach out and help students both inside and...
August, 2021 I like to think of myself as a technology geek. I marvel at futuristic technology in science fiction shows like Star Trek and think - someday this will be our reality. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have a machine that materializes fully cooked food, non-invasively scans your body for disease, and allows one to be transported instantly across space? It is with this curiosity that I tend to regard AI as an advancement that should be allowed to grow and mature.
June, 2021 CAS server has provided several distributed Ticket Registry implementations out of the box for a long time now, the most popular being Hazelcast. With many of our clients using that ticket registry with at least two CAS nodes, we get asked questions like this all the time: “How do you verify that Hazelcast ticket registry is functioning properly once we have all the nodes configured and running?”
June, 2021 The Amazing LTI 1.3 Tool   At first glance, LTI 1.3 appears to be a magic solution to many of the complex problems of integration into the world of the Learning Management System (LMS). Your learning app can be launched from within the LMS, receive information about the student or educator which will provide an optimized user experience, integrate with LMS data analytics, plagiarism tools, and proctoring systems.
May, 2021 Identity and access management (IAM) engineers are in high demand. We often hear from customers that the one key person who was knowledgeable about their IAM solution and future needs has moved on to another position leaving the current staff with a gap in knowledge, expertise, and next steps.
April, 2021 In many course programs, even those that are offered in a wide variety of languages, there are non-native English speakers who opt to take their courses in English. These students are called English as a Foreign Language (EFL) or English as a Second Language (ESL) learners.
March, 2021 About a decade and a half ago, I was on the front lines delivering integrated education ecosystems. Mostly this was connecting publisher platforms to learning tools (today we’d call this connecting “learning companies” to “EdTechs”). In my team’s onboarding slide deck, we used a graphic of a plate of spaghetti as a visual representation of what integration ecosystems look like without standards. The visual illustrated the chaos that ensues when you create custom connections between and among each LMS, Courseware platform, and EdTech product. The ecosystem eventually achieves all the connections, but becomes a tangled mess in the process. Caught up in this tangle is onerous...
March, 2021 When Robert M. Gagne published The Conditions of Learning, he may not have realized that his desire to find better ways to teach people would blossom into the field we know as Instructional Design. Today, there are many different instructional design theories, models, and approaches that you can use. In fact, you may find that some firms adhere strictly to one instructional design model.
March, 2021 InCommon is a widely used federation in Higher Education. They have recently created the Metadata Distribution Query service and protocol (MDQ). The benefits of this new service are numerous. At Unicon we’ve seen clients experience half the memory usage in popular open source Single Sign On applications such as Shibboleth Identity Provider and Apereo CAS server after switching. 
March, 2021 For the past two hours you’ve been testing a customer’s LMS integration, and it just keeps failing. You’ve looked at the configuration and your own system logs; you’ve tried different user roles and link placements - it all fails. You go back and look at the LMS configuration one more time and notice some whitespace at the end of a configuration parameter. You remove the white space, save the configuration change, try the integration again, and (boom) it works. If that sounds familiar, you’ve probably asked yourself this question: why is customer onboarding, especially with respect to IMS Learning Tools Interoperability® (LTI®) integrations, so difficult?With the evolution of the IMS...
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