Applications, Integration, and Data

June, 2022 We had our first Open Source Support Briefing for uPortal this year on April 27th. We covered Q4 of 2021 and Q1 of 2022.The uPortal OSS Periodic Briefing is an opportunity to share the contributions performed by Unicon on behalf of the OSS program, highlight Unicon's perspective on contributions, share happenings in the community, and describe opportunities to engage further with Unicon.
June, 2022 We’ve touched on Edu-API in this space previously, and those of you who know me have heard me talk about it, if not ad infinitum certainly ad nauseum. Perhaps naturally enough, with my own background in SIS product development and integration, the impetus behind the development of Edu-API is a problem space that has driven much of my career in edtech.
February, 2022 One interesting and unforeseen result of the global health crisis is that both individuals and corporations alike are finding the need to take a pause. This pause provides a moment to re-evaluate not only where we are, but also where we want to go. For me, the pandemic has allowed me to take a step back and take stock in both my personal life and professional career. In my personal life, I have been asking myself the following questions:
October, 2021 Unicon and Instructure are close partners. We work together with the Instructure team to offer support services, participate in joint projects, and collaborate in support of offering the best services to our clients. It is refreshing to work with the Instructure team where our professional relationship revolves around providing the best service to our clients.
September, 2021 Unicon had the unique opportunity to collaborate with Indiana University in support of their Terracotta Project effort, and I had the privilege to be a part of this project. Per their website, “Terracotta is an innovative experimental research platform that supports teachers’ and researchers’ abilities to easily run experiments in live classes.”
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 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.
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 interdependency...
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...
February, 2021 I remember long car rides on summer vacation with my parents where my mom was in the front seat with a large map on her lap helping my dad navigate through new cities and towns.