Designing Systems for Fluid Teacher Adoption

Location: F151 Level: Intermediate
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Over our 8 years, we have learned an immense amount about putting systems in place for student management and teaching and learning. Currently, we use a mix of open source, in house and closed source software to handle everything from day to day curriculum to alumni relations.

Looking at software through the eyes of a teacher gives us insight on how to design products for rapid adoption. In many cases small additions pay huge dividends for faculty. The future of educational software is distinct systems that communicate well, all-in-one proprietary systems are incapable of keeping pace with the evolution of human communication.

The minimum feature set then becomes a strong API and adherence to open standards such as LTI. In our environment we add to the mix our own software (built on Ruby on Rails) to integrate our various products. These custom integration are far easier to do in the open source world than in the proprietary as you can see the code, you can talk to the people working on the project and the ethos is by default one of sharing.

Our ecosystem uses the following open source products Ubuntu, MySQL, WordPress, Canvas, OnlineGrades, Ruby on Rails, Freeradius, PHP and hundreds of small packages too numerous to mention we link into aruba wireless controllers, ruckus wireless controllers, active directory, filemaker and even sharepoint to build an environment that floats information to the surface for teachers, gives them educational tools and lowers the transaction costs for teaching well.

Photo of Jonathan Briggs

Jonathan Briggs

Eastside Preparatory School

Director of Technology – Eastside Prep
Physics Teacher
TEDxEastsidePrep – Organizer


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