As everyone is gearing up for TLISI next week, our hackathon this week was really short. We brainstormed on a few topics that we we’ll work to evolve into app ideas. Here’s a rundown of what we covered:

  • Canvas API

    Canvas offers an extensive API that allows developers to extract data from courses, and to build new LTI apps that integrate existing services into the platform. There are a lot of possibilities, but it all starts with getting a token, which will allow us to gain access to this functionality. Bill put in a request this morning for a token. Once we hear back from Instructure, we plan on using a test course to better understand how we’ll use their API.

  • New Relic

    New Relic is a service that provides analytics on websites and apps. At CNDLS, we use New Relic for many sites to monitor performance. Recently, Bill attended a conference where presenters showed the applications that make up the new Relic service: APM, for monitoring how well our application code performs in response to all of our users’ actions, Server, for monitoring the operating systems on which our applications are installed, and Synthetics, which allow us to simulate browser requests, to help us forecast how our applications will work. One of the exciting insights at the conference was their Insights product, which allows us to quickly create dashboards to monitor particular applications and/or situations our users may encounter. A great benefit of Insights is the ability to import our own time-based data, and to construct dashboard elements about it, which we can embed in our own applications. These dashboard elements can be as simple as reporting the total of a certain kind of request, to a visualization of pretty much anything reported by the data (eg; average scores for the quizzes in a Canvas course).

    We’re thinking of ways of using this powerful monitoring/visualization feature to gain insight into how several of our apps are performing in real time.

  • Brainstorming TLISI/Event App

    With only a couple of days before TLISI is in full swing, we played around with the idea of managing event experiences through the eyes of a participant. Think about what you get out of a conference: learning new information, better understanding of problems, meeting people with the same interests and the great conversations that come from those meetings. How, as a participant, do you capture that? What would be a good way to organize and synthesize the experience?

    There are a lot of conference apps already available, but we tried to key in on what would be right for a CNDLS-specific audience. We always emphasize security and privacy, and we’re also interested in hearing feedback from participants, so those were two lines of thought that guided our conversation. We’ll pay attention to what’s happening at TLISI next week for more ideas.

Today was an idea brainstorming/information-sharing session, so we didn’t break open the text editors. But we’ll keep you up to date on these ideas as they take form.