Application Security
5/9/2013
01:43 PM
Connect Directly
Facebook
Google+
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Education Tech Vendors Launch Apps Contest

Learning management systems (LMS) vendors hope awards program will spur educational apps development.

12 Open Educational Resources: From Khan to MIT
12 Open Educational Resources: From Khan to MIT
(click image for slideshow)
Will cash prizes and bragging rights encourage software developers to build educational applications?

That's the hope of a group of learning management system (LMS) vendors, who have joined forces to announce an awards program at the IMS Global Learning Consortium Conference in San Diego, Calif., on Monday.

"Edtech isn't the ecosystem it should be," Brian Whitmer, co-founder and chief product officer at Instructure, maker of the Canvas LMS, told InformationWeek in a phone interview. "It's too hard for new entrants to get in."

Along with LMS makers Blackboard and Desire2Learn, Instructure wants to encourage developers to use the IMS' Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) standard for building applications. The awards program is a way to promote LTI.

[ Want more on Canvas? Read Canvas LMS Maker Launches Open Education Apps Directory. ]

Under the LTI Apps Bounty, any qualifying app will receive $250; winners will receive an additional $1,000. Winners will be announced on June 20.

LTI is a specification that seeks to establish a standard way of integrating learning applications with platforms such as learning management systems, portals or other educational environments. In LTI parlance, learning applications are called "tools" and the learning management system is the "tool consumer." For example, Canvas is written in Ruby, Blackboard is written in Java and Desire2Learn is built in the .NET Framework -- but all of these "tool consumers" can use LTI-compliant "tools."

IMS Global hosts a catalog of LTS-compatible software and platforms here.

"Yes, there are barriers to entry [in the education software market] and providing financial incentives to enter is a good idea," Benjamin Jones, an associate professor at Kellogg School of Management and faculty director of the Kellogg Innovation and Entrepreneurship Initiative (KIEI), said in a phone interview.

But Jones went on to say schools and school districts won't buy software until they are convinced about the effectiveness of these applications. "There's still a challenge proving these products work," he said.

Jones, along with Duke University business professor Aaron Chatterji, is building Edu Star, a cloud-based platform that will, among other things, offer empirical rankings of educational software.

To get the word out about the awards, the companies are alerting their respective developer communities, school customers and social media channels. Details about the awards program -- including submission and judging criteria, as well as a submission form -- are available here. All entries must be submitted by midnight Mountain Daylight Time on June 10.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Flash Poll
DevOps’ Impact on Application Security
DevOps’ Impact on Application Security
Managing the interdependency between software and infrastructure is a thorny challenge. Often, it’s a “developers are from Mars, systems engineers are from Venus” situation.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2015-4231
Published: 2015-07-03
The Python interpreter in Cisco NX-OS 6.2(8a) on Nexus 7000 devices allows local users to bypass intended access restrictions and delete an arbitrary VDC's files by leveraging administrative privileges in one VDC, aka Bug ID CSCur08416.

CVE-2015-4232
Published: 2015-07-03
Cisco NX-OS 6.2(10) on Nexus and MDS 9000 devices allows local users to execute arbitrary OS commands by entering crafted tar parameters in the CLI, aka Bug ID CSCus44856.

CVE-2015-4234
Published: 2015-07-03
Cisco NX-OS 6.0(2) and 6.2(2) on Nexus devices has an improper OS configuration, which allows local users to obtain root access via unspecified input to the Python interpreter, aka Bug IDs CSCun02887, CSCur00115, and CSCur00127.

CVE-2015-4237
Published: 2015-07-03
The CLI parser in Cisco NX-OS 4.1(2)E1(1), 6.2(11b), 6.2(12), 7.2(0)ZZ(99.1), 7.2(0)ZZ(99.3), and 9.1(1)SV1(3.1.8) on Nexus devices allows local users to execute arbitrary OS commands via crafted characters in a filename, aka Bug IDs CSCuv08491, CSCuv08443, CSCuv08480, CSCuv08448, CSCuu99291, CSCuv0...

CVE-2015-4239
Published: 2015-07-03
Cisco Adaptive Security Appliance (ASA) Software 9.3(2.243) and 100.13(0.21) allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (device reload) by sending crafted OSPFv2 packets on the local network, aka Bug ID CSCus84220.

Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
Marc Spitler, co-author of the Verizon DBIR will share some of the lesser-known but most intriguing tidbits from the massive report