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-2013-6501
Published: 2015-03-30
The default soap.wsdl_cache_dir setting in (1) php.ini-production and (2) php.ini-development in PHP through 5.6.7 specifies the /tmp directory, which makes it easier for local users to conduct WSDL injection attacks by creating a file under /tmp with a predictable filename that is used by the get_s...

CVE-2014-9652
Published: 2015-03-30
The mconvert function in softmagic.c in file before 5.21, as used in the Fileinfo component in PHP before 5.4.37, 5.5.x before 5.5.21, and 5.6.x before 5.6.5, does not properly handle a certain string-length field during a copy of a truncated version of a Pascal string, which might allow remote atta...

CVE-2014-9653
Published: 2015-03-30
readelf.c in file before 5.22, as used in the Fileinfo component in PHP before 5.4.37, 5.5.x before 5.5.21, and 5.6.x before 5.6.5, does not consider that pread calls sometimes read only a subset of the available data, which allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (uninitialized memory ...

CVE-2014-9705
Published: 2015-03-30
Heap-based buffer overflow in the enchant_broker_request_dict function in ext/enchant/enchant.c in PHP before 5.4.38, 5.5.x before 5.5.22, and 5.6.x before 5.6.6 allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code via vectors that trigger creation of multiple dictionaries.

CVE-2014-9709
Published: 2015-03-30
The GetCode_ function in gd_gif_in.c in GD 2.1.1 and earlier, as used in PHP before 5.5.21 and 5.6.x before 5.6.5, allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (buffer over-read and application crash) via a crafted GIF image that is improperly handled by the gdImageCreateFromGif function.

Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
Good hackers--aka security researchers--are worried about the possible legal and professional ramifications of President Obama's new proposed crackdown on cyber criminals.