Frequently Asked Questions
Where do the Tools in the App Store come from?
The tools in this app store can come from many places. The most common source is from programmers working at educational institutions building tools to meet local needs. Considering the tool might have broader value, they might decide to contribute it as an open source project. Other times, schools hire third party developers to build these tools. Often, savvy teachers or instructional designers make a tool and contribute it. Perhaps a group of students get an idea and want to form their own little startup to build a learning tool and make money from it or a company already has an educational technology service that they want to make available through the App Store.
Please add an Application that does "...."
If you have an idea for an application that you think we should add to the store, please send us a summary idea to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are willing to fund the development of the application - especially if you are willing to have the results be open source - let us know. We will share the requests on this site and with the Tsugi Developer's list. Hopefully, we can get the work done using Learning Experiences resources or by an independent developer in our Developer community. If you like - just join the developer's list and pitch your idea.
I am a Developer, I want to get Involved.
Can I use Learning Experiences with Google Classroom?
Not yet. For the moment, only TsugiCloud (our free service) supports Google classroom. Both services use identical software but we built the "Google Classroom for Free" feature before we built the "Pay for use with Google Classroom". Seems weird - but that is how we roll. We will fix that soon. Let us know if you have an interest in paid services to connect to Google Classroom. Your interest will likely speed things up a lot.
Why choose a paid service like Learning Experiences over a free service like TsugiCloud?
First off, since Learning Experiences runs TsugiCloud, you are assured the same high quality scalable hosting, security, privacy, and support team as the paid service. There are some limitations to the TsugiCloud service in terms of the length of data retention and the ability to make special requests (i.e. like the Enterprise service level). TsugiCloud will only provide open source tools that are part of the Apereo project.
We hope that TsugiCloud conveniently meets the needs of the low-volume users who just want to use a small number of apps in small classes where there is no need to retain data more than a year. Note that you are welcome to indicate your appreciation for the free TsugiCloud service and make a donation to support TsugiCloud, the Tsugi Project and the Apereo Foundation in our catalog.
What About Open Source?
Open source is the purpose for Learning Experiences. We are part of the design, development, support, and sustainability for the Tsugi Project and Apereo Foundation. Virtually every aspect of the software and configuration that it takes to make a scalable app store is available via open source. We would be happy to see schools or other commercial providers enter the market and share their code and configurations to make these wonderful app stores possible. If you would like to contract with someone to mentor you getting started and help you along the way to building your own learning tool app store - feel free to contact us.
Are You Going to Sell my Data?
No. Not at all. Regardless of whether you use our free or pay services, we will never sell your data nor even feed your data to our own "Artificial Intelligence Robot" designed to find ways to make more money. No AI robots here. Only teachers helping teachers.
Are You Going to Keep my Data?
What About Privacy? What About the GDPR?
Europe has recently passed a very strong law called the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that gives European citizens significant rights with respect to how online systems treat, retain and use personally identifying information (PII). While most cloud based companies are reacting to the GDPR by trying to find ways to make you click some kind of agreement where you waive your rights and the company can mostly ignore the GDPR, the Tsugi project is working hard to comply with the letter, spirit and intent of the law. While we still have work to do, it is our hope for Tsugi to be seen as a shining example of doing the GDPR as well as it can be done. We have built it's data model to give user's control of their own data but we need to determine the use cases to build tools that the users can access. If you are an European institution and have a particular interest in accelerating this work - please contact us.
You are a US Company, What About the GDPR?
Being part of a worldwide community working in 100% open open source in Education for over 15 years, our company values are fully aligned with the goals of GDPR. To us being a shining example of doing privacy right is more important than growing our revenue. To that end, we are actively recruiting organizations to replicate our services in various countries and for those companies, their servers and their user's data to be 100% owned in the same country or legal domain as their customers. We are currently in early discussions with several small companies in Spain, South Africa, and Germany to provide regionally owned and operated Tsugi app stores that have no legal ties to the US.
We hold protecting data for educational activities to a much higher standard than social media, word processing documents or other personally identifiable information. We wish that more US companies would take this enlightened approach to privacy w.r.t. data in the cloud. Unfortunately, for most proprietary cloud companies revenue and desire for long-term customer lock in trumps doing the fair, right and just thing with respect to protecting their user's data. If you do not want to purchase our services at this time, but want to support our radically-100%-open approach to our business, feel free to make a donation to our open source efforts in our online store.
Are you crazy? With no "secret magic proprietary sauce", how can you sell your startup after it is successful?
After 15 years in open source in educational technology, we have seen some strategies that work well and others that work very badly. We have seen companies do well and other companies that burn bright spending VC money then quickly plunge into bankruptcy. The companies that succeed over the long term in this space focus on mission, values, and community building. The responsible way to make profit is by providing services that make it easier for both the creators of open source software and the customers of that software. To the extent that for-profit organizations providing services around open source software that reduce the friction in that market, they have a sustainable business plan. We see our 100% open strategy as a way to commit to our customers that *they* are the only stakeholders that matter.
Learning Tools Interoperability® (LTI®) is a trademark of the IMS Global Learning Consortium, Inc. (www.imsglobal.org)
The App Store for Education(sm) is a service mark of Charles Severance