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Shared Learning Collaborative Offers $75,000 App 'Bounties'

Shared Learning Collaborative (SLC), an organization working to build infrastructure that will make it easier for teachers to use data in the classroom to personalize instruction, is offering hefty rewards to the open source developers who can build a couple of the applications it needs.

SLC has been piloting alpha versions of its work with nine states and their districts for several months. The infrastructure includes middleware to pull together data culled from the multiple applications and systems in use in the typical school or district; a cloud-based data store; out-of-the-box dashboards for use by teachers; an identity management directory to simplify login; and an application programming interface to allow vendors and developers to create applications and content that can interface with SLC components. The organization reported it will begin releasing pieces of its work for broader use in late 2012 and early 2013.

The bounties--which are worth $75,000 each--will go to the developers who can create applications that have been identified as "highly desirable" by teachers and school administrators. The winners will be selected by the same states and districts already participating in the pilot program.

According to a blog entry about the competition, the first application, a student data aggregation calculator, will give users a way to create aggregate views of student data based on a flag that they can define and put in the data set. For example, a flag might be "honor roll" or "program graduate."

The second application is intended to help teachers create groups of students and then view the data for each group.

The organization is hoping that both applications will help teachers by giving them manageable views into their students and their performance. The winning programs will leverage SLC technologies and all code used for the applications will be released under the Apache Software Foundation 2.0 open source permissive software license.

Proposals are due by Oct. 2, 2012; the applications are due by Jan. 15, 2013. Winners will be announced during one of SLC's developer camps, taking place in New York Oct. 20 and 21.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a writer who covers technology and business for a number of publications. Contact her at dian@dischaffhauser.com.

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