Django payments app

Submitted by Ankit Ranka on Sun, 09/25/2011 - 2:04am.
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Found this django payments app. It enables the use of multiple payment processors from a single API. A good resource to easily integrate payments with EdLab django apps.


Testing EdLab Applications

Submitted by Ankit Ranka on Tue, 08/16/2011 - 12:56am.
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I attended the Django testing meetup today with Megha. In the meetup Adam Nelson, CTO of Yipit demonstrated Lettuce and Splinter, two of the more famous tools used for testing Django applications. At EdLab we have used various tools for testing our existing Django applications like Selenium and Adobe browser lab etc. with very minimal satisfaction.

Lettuce is based on a behavioral driven development testing framework which allows collaboration between developers, QA and non-technical or business participants in a software project.

Splinter is built on top of Selenium, which Megha has already used for testing Ednode. The advantage with using Splinter is that it integrates well with Django and is flexible to use. It also helps testing the javascript calls that we have been using heavily in EdLab applications.


Apollo group to Buy Carnegie Learning

Submitted by Ankit Ranka on Sat, 08/06/2011 - 10:32pm.
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The NY TImes reports that Apollo group, which runs University of Phoenix, will pay $75 million to buy Carnegie Learning. This is great news for Carnegie Learning. I came to know about their work at the Intelligent Tutoring Systems conference last year and some of the technologies they built have been outstanding.


S&P Downgrade US Rating: Discuss in Vialogues

Submitted by Ankit Ranka on Sat, 08/06/2011 - 1:43am.
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Enriching the Student Experience Through an Academic Life Ecosystem #et4ol2011

Submitted by Ankit Ranka on Tue, 07/12/2011 - 6:07pm.
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George and I are attending this session from GoingOn. Through the focused deployment of social network and online technologies, GoingOn provides a unique academic life platform that enriches social and intellectual dimensions of the student experience.


EdLab at Silicon Alley Talent Fair

Submitted by Ankit Ranka on Fri, 06/17/2011 - 9:55am.
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Angela, Jo and I represented EdLab at the Silicon Alley Talent Fair yesterday. More than 150 startups participated in the event.

Some key take aways that I had from the event -
1. Do not rely on the free wireless. Always be prepared to tether your mobile device with your laptop to demo tools.

2. Looking at the number of startups in the event no doubt New York is not far behind silicon valley.

3. I think timing of the event was not one of the best, many students have already started their internships and new jobs.

4. Prepare a very short 140 character elevator pitch for your products. Because you will have to repeat it millions of times :)

5. People are really interested in Education and how technology is making education better.

6. Its a good idea to have ping pong tables in such events. The informality of the event made applicants and employers have frank discussions.


Hacking Education - June 18, 2011 from 10:00 AM - 8:00 PM

Submitted by Ankit Ranka on Tue, 06/14/2011 - 5:18pm.
Ankit Ranka's picture is organizing "Hacking Education: A Developer and Data Cruncher Hackathon" this Saturday. This will be a really good opportunity to explore the API offered by other services such as Hunch and FourSquare and we will also get our hands dirty with the data provided by


Twitter Hashtag #onlinelearning #mschool

Submitted by Ankit Ranka on Sun, 06/12/2011 - 7:45pm.
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I came across this article in NYTimes on the use of Hashtags on Twitter and how they are interpreted and used by its users. Hashtag was not a feature originally introduced by Twitter. It was introduced by Chris Messina, a developer advocate at Google to introduce two friends over email. He wil just use #introduce in the subject of the email and later he started using it on Twitter and then it snowballed. The article goes on to explain how marketing companies are using it and emergence of Hashtag Mafia, people who flash one another the hashtag sign.

How is this related to Education and how can we leverage this?

One of the features I thought of for the course platform of mSchool was to use hashtags to make the courses more dynamic. Here is how it will work - anyone who creates an online course will be able to add resources to their courses using hashtags. For example, if I create a 'C programming course' , I wil be able to add hashtag #programming to my tweets related to programming and all the links in those tweets will be automatically added to my course.


The future of the library

Submitted by Ankit Ranka on Mon, 05/16/2011 - 10:15am.
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Seth Godin has some interesting views about the future of the library in his recent blog post. In his words - "We need librarians more than we ever did. What we don't need are mere clerks who guard dead paper. Librarians are too important to be a dwindling voice in our culture. For the right librarian, this is the chance of a lifetime."


Sign-Ups and Log-Ins

Submitted by Ankit Ranka on Fri, 05/06/2011 - 12:01pm.
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There are some really good design and implementation ideas here about login and signup (can we call these two things as gateway to the internet?). Also there is some passionate discussion here on hacker news. EdLab CAS (the thing that makes you login with same username and password on both Vialogues and Ednode) is not far from achieving perfection. So signup for Vialogues or Ednode and give us your feedback!

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