Our mission at Edlink has always been to improve the quality of education through the use of technology. We envision a world in which the story of a student's educational experience can be summarized and visualized cleanly and simply. This way, anyone involved in that student's development can quickly and effectively meet that student where they are.
Today, we're driving that mission forward in a big way.
Our engineering team has been hard at work designing and implementing 15 new models that cover six key areas: Extended Rostering, Behavior, Attendance, Facility Management, Calendars, and Transportation.
This update represents the single largest change to our API and data model since the launch of Edlink and we're really excited to see how developers use this new data to improve their platforms and the lives of students around the world.
Since our inception, we've offered what we call our Core Rostering API. These models are the usual suspects when it comes to rostering like schools, classes, and enrollments. As the requirements of school districts and application developers have become more complex, we've recognized the need for additional models to more accurately represent reality.
- Departments represent an organizational unit within a school.
- Subjects represent a topic of study associated with a department and a course.
- Periods represent a time period used to track the schedule of students, staff, and equipment.
Tracking and analyzing behavior is important to get a full picture of a student's educational experience. The ability to efficiently access & ingest incidents is a prerequisite for the next generation of personalized learning platforms, parent communication apps, and student intervention tools.
- Incidents are a record of an event that occurred, typically involving the behavior of one or more people.
We want developers to be able to better model the physical world in their applications. This capability enables a wide range of new and useful tools to be created; platforms that help districts manage assets; systems to help schools plan class schedules; mobile apps to help students navigate a new campus. The possibilities are endless.
- Facilities are physical locations associated with schools or departments.
- Rooms represent a location for events, such as a meeting room for a class.
- Assets are physicals item such as textbooks, computers, or other equipment.
- Fees are charges that a person may receive for various services such as textbooks or school trips.
As one of the core predictors of student success, attendance is a critical metric for applications that provide analysis and predictive analytics. Unfortunately, attendance can be one of the most challenging data types for companies to grapple with. The datasets are enormous and districts track attendance in a variety of different ways. Our goal is to provide a normalized set of attendance data at both the day and period level.
- Meetings are a gathering of a group of people at a specific time.
- Attendance records indicate whether or not a particular person attended a given Meeting.
Directly related to attendance tracking, understanding when students and staff are supposed to be in session is critical. Our Calendar APIs aim to simplify this process for developers by normalizing tricky data.
- Calendars are a collection of days designed to help institutions keep track of important dates and events. They can be associated with a school or district.
- Days are a specific date on a calendar and will contain flags to indicate if school was in session, if attendance was recorded, and so on.
It is important for many platforms to be able to understand where a given student is supposed to be at a given time. Our Transportation API aims to help developers answer that question in a simple and structured way.
- Stops are locations where a vehicle may pick up or drop off passengers.
- Routes are sequences of stops visited in a specific order by a vehicle.
- Vehicles represent a physical vehicle, such as a bus or van, that is used to transport students, faculty, and staff.
We are working quickly to expand our SIS support for our Core Rostering features as well as these new models. We are prioritizing SIS support by a few key factors:
- Overall market share
- Quality of APIs and documentation
- Client requests
Keep an eye on our progress via our feature matrix here. If you are curious about our progress with a specific SIS, or if you're interested in a system that's not currently on our list, don't hesitate to reach out.
Updates to the Edlink Dashboard
To support the expansion of our platform, we've given the Edlink Dashboard a facelift. All of the features that you know and love are still available, but they may have moved around a bit. To get more detail about what's been changed, check out our blog post here.
What's Still Coming
There are still a few features that are unsupported for these new models. We'll be working diligently to support them over the next month or so.
- We do not yet support data overrides on the new models.
- We are still tuning our product licensing to share the intended data with your application. For example, when you share a class, you probably also intended to receive the period(s) associated with that class, the subjects, and so on.
- We are planning to provide more customized UIs for interacting with the new models in a way that feels natural. For example, we want to be able to display the stops along a transportation route.
- We're still finalizing our pricing model for these new APIs. If you're curious to know how that's shaping up, please reach out.
We're really excited to see the next generation of applications that companies will build with the additional data that is available to them through our API. We have sandbox data sources available for developers to experiment and build their integrations. Reach out if you're interested in getting access to the sandbox.
That's all for now!