App Store Analogy for Toolbox Renwal

I was in a meeting yesterday, and we were talking about the Toolbox Renewal, and trying to think of other analogies that may help folks understand the objective. Perhaps the relationship between a mobile operating system and mobile apps is a good analogy for our toolbox.

The educational tools we choose/use are to the toolbox, as mobile apps are to a mobile device (and OS).

But there’s also something in the middle – an app store – which checks to make sure that the app meets some (minimum) criteria to be included. In the case of Apple, for example, it’s quite an extensive review process, but generally it means that the end user can use the app with a certain level of confidence.

Of course, the criteria for having an app added to the app store are transparent, so the creators can plan their apps with compliance in mind.

So too with our Toolbox. The criteria we’ve been working on are meant to ultimately provide our community with the ability to put forward tool suggestions for inclusion and integration into the wider toolbox. And more importantly, it means that members of our community (including our students) can use the apps with confidence.

Let me know what you think

Turnitin DDoS

This week, we were informed by Turnitin that they have been subject to a Denial of Service attack.

To quote from Turnitin’s memo: “Turnitin has been the target of an extensive distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack with the intent of taking down the service. A DDoS attack tries to overload the connection to our servers, rendering the Turnitin website unavailable to visitors. Our network team has been largely successful in combating the attacks, though the attempts have occasionally succeeded in causing intermittent service disruptions, slow service response times and other network issues. While these attacks have created intermittent connectivity issues, the attacks have not compromised server storage or data integrity.”

We are continuing to monitor the effect on our community. If you have any problems with Turnitin here at UofT, please contact your divisional Educational Technology support staff or the Portal Help team.