Category Archives: tsugi

A Happy Tsugi New Year – A look back and a look ahead to 2018

I figured I should reflect on Tsugi as we move into the new year. It has been over six years since I started the code base that would become Tsugi in 2013.

In 2017, we made a lot of progress so Tsugi can be used by by a much broader audience. Some important Tsugi achievements include:

– A place to host open source Tsugi tools at scale for free – – this required new Amazon features and required improving the “App Store” experience for tools-only servers. There is an app store with metadata and screenshots like any app store.

– Adding support for Google Classroom in addition to LTI for LMS integration. I heard that Google Classroom already owns >60% of the K12 market share. I think that over time Classroom will erode market share in K12 market and in time will begin to make inroads into higher education starting with Community Colleges / FE. So strategically, I want Tsugi to have an early presence in that new emerging market.

– Cleaned up the existing tools in the “tsugitools” repo – like the peer grader with an eye to making the tools more usable by folks other than me :)

– Started to lay the legal groundwork to establish the first Tsugi Commercial affiliate. This is a lower priority activity – once the free/open Tsugi / TsugiCloud is solid – I will progress a commercial offering. If demand emerges for a commercial Tsugi offering, it will be quite easy to replicate the TsugiCloud infrastructure for a commercial offering.

Looking forward to 2018, I have a few goals:

– Begin to document and market to build a beta customer base. My first customers will likely be Sakai schools but I will work to get exposure to K12 alpha testers to get a small base of K12 customers. Let me know if you are interested in being an early customer or if you know someone who might want to use TsugiCloud.

– Recruit new open source applications for TsugiTools and host them for free on TsugiCloud

– Focus on cleaning up the developer documentation on to make it easier to develop new applications.

– I will be running an “Tsugi Developer” class on-campus at UMich during Winter semester. This will help improve my documentation and work out the kinks in the developer experience.

– It will be a high priority to build 2-3 new high-quality tools: (1) A threaded discussion tool with grading, (2) A wiki-like tool, perhaps based on HAX from ELMSN, (3) A tool to include H5P content. This fits with the 2018 focus on building tools on the Tsugi infrastructure.

– I am trying to think of something to trigger Tsugi tool development – perhaps a hack-athon or a contest – something to build interest in developing tools.

So it should be an interesting 2018. There is a lot of work to do but a lot of great work to build on.