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Community The 'Currency' in your Credentials: 3 Trust Principles for Building Open Badges Software


The 'Currency' in your Credentials: 3 Trust Principles for Building Open Badges Software

Open Badges are a technology that promise to serve as portable digital credentials. Each badge symbolizes particular achievements a badge issuer recognizes about a recipient. The goal is that as a "shared language for data about achievements," Open Badges and the accomplishments they represent can be understood by employers, colleges and other consumers of credentials.

It is badge consumers who are the arbiters of which badges are valuable. in 2015, software that uses Open Badges ne...

Development APOD for Apple Watch


APOD for Apple Watch

After years of rumors and hype, Apple announced the Apple Watch to much fanfare in September, 2014. Though it will not be available for purchase until sometime later in the first quarter of 2015, Apple developers can start working on apps for the Watch now, with Xcode 6.2 Beta available from I wanted to learn more about developing for Watch and about Swift, Apple's new programming language, so I wrote a Watch app in Swift to accompany APOD, a popular ...

Community OCDL Trust Ecosystem Project Announcement


OCDL Trust Ecosystem Project Announcement

At Concentric Sky, we are proud to serve as the technology partner for the Oregon Center for Digital Learning (OCDL). OCDL is a new non-profit organization founded to support the use of digital badges and other collaborative education technology for learning in Oregon. Together with OCDL, we have applied for a grant through HASTAC & MacArthur's Digital Media and Learning (DML) Competition ( - which is focused this year on trust in Connected Learning environments. ...

Community Introduction to Open Badges


Introduction to Open Badges

Open Badges are digital images that symbolize particular achievements, benchmarks, or experience. Unlike many of the digital badge systems that have sprung up in videogames and online, Open Badges are a shared language for data about these achievements. They are designed to break down the barriers between different systems that understand only their own sets of familiar credentials.



An AJAX Primer for the Faint of Heart

For the longest time, I was frightened by the idea of AJAX; the examples that I had seen were all intimidatingly complex, and my feeble grasp of HTTP requests didn't help much. However, jQuery's simple API and Django's clean structure facilitated the process immensely for me, and I would like to present a concise explanation along with a simple yet complete example of making an asynchronous HTTP request with Javascript.

AJAX is a workflow involving communication between a cli...



Use the 5 W’s to Create an Excellent User Experience

The 5 W's—the fundamental writing mnemonic we learned in grade school—can help us clearly communicate a story to our audience. They remind us to tell the key points of a story: Who, What, When, Where, and Why. This mnemonic method can also be used as a tool to guide successful user experience design.

Development Implement iAd and Let Layout Constraints Do The Lifting


Implement iAd and Let Layout Constraints Do The Lifting

Apple promotes iAd as an easy way for developers to monetize their apps.  Looking at the official iAd Programming guide, Apple makes it evident that little is required from the developer in the code-writing department to implement this framework.  Examining the example code, however, you may be surprised to find code that is written to support iOS versions as low as 5.0.

90% of devices have at least iOS 7.0 installed, so it would be nice to take advantage of Auto Layout.  If yo...

Development Back-End List Filtering with Django


Back-End List Filtering with Django

Django comes with a powerful and well-documented API for interacting with database objects. If you want to display a specific set of objects in a ListView, for example, you need only construct a queryset with the appropriate filters. However, this starts to get complicated if you want to be able to adjust the filters from the front end, and if there are many of them. In this example, I will demonstrate how to simultaneously implement multiple types of back-end filters on a large group of objects...



Creating a Multipage PDF Document from UIViews in iOS

We work on a wide variety of mobile projects here at Concentric Sky, and one requirement we occasionally encounter is for an iOS app to output data in PDF format. We've done this with UIWebViews in an EMR (electronic medical records) app for printing medication prescriptions and information leaflets, and in an industrial app for printing MSDS (material safety data sheet) documents for the client's products. We recently added this feature to an educational app, for outputting a multipage scrapbook, and in this blog post we'll detail the process.

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