Dear Aeries Group,
I am a parent and a developer. As this is my first post in this group, please allow me a couple of paragraphs to introduce myself and let you know my post's reasons.
As a parent, web portals' multiplication makes it wildly complicated and time-consuming to get information about your children's assignments, progress, and grades. Today, there are no less than 7 web portals I need to connect to get an overall view of my children's school progress. Many of these portals require to go through many pages to get the needed information, many of which are not user intuitive, and the process consumes a lot of time.
This is why so many parents just give up and wait for the next parent-teacher conference. Unfortunately, it is often too late to rectify issues that have snowballed for months and which you could have identified if only there was a way to get quick and clear status.
Fortunately, there is a solution for those fortunate enough to have a developer background: APIs! We were lucky that our school system IUSD adopted Canvas as one of the portal, which has well-documented APIs accessible to parents and students. It has allowed us to create code that filter out workaround teachers were using (such as false alarms caused by using assignments as simple reminders, which later show overdue but in fact don't have anything to submit; or assignments that have an external URL and the children need to submit in an external system, again showing overdue assignments) and create actionable alerts to follow-up children's upcoming assignments and pin-point areas of struggle to address before it is too late.
Sorry for the long introduction, but I wanted to convey why API in educational hosted platforms is critical to parents.
In reading the Aeries API documentation, I have not found a way to access API functionalities with parent's credentials. Another method would be to write code to simulate a login and parse HTML answers for information, which is too much of an undertaking and will break at each web update.
Can you please point me to a way to access data with parents' credentials? If it is not yet possible, who are the persons to ask for a feature upgrade?
Thank you very much in advance.
Hello John. First of all, I apologize for not responding to you and this group sooner. This message came in while I was away from work, planning my wedding and I did not dig into the unread emails from that time until now. Secondly, thank you for reaching out and expressing your desires to help parents navigate this complex digital education system. The good news is that we plan to move in the direction you are looking. The current Aeries API is mostly focused on interoperability with other systems. Those integrations have traditionally required high-level data mining and not session or user-specific content. The next generation of APIs we are working on will provide context-sensitive access to information in Aeries using the logged-in user's system visibility scope. As you might image, this will not be a small undertaking; but in the interest of making Aeries the most accessible system on the market, we will be focusing resources in that direction throughout 2021. After this new system is in place, we will actively and openly encourage students and parents to build systems that create new views into the Aeries system. Our plan is to build all future apps on our next gen public API, ensuring that nothing is trapped in proprietary ecosystems.
Vice President, Product Development
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