Who are we?
Educators. Or people involved in education. Abre started as an idea for Hamilton City School District. But educators are a friendly bunch and tend to share ideas. We decided to open the project up and get others involved.
Abre grew from a need.
Like many districts, Hamilton grew in the number of devices it used with its students. Hamilton faced the challenge of collecting all of its applications under one system. Moreover, many school processes required applications but had no modern alternatives.
The web is a platform for delivering applications. Programs such as Google Apps, Gradebooks, LMSs, and Board Policies are all accessed via the internet and run using a variety of coding languages to deliver the function. Hosting applications on the web has the distinct advantages of being device agnostic whereby any device (phone, Chromebook, tablet, etc.) can run the application. Even better, most coding languages are open and available for anyone to learn.
Abre uses the web as a platform for delivering education applications. While this is not exactly revolutionary, it does stand out when compared to much of the current education market for the following reasons.
Abre is open.
As in open source. Anyone can download it, install on their server, and have a functional portal for their school. The code is available for all to see, use, and modify for their systems. Most of us work for public schools and have a strong desire to help students. We identify with the Open Source Initiative’s mission statement.
Open source is a development method for software that harnesses the power of distributed peer review and transparency of process. The promise of open source is higher quality, better reliability, greater flexibility, lower cost, and an end to predatory vendor lock-in.
Abre works with Google Apps for Education.
From single sign on to integration with Google Drive, Gmail, and Google Classroom; Abre fits with the Google Apps ecosystem.
Abre is modular.
Districts can build modular apps that work within Abre. Often a district has a need but no application. Equally likely, there is a solution but it’s really only 1/2 a solution and this solution adds layers of complexity to the end user. Abre provides a framework for creating education apps specific to a district.
Abre follows modern web standards and is web based.
There is a strong tendency for software companies that provide education products to not change. Dated software carry a host of issues – from functionality to aesthetic design. Abre follows Google’s Material Design standards. It runs on the web in any modern web browser. You do not need to download software to run applications.
Where do we want to go?
We’d like Abre to become a community project. Specifically, we’d love to have others start contributing to the code. Our models for this are other open source projects.
If you or your district have any interest, let us know.