I'm very excited to announce that we've begun to test a new login system with our schools that can decrease the time it takes to log in to JumpRope by over 400%. We've been working hard on this for quite time some, based on the feedback that during busy school days it can often take many seconds to "load initial data." We will keep a watchful eye on the changes to make sure that things are working properly - please let us know what you think!
For the geeks out there, quick explanation of the changes (and why they were relatively difficult to make and thus haven't been in our product from the beginning):
JumpRope relies on up-to-the-minute data in order to give you accurate schedules, student information, comments, attendance, and shared gradebook data. In the past, it has downloaded some critical data (such as the list of student names) and schedule data upon login. This data usually totals a couple hundred kilobytes, depending on the size of the school that you work at and some other factors. To improve the login time, we've leveraged local caching of data on your computer. Thus, the login speed will only be faster once you log in for a second time on the same machine.
There are a few things that make this tricky, but here's our solution to each:
- Data security is paramount: while making everyone happy with a faster login would be great, our most important design goal is that the sensitive student information stored within JumpRope is secure. Local caching of data can introduce inherent insecurities, because it means that a copy of student data is being stored on your computer. Until we developed and tested a way to ensure that this data was encrypted, we weren't comfortable leveraging this feature for faster access times. We're excited to say that the cached data is being strongly encrypted and can only be accessed by you when logging into JumpRope.
- Data changes all the time: Though it may seem like schedules and student lists are relatively "stable" bits of data, the reality is that small changes to them are made quite often. Maybe somebody added a phone number to John's profile, or moved Tynasia from one class to another. Small things like this require an entire re-download of the schedule and student data. Our new system performs this synchronization in the background so that you don't have to wait.
These changes will roll out to various users over the next few days. If you haven't seen the speed boost yet, it shouldn't be long! Also please note that these improvements, for now, will be limited to the Teacher Dashboard only - Backoffice and Admin Console users will need to be patient for a couple more weeks!
We hope that these improvements make the system much faster for you to use. We have a few more tricks under our sleeve that we'll be testing as the year comes to a close, so that next year JumpRope can be an even faster and more convenient tool to use during the school day.
Thanks very much,