We try our best to maintain a list of sites and instances of Open edX platform. Some of these are reported to us by the the owners of the instances when they update the Github wiki or while they are developing their Open edX instance. However, a number of sites are found through clever use of search engines.
Open edX platform does not include a phone home feature – a feature that facilitates client-to-server communication. If it did, every installation of Open edX platform would then shoot us a message saying they exist. Adding one would allow us to track where and when sites are installed. This would be great for us because we would have some really solid numbers to report. Still, we do not have one: we are concerned about your privacy and security.
What the platform does include are several fairly unique strings.
- “Not ready to take a course just yet? Registering puts you on our mailing list – we will update you as courses are added.”
- “EdX es un proyecto sin animo de lucro creado por los fundadores asociado Harvard y MIT”
- “Please log in to access your account and courses”
The first (“Not read to take a course…”) is a phrase commonly found on registration pages. A search results in GWOnline – George Washington University’s instance of Open edX platform— as a top hit.
“EdX es un…” shows up on about pages or in footers describing Open edX platform. UVx has this phrase in their footer.
Searching for these phrases, or others like them, turns up all sorts of Open edX platform – based sites. Many are clearly just tests set up to experiment with the software. Others seem like they are on their way to being vibrant public sites.
The most useful thing a site can do to help us track installations is to add themselves to list of Sites Powered by Open edX on our github wiki if they are a public site. E-mailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org is also a great choice to share public (and private) instances. We love hearing about new Open edX instances, or news about your existing sites are doing. Let us know!