At GradeSlam, we love LTI because it helps teachers personalize the learning environment of their students.

But the term "LTI" sounds like a scary technical term that only IT Directors can understand. So I'm going to break down exactly what LTI is, why it's important and how you can use LTI integrations to personalize teaching and learning at your school.

What is LTI ?

Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) is a secure standardized way for edtech applications to integrate with learning management systems (LMS), portals and other educational online environments.

It's what lets you plug and play with apps in your school portal.

It was created by the IMS Global learning Consortium to help tools and systems work together seamlessly, even if they’re not created by the same vendor. This way, there's no extra usernames, passwords, or websites to remember. You can find everything you need for school in one place.

Why does LTI matter for schools?

When a school uses an LMS that is LTI-compatible, it solves two of the biggest problems that schools face when adopting new technology:

1) Simplifies implemntation of new technlogy

Today most edtech apps are LTI-compatible. That means teachers and administrators can bring in new edtech products without worrying about whether or not the new product is compatible with their current system.

2) Helps increase user adoption of new technology

Because all edtech products are kept in a central single sign-on (SSO) environment, students don’t need to remember any URLs or passwords (which is one of the biggest barriers to adoption).  Instead, they login to their school account and easily access all of their learning tools from their course pages.

Where can I find edtech apps that are LTI compatible?

The Edu App Center is a great place to find hundreds of programs and services that you can easily plug into your LMS using an LTI integration. You can search by category, grade level, platform (LMS), extension placement or user access.

If you’re interested in a tool and it isn’t in the app center, message the tool provider and check with them. Most online tools are LTI compatible.

How do I add an edtech app using LTI?

Edtech apps are usually called “external tools” by LMS platforms. The way you add these tools varies slightly for every LMS, so we've put together a few guides that explain how to add external tools according to the LMS platform you use.