Instin: We craft practical & simple tools for the education industry.

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A Widget for your Google Sites Class Page

2 days ago

Similar to a Twitter feed, it is possible to embed your homework on other websites.  Google Sites has made this process a bit harder than most other website creators or blogs and requires a few steps beyond when I posted A Widget for your Class Site.

Most of the content for this post is thanks to @TonyAmsler from this post who posted on how to embed a Twitter Feed on Google Sites.

First, prepare a widget.xml file.

1.  Create a new .xml file with the following content:

<?xml version=”1.0” encoding=”UTF-8” ?> 
        <ModulePrefs title=”Class Homework Timeline”/>
            <Content type=”html”>

This is where you paste the widget code


2.  Get the widget code from your class page as described in my previous post  A Widget for your Class Site

3.  Insert the widget code from step 2 into the xml file created in Step 1.  You may also want to edit where it says “Class Homework Timeline” to be about your class.

Then, upload the .xml file as an attachment

1.  In Google Sites, go to settings->manage site and select attachments in the lefthand navigation.

2.  Upload the .xml file you created for your class widget.

3.  Copy the url by right clicking or ctrl+click on the Download link

Finally, insert a gadget by url into your webpage 

1.  In Google Sites, navigate back to the webpage for the class you would like to share homework with.

2.  Choose to Insert->More Gadgets.  Select Add by URL from the lefthand navigation.

3.  Paste the URL you copied earlier into the URL box.

4.  Remove any text that occurs after the .xml on the filename.


Now you can use the app to quickly share information about your classroom and it will also update your course website.

But it didn’t work…Common Gotcha


If you see an issue similar to the one above saying the gadget is not valid when you try to add the gadget as a url, then this means there is a formatting issue in the .xml file you created.  It likely occured copy/pasting.  To remedy the problem, you may need to try and save the file again or even retype some of the problematic characters like quotation marks.

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1 month ago

Every update we work really hard to make myHomework better, this update was no different. We just finished releasing version 5.1.0 of myHomework for iOS that brings several improvements that we are really excited to share with you.

Here’s a summary of all the changes:

  • Weekly calendar view for iPad!
  • Added an option to quickly show/hide completed homework from iPad’s homepage.
  • Homework and class times can now be minute precise instead of only 5 minute increments.
  • App now tells you if it’s been a long time since you’ve last sync’d.
  • Schools can now share school wide announcements, files, links and more!
  • Tap on manual class now takes you to a details and schedule view with edit option.
  • App now tries to guess the homework type based on the homework’s description to save you entering in a type.
  • Can now expand collapse homework type/priority/class headings.
  • Can now swipe between months in the calendar.
  • Added priority icons to make it easy to know what is really important.
  • Better sorting in the homework filters.
  • Added a link below the Kiip Rewards setting that explains more about how rewards work.
  • Hide completed homework and Kiip reward settings now sync so the app remembers them when you log out and back in.
  • The day of week and due time are shown in more places now.

We hope you enjoy these updates. You can download the latest version of myHomework here!

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A Widget for your Class Site

1 month ago

Last week, we launched a new feature that makes it easy to share the homework for your classroom site on another website. This makes it easy to use myHomework and with your existing website whether it was built with Google Sites, Weebly, Wordpress or even Moodle.


Here’s how to add a widget to a site:

1.  Log into your account and from any class homepage look for a link to embed a class widget in the lower left.

2.  View the preview.  Adjust any options and copy the HTML code from the box below the preview.

3.  Paste the HTML code into your other site using a corresponding HTML view.

For visual + audible learners, we’ve made a quick video available.

That’s it!

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myHomework for iOS 7

2 months ago

A few weeks ago we released a completely new design of myHomework for iOS that supports iOS 7. The update had several improvements that our users loved, here are some of those changes:

1. Overall design was improved to be lighter. It follows some of the iOS 7 look and feel. There’s no more blue navigation bar or black filters, the icons are much simpler and in some places we’ve added the iOS 7 blur effect.


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iPad Before


iPad After


2. The menu got a completely new look! Now when you launch the app it goes directly to the homework list instead of the menu. The menu can be accessed by swiping from the left or by touching the icon on the top left corner.

Before & After

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3. Forms got updated! It seems that with every major release we redesign the forms. But this time we believe that we’ve improved exponentially! Instead of the placeholder disappearing after entering text the placeholder slides to the top so you can still see which field is what.


The form UI was inspired by this shot on dribbble!

4. The calendar also got a new design. It’s a little bit bigger and easier to touch on the dates. 




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We hope you enjoy the update! You can download the latest version of myHomework here!

Check out what some of our users are saying about the update.


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rigoinstin - Now available for Homeschool

6 months ago


Until today, was available only for school teachers. We started with traditional schools because we wanted to:

  1. Verify that every teacher joining the site is actually teaching at a school.
  2. Make it easy for students to join a class using the myHomework student planner apps. Instead of teachers having to share a code for their classes, myHomework shows all the schools around the student. With a few taps on their phone or tablet students can easily choose their school, their teacher and join a class.

Even with a closed invite system, over 5,000 teachers have joined with over:

  • 11,000 classes created
  • 61,000 assignments, lessons and tests posted
  • 4,000 announcements sent
  • 70,000 students joined a class using myHomework

A little over a month ago we released for iPhone and iPad. After that, we started to get a lot more interest from the homeschool community. A glance at our Facebook page shows is something homeschool teachers really want!

We would like to announce that we just released updated versions of the and myHomework apps that support homeschool teachers. Starting today, any teacher can sign up for a account! 

With these updates a couple of things changed:

  1. Any teacher can sign up for an account, but school teachers are still verified before being listed as a teacher at their school.
  2. myHomework users can now search for teachers when joining a class. Homeschool teachers will only be located by searching.

We’re extremely excited to finally be able to allow any teacher to join As always, if you have any comments, questions, suggestions or concerns feel free to contact us.

If you are a homeschool teacher signup here!

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rigoinstin for iOS is here!!

8 months ago

That’s right folks! Just in time for Back to School, for iPhone and iPad has arrived in the App Store. Several of our teachers have been asking for an app and it’s finally here. The app supports all the same features from the website plus more! 

Download it Here


Quickly create your class and enter your class details, such as description, class times and location.



We’ve created our own Rich Text Editor for iOS, so entering your syllabus sections is just as easy as the website. 

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Quickly enter an assignment, test or lesson to your class and students will be able to download them using the myHomework app!



We made it easy to upload files directly from Google Drive, Dropbox or your photos!

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Easily send out announcements to students and parents. And if they are using the myHomework app they will be notified!

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Teacher Profile

Updating your profile is extremely simple! You can enter your contact information and information about your self.

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Security app allows you to setup a security passcode that if in case your device is misplaced, your classes will be untouched.


Works Offline

Bad internet connections? No worries! app works offline and syncs up next time you have internet connectivity!



For more information please visit the website or download the app here!

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myHomework for iOS v4.1 Improvements

8 months ago

Just in time for back to school myHomework for iOS v4.1 brought a new set of visual improvements that will make the app quicker and easier to use.

Swipe to Complete and Delete

It’s now a lot easier to swipe an assignment to completion or deletion. The touch detection has been improved so it feels a lot more natural. The UI kind of resembles Mailbox’s app or the latest UI changes to iOS 7.

Swipe from the left until the background turns green, and release it to mark it as complete.


Swipe from the right until the background turns red, and release it to delete an assignment.


Pull Down to Sync

When you are logged in the iPhone app you can now swipe down and release to sync the account. We’ve noticed that this is a pattern that’s been going on around in iOS and we decided to make our version of it.


Improved Forms

Forms were improved to have more spaces between fields, to show focus of an active field and better touch detection.

New iPad Popovers/Lightbox

We also improved how the popovers on the iPad look, instead of sliding from the left or the right now the popover slides from the top, similar to a lightbox you would see in websites. The look and feel is now a little more consistent to the look of the whole app itself.


I hope you guys enjoy the changes! You can download the latest version of myHomework here!

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myHomework selected as an Entrepreneurial All Star

10 months ago

I was extremely fortunate today to be able to receive an award on behalf of the Instin & the myHomework team!

myHomework was selected as an Entrepreneurial All Star during 1 Week KC. The ceremony took place on the field of the Kansas City Royals stadium where one of the region mayors presented the award to each of the companies selected.


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myHomework accounts FREE in USA, UK, Canada and Australia!

1 year ago


If you’ve been using the iOS and Android apps, you may have noticed a few weeks ago we opened up free sign ups (with ads) in the USA, UK, Canada and Australia. This gives students free access to the website, iOS and Android reminders, syncing between devices and the ability to join classes. For those not wanting to see any ads, you can still pay $1.99 to remove them for a year.

As of yesterday, you can sign up for a free account on the website too, as long as you’re using a newer web browser and share your location.

So, if you’ve been waiting to create your myHomework account, now is the time! Just go to myHomework’s website and sign up!

If you don’t live in these locations, don’t worry. We plan to add more countries throughout the year. Follow us @myhomeworkapp or on Facebook for updates.

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2012 Year in Review

1 year ago


2012 was an exciting year for Instin! We went from being a student app side project to a company focused on making a better education system.

Here’s a recap of some of the best moments of 2012:

12 months ago - myHomework iPad app is launched.  Today the iPad is where we get the most visitors per day.

7 months ago - myHomework is launched for Kindle Fire.

7 months ago - The three of us quit our jobs to pursue Instin full-time.

6 months ago - We spoke at the first Kauffman Demo Day, introducing our company to the Silicon Prairie startup community.

4 months ago - myHomework was nominated for Silicon Prairie mobile app of the year and Rigo was nominated for Silicon Prairie Technologist of the year.

4 months ago - was launched to friends and family. A place for teachers to have a public profile and manage their classes where the assignments are shared to students using myHomework.

3 months ago - myHomework is launched for Windows 8.  We built it in 2 weeks to have it available with the Windows 8 launch.

2 months ago - is launched to teachers around the world. 

2 months ago - myHomework for web, iPhone and iPad is completely redesigned and starts integrating with 

1 month ago - We spoke at the second Kauffman Demo Day, giving an update with what we had accomplished since June.

1 month ago - Kansas senator Jerry Moran mentions Instin and myHomework in a speech on the the senate floor.

1 month ago - myHomework for Android is rebuilt and redesigned to work well with multiple screen sizes.

2012 Numbers

In 2012 myHomework had over 1.3 million new downloads, bringing the number to over 2.5 million since launch.  Over 36,000 students went the extra step to pay for the ability to sync between devices, bringing the number to 47,000 since its launch.

On iPad we are averaging 40,000 uniques a week and 300,000 visits a week.

On iPhone we are averaging 36,000 uniques a week and 180,000 visits a week.

On Android we are averaging 9,000 uniques a week and 36,000 visits a week.

Since it launched last year there were over 6.5 million syncs averaging around 12,000 a day. 

Last year myHomework was available for the iPhone, Web and Android phones. Today myHomework is available for the iPhone, iPad, Web, Android phones, Android tablets, Kindle Fire and Windows 8.

What’s next?

2013 is another year of excitement and growth. Now it’s not only on myHomework, but too. We hope by the end of the year we’ll have our products integrated in more schools, like this, as their preferred tools. You can expect availability of our products in more platforms and hopefully some new products too.

Cheers and Happy 2013!