Schoology Hopes to Bring the App Store model to Educational Software
Darrell Etherington July 4, 2012
Schools have evolved to using a wide variety of software every day, including plenty that operates only in a sandbox isolated from other software, some that proves frustrating for end users (read: teachers) yet awesome for administration, and some that works the other way around. New York-based Schoology, however is looking to provide an experience that addresses all those pain points at once, and has the potential to go well beyond.
Schoology just introduced a new API and developer platform, in order to encourage more integration with its own software, which provides a cloud-based collaborative learning platform for K-12 and higher education classrooms. In the ed-tech market, which is becoming quite crowded, an open platform and a public API adds a lot of value for Schoology users, since it means developers can start integrating other products into it, making it much more suitable as a one-stop solution for both educators looking to build and share lesson plans, mark papers, track student progress, etc.; and for administrators, who are looking to measure performance, track curriculum success, and more.
“We’ve created a platform that really allows people, and any third-party developer to build completely integrated apps that really extend the Schoology functionality directly and seamlessly,” founder Jeremy Friedman said in an interview. “So, the same way you have a Facebook app or an iOS app, people can now build apps that are directly involved in Schoology.”
That will help provide a level of access to information for educational software developers that Friedman sees as very significant, on top of helping Schoology build out its platform offerings. ”It’s not an app that helps you get virtual farmland; what this is giving you is access to really significant user information, granted they give you permission,” he said. “You can do things like see the time of day people are accessing a particular content item, or here’s where they’re going and here’s what they don’t understand.”
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