API in Education

API in Education

The folks behind Noodle are particularly excited by available open educational resources and we’d like to share what we’ve found. You’ll learn what an API is, why APIs are important, and what our favorite open APIs for educators are. API stands for 

Application Programming Interface.

APIs are what allow web applications to communicate/coordinate/share information/etc. from the databases of any two given websites. For example, if Facebook and Twitter didn’t offer APIs, you’d only be able to log into Facebook at Facebook.com and you’d only be able to see your tweets on Twitter. However, thanks to these APIs you can log into everything from Stumbleupon to Pinterest and Noodle.

On that note, APIs are incredibly valuable for education. Being able to share data about student progress levels, education resources, and classroom ideas means that everyone learns more—whether it’s a teacher sharing instructional videos with her classroom, or a branch of government trying to allocate funds for its education budget. The White House recently gathered a number of education professionals to brainstorm how to put education data to use to better help students, educators and governments. Noodle was proud to take part. While the White House’s initiative is underway, we decided we want to help other educators find APIs that might be helpful to them.

Check out our list of open education-related APIs  and please contact us if you know of any resources we’ve missed. We want the directory to be a collaborative project so don’t hesitate to get in touch!. In the meantime, here are 10 of our favorites from the list:

 

Khan Academy
An online learning and instruction platform (non-profit) used to provide a well rounded education. Created by Salman Khan, this collection of over 1,600 videos provides knowledge in many subjects including math, history, and science. This API provides a free resource to the Khan Academy databases and allows the user to share the information given on the site. Access the API here .

 

Blackboard Collaborate
An online learning platform which uses interactive software to bring people virtual classrooms, instant messaging with teachers and students, and web conferences around the world. This API allows developers of sites to merge Blackboard Collaborate with any LMS, CMS, VLE or portal. Access the API here .

 

Data.ed.gov
Data.ed.gov is a website that provides information about the Department of Education grants. This API provides Datasets, and performance statistics from public K-12 schools. The website is part of the Open Government Initiative. Access the API here

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