(PhysOrg.com) -- Edmodo, the leading education centric social networking site has announced that it is opening its Application Programming Interface (API) to third party developers in a bid to entice more teachers to use the site. Edmodo is a Facebook-like site that is restricted to teachers, parents, students and school districts and is used primarily as an online tool between teachers and their students. It currently has a user base of approximately six million. By opening up their API, Edmodo is hoping to increase that number and to profit from its take on the applications that are created and sold for the platform.
Edmodo was founded in 2008 by Nicolas Borg and Jeff O'Hara and is based in San Mateo California. It’s currently available in English, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Greek and French and as a result is used by educators and students across the globe. To use the site, teachers create an account for themselves that includes a profile and a means for adding all of the students in a class. After that, teachers and their students can communicate back and forth, quizzes can be given, grades posted (privately) and questions can be asked and answered. The whole point is to facilitate a process outside of the normal learning environment of the classroom to allow both teachers and their students a secondary avenue for reaching goals in the educational process.
By opening up their API, Edmodo will allow third party developers to create apps for the site that can be used in ways very similar to those users see on Facebook, except of course, the apps on Edmodo will all be aimed specifically at helping teachers teach, and students learn. To make sure that happens, Edmodo has created a sister site called the Teacher-Developer Exchange that provides a mechanism for teachers and developers to communicate with one another directly.
To get the ball rolling, Edmodo has also announced that 35 initial apps are already available for download from its own apps store, some of which are free, while some are not. Edmodo gets a fifteen percent cut on each app sold. Apps are expected to range from learning games for the students, to addendums to textbooks, to processes that help teachers create and manage their lesson plans. What’s not clear yet is whether school districts will get in on the act and pay for the apps that teachers want to use or if Edmodo will offer discounts for school districts that do so.
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