Gadgets, like smartphone apps, are the power behind everything teachers do on Versal. From blended learning courses to homework assignments to corporate training, teachers create online learning experiences by drag-and-dropping customizable gadgets onto a Versal canvas. Beyond text, video and images, gadgets let authors add and customize interactive diagrams, timelines, flashcards, simulations and more, plus import existing materials via Google Docs etc.
Videos and slide decks are useful tools, and yes there’s “a gadget for that.” But it’s time to move beyond passive learning and take advantage of the power of computers. From the beginning, when we’ve talked about the Versal course creation platform, we’ve repeated one mantra: “no coding required.” That’s because, until now, teachers had to know how to code, or have the resources to hire a programmer, to create an interactive online learning experience.
Now we’re opening up the Versal platform to all developers interested in transforming online education for teachers and students around the world.
The first APIs are focused on event processing, asset management, and basic learner assessment. Start building gadgets now here, or read on for more details. If you’re interested in joining the beta and want to learn more or connect with other like-minded developers and teachers, check out our community portal.
To make it exceptionally easy to get started, we teamed up with London-based Codio to offer a Web-based IDE. Build gadgets right in your browser. Codio is really amazing. With the Versal Web IDE, you don’t need to download, install, or configure anything locally. Plus we have several templates already built so you don’t have to start from scratch. If you have a preferred developer environment, you may also download an SDK.
By the way…are you headed to the TechCrunch Disrupt hackathon this weekend? We’ll have a table set up, offering demos and helping developers get started at a table. We’re even holding a second contest. Build a gadget and win a Chromebook.
Today is a big day for us. We’re a team of engineers and education enthusiasts, and we’ve spent the past two years building out a platform to bring online learning to life through interactivity. We hope all of the developers out there – especially people who feel as passionately as we do about opening up education to the world – will join us.
(Also…many thanks to Wei Hsu, Dan Raftery, Afshin Mokhtari and all of the developers who participated in the private beta building gadgets and shaping the initial release of our APIs and SDK. Your support and friendship have been amazing.)