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How To Build Interactive Educational "Gadgets"


Versal has produced an open API platform specifically designed to offer developers a way to easily build interactive and customizable "learning gadgets" for teachers.

When the firm uses the term "gadgets", it refers to technologies like smartphone apps. Saying that while "core gadgets" like text, video, and images allow a teacher to offer a basic course and lesson structure for students, the real teaching magic lies with interactive simulations, games, timelines, quizzes, white-boarding — and this is where it draws its definition of the term gadget from.

"An open community of developers and teachers has the potential to radically improve online learning," said Gregor Freund, CEO and cofounder at Versal. "Imagine an educational publishing platform offering any teacher access to customizable interactive exercises from science labs to language lessons and so much more. Today, we're one step closer to achieving this vision."

To make it easy for JavaScript developers to get started, Versal partnered with London-based Codio to offer a web-based IDE, so that Versal gadgets can be built online from scratch or with preconfigured templates. Developers can use the web IDE or download an SDK to build gadgets in their preferred development environment.

"It makes perfect sense to develop gadgets in a Web IDE. Codio aims to enable the community to be as productive and creative as possible, removing all the complexity of set up and configuration. Select a template or start to build a gadget from scratch within seconds," said Freddy May, Codio's founder. "Developers are lifelong learners by nature, and the opportunity to create cool experiences for teachers and learners is inspiring. We're even planning to develop a Versal gadget to help computer science teachers offer basic in-course instruction."

The first APIs are focused on event processing, asset management and basic learner assessment. Developers and teachers interested in joining the beta should visit community.versal.com for more information and to connect with each other.


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