DIGGING DEEP: Wouldn't it be nice if edtech game developers could just focus on the mechanics and design and let someone else build all the questions and content that the systems would deliver? Or similarly if teachers, who had stacks of test questions that they had created over the years, could see them put to good use by current and future developers?
That's the promise of Root-1's OpenMinds API, a product that just launched quietly but could play a fascinating role in giving both developers and teachers more support. OpenMinds allow developers to access, upload, and re-purpose a bank of questions and items for any kind of apps, websites, and games--from the most basic of flashcard apps to the most glamorous of 3-D MMORPGS (if one so chooses).
Being able to define a standard format and structure for content is crucial to enabling a community to contribute, share, and re-use materials, say the developers. And as an added bonus, the platform can track and assess usage patterns as well--all valuable data that can be pushed back to developers. (The whole thing is described in pretty clear language here.)
The team has been trialing the platform with Singaporean edtech company, LittleLives, which has uploaded over 40,000 English-language questions from different subjects to the platform and built apps that pull from the item bank. Says LittleLives CEO and founder Sun Ho: "For edtech developers, often they have the development resources and expertise to create applications, but not access to reliable content. OpenMinds brings together the content provider and the developers...in a way that's easy for both parties."
Data standardization seems to be a hot button issue now and perhaps rightly so. It's not hard to see how creating rules and structure for what's been a Wild Wild West-like landscape (at least in technical data terms) holds powerful appeal for developers. We've seen LearnSprout and Clever do it with Student Information Systems. Now Root-1's doing it for content. Who's up next?