In what ways can you benefit from integrating your content with the itslearning platform? According to itslearning’s Director of Global Sales and Services John Arthur Berg, it’s easy to get started – and a partnership can be lucrative, even for vendors with small applications.
"itslearning has more than 2 million users, and the potential in our user mass, combined with our tools for handling Digital Rights Management (DRM) and licensing, can make it profitable to partner with us," says John Arthur.
Build on itslearning’s existing framework
If you’re building a standalone app, as well as developing the core functionality of the app itself, you also have to deal with user provisioning, authentication and globalisation and localisation. But if you integrate with itslearning, you get a lot of this for free.
"A feature many vendors find interesting is our localisation support. You might start by adding your tool in your native language. But we have users in eight additional countries, if you choose to add support for other languages, itslearning can help you reach new markets."
External applications can also benefit from itslearning’s assignment settings – including deadlines, mandatory/not mandatory, visible to, visible for, assessment scales and submission statuses. By connecting to these statuses, the activities from your tools will be visible in itslearning’s task lists, calendar, reports, grade books and parent portal.
itslearning provides an excellent display window for your application, but it is up to you to actually sell your products. However, John Arthur is clear that itslearning does what they can to market your application – and that all applications are treated equal.
"Since we’re an open platform, we have to be careful about not giving vendors competitive advantage or exclusivity. But if you as a vendor agree, we can bundle your tool with itslearning in a tender process," John Arthur explains.
Let itslearning increase the value of your application
"If a teacher can insert a video about a current news event directly into a test, the resource has gone from being a good bit of TV footage to something more: a tool for learning," says John Arthur.
No additional or hidden fees
itslearning’s strategy is to be an open platform, as opposed to many other companies that demand a license or partner fee before vendors are allowed to use their APIs.
At itslearning, anyone can access the developer portal, their own developers, APIs and readily available SDKs – free of charge. The only thing you need is a minimum of programming skills and a place to upload your application.
But is there a market for third-party tools in the education segment? John Arthur believes the market is more open than most people think.
"It’s an interesting market, definitely. All over the world, the education sector spends huge sums on content. And in the future, this market will most likely expand as more schools and universities look to reduce paper and textbook costs by buying more digital content. Right now, the highest earning third-party tool in itslearning makes over €600,000 a year," says John Arthur.
Will your idea sell?
The sky is the limit when it comes to what kind of applications you can integrate with itslearning – and John Arthur already has a wish list of what he’d like to see developed.
"We really want to see good tools for video and real time collaboration, and tools for podcasts and wikis. Other tools that would be useful are a good Twitter integration, or a feed reader type of tool for the built-in editor in itslearning – this would really make communication for teachers and their students easier."
Perhaps higher education will take the challenge, and let their skilled students develop applications?
Posted on March 24, 2011
by Øyvind Flatnes