As digital education becomes more accessible, growth in API exposure has driven a shift to a new paradigm, based on digital ecosystems. In addition, APIs are also playing a decisive role in the scalability of EdTechs and in new educational technologies (Blockchain, Microcredentials, Tin Can API, IDaaS, Adaptive Learning, etc.).
This API adoption allows education companies to go beyond content digitization, infrastructure modernization and processes integration, and opens the path for a new digital transformation, more collaborative and amplified by exostructures in the cloud and partners’ ecosystems.
APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) are connectors that, in a standardized way and applying security mechanisms, enable agile and scalable integrations between partners and technologies (legacy systems, cloud software, databases, applications, devices).
The strategy based on ecosystems enabled by APIs is similar to the marketplace model applied by large e-commerce. These ecosystems make it possible to compose services, expand offers and provide multichannel experiences for its users.
APIs also play a key role in the scalability of Edtechs, allowing them to use lean exostructures in the cloud (without complicated installations/updates) and, in an agile and dynamic manner, expand their offerings by assembling services with partners and reconfiguring their business strategies.
This composition of services can be among partners in the education segment itself, but also include companies from other segments that use APIs (AI + Analytics, Telecom, Payments, Loyalty Programs, Advertising, etc.).
Thinking about exposing public APIs and making them available through a dev portal, independent developers can create business on top of the data/services exposed by APIs, generate new revenue sources and gain insights from open innovation initiatives (for example, hackathons).
The use of APIs can also improve the learning experience, which has been increasingly fragmented across different channels, systems, and formats. In addition to open standards such as LTI (Learning Tools Interoperability) and Tin Can API (also known as Experience API or xAPI), the interoperability facilitated by the APIs allows the delivery of content from different sources, channels, and formats, optimized for the student, and perform integrated tracking of the learning progress.
The integrated tracking data can be connected via APIs in AI + Analytics services and generate predictive analysis, sentiment analysis, pattern recognition, feeding virtual assistants, recommending content, providing adaptive learning paths, among other resources - which will personalize, adapt, and enrich each student's learning experience.
The growth of APIs to enable digital ecosystems, enhance the user experience and support the operation of legacy systems with new standards and technologies (Blockchain, IoT, AI + Analytics, Microcredentials, LTI, Tin Can API, etc.) increases the need for effective management of these APIs and application of controls related to security, architecture, documentation, engagement.
Through an API management platform, it is possible to combine functionality from different systems and make them available as services, controlling access permissions, managing resource allocation, triggering coordinated actions, monetizing data, collecting metrics, and generating business insights.
A complete API management platform has tools to support API design (Mocks, Smart design, multiple production and test environments) and centralized exposure control (Lifecycle, Versioning, Analytics).
The exposure of APIs is made by mediation of the management layer, which applies modern security standards (Oauth, encryption, threat protection, spike arrest, among others), of performance optimization (Caching, Quota Control, Customized Dashboards, etc.), monetization and data transformation (transparent operation, converting data to different standards, according to the interface).
In addition to features for design, exhibition and governance, engagement resources are also essential, such as Dev Portal, to encourage the effective use of APIs and gather feedback for continuous improvement.
Sensedia has the leading API Management solution in Latin America and is the first Brazilian company in the Gartner Full Lifecycle API-Management Magic Quadrant and Forrester Wave API Management Solutions, in addition to having a consulting team to assist customers in architectural strategies, API design and monetization.
See how Sensedia's API Management solution contributed to Estácio's digital transformation journey:
• Lecture by JORGE SANTOS, Former CIO of Estácio: "APIs as a Driver for Digital Transformation in Education" - APIX 2016
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