According to Benjamin Lim, ISV/Developer Platform Business Development Lead – APAC at Zoom (pic), Zoom’s developer platform is evolving into a communications platform-as-a-service (PaaS) that offers myriad and innovative possibilities in the education sector with the platform featuring two components: integration and customisation.
Integration refers to apps in the Zoom marketplace. Lim noted that there are 2,500 apps in the marketplace, with 400 specifically in the education category that have all the necessary LTI (learning tools interoperability) capabilities, already built and ready to use. Customisation refers to leveraging Zoom’s capabilities in Zoom customers’ own websites or applications, using the software development kits (SDKs) and application programming interfaces (APIs) that the company provides.
“Many of you have been thinking about building or enhancing your apps, and bringing video into your apps. If you want the full Zoom experience, that’s the meeting platform that you actually have here. Otherwise, if you want to build a smaller footprint, our video SDKs and the APIs support that,” he said.
Overall, Zoom offers a powerful platform for creating immersive and engaging applications that leverage the benefits of video communication.
These resources empower developers to create unique and tailored experiences while enjoying the full Zoom experience or building customised solutions. With extensive documentation, sample code and community support, Zoom’s developer platform is known to foster innovation and collaboration for developers here in Malaysia, and throughout the world.
Lim was speaking during his sharing session at the recent APAC Zoom Education Summit 2023, a hybrid event bridging attendees physically present in Singapore and Sydney, as well as over 1,000 online participants including Business Today.
Also presenting at his session was Instructure, one of Zoom’s strategic education partners. Instructure is the creator of Canvas, which the company bills as the world’s leading Learning Management System (LMS).
Choy Mingyue, Solution Engineer from Instructure, provided insights on how Canvas and Zoom can integrate seamlessly to elevate the teaching and learning experience.
“One of the many reasons that our customers love Canvas is that we help to streamline teaching and learning. We are easily the most extensible system in the market; we integrate with over 600 third-party tools, Zoom included. This means that your faculty members and students will have one centralised platform to access all of their teaching and learning materials,” she pointed out.
Integrating Zoom into Canvas allowed educators to set up a hybrid learning environment for students all within one platform.
“Now you can schedule Zoom Meetings directly within Canvas; they will automatically be synchronized with the Canvas calendar, which is the one place that keeps track of all of your learning activities. You can change the due dates by simply dragging and dropping, and your students will receive the notifications accordingly.”
Choy also highlighted that for students who may need additional support, Canvas and Zoom integrate seamlessly to make learning accessible for all.
“When you schedule a virtual Zoom Meeting on Canvas, students will be able to turn on auto-generated captions, leveraging Zoom’s live-captioning capabilities. They can even have these captions in another language. All of these meetings can be recorded on the cloud, and they can all be accessed within Canvas, or automatically imported into the Canvas Studio Library, which is a place that houses all of your media files and collections.
“From here, you can then add these recordings to your Canvas courses, and begin building that engaging learning experience for your students, by enabling them to access these recordings asynchronously, so that they can learn at their own pace.”
One of the educational institutions that leverage Zoom’s SDKs and APIs is Wall Street English, one of the largest English language training providers in the world. Pratap C. Rajan, Managing Director for Enterprise Business at Wall Street English, described Zoom’s video SDK integration as a successful project for Wall Street English.
“We met the leap of faith and integrated it into our product, and we are so happy that it’s helping our students across the world learn from anywhere. We have a high percentage of students spending more than 30 minutes in a class without any disruption, because they can stay continuously without any kind of drop-off from the calls or bandwidth tissues.
“Zoom has changed the digital classroom environment for us. We are able to provide a much better-quality environment for our students; we are also able to reach more students, and because of working with Zoom, the quality of what we do is much, much better.”
During his keynote at the summit, Ricky Kapur, Head of Asia Pacific at Zoom, noted that reimagining the education experience was a holistic undertaking that stretched well beyond the classroom or lecture hall.
“Education has become hybrid. When we think about reimagining the education experience, the first thought goes into learning. Whether we talk about the physical environment within the classroom or we go online or we go hybrid, how do we create rich, immersive experiences, where the whole learning journey is sticky and people actually grasp what is going on?
“Beyond the learning experience, it’s also about connecting – how we connect the students, the faculty, and the alumni. There’s also this whole aspect of bringing the wider community together. How we support the students in the entire lifecycle of their academic experience, whether K-12 or higher education. How we help the students in the entire experience from the interview stage, onboarding, orientation, the whole campus experience.
“An academic institution or a campus is a workplace. Like any other workplace, we need to ensure that everyone is productive, and that there is a rich collaboration fabric happening between the different people in the workplace. What we hear from academic professionals is a need for more flexibility, for technology to just get out of the way and allow them to be able to do their jobs in an immersive way without having to navigate multiple tools. This is what we’ve been thinking deeply about and are building in the platform to help in that whole teaching and learning experience.”
Kapur highlighted the fact that Zoom has been passionate about education right from its inception.
“We are widely adopted throughout 46 of the top 50 global universities; across over 90% of the universities in the US; and across higher-ed and K-12 institutions throughout the Asia Pacific region. The education sector is one of the 2 or 3 areas where we have specialised product teams.”