DonorsChoose.org is an online charity that makes it easy for anyone to help students in need.
Here's how it works: public school teachers from every corner of America post classroom project requests on DonorsChoose.org. Requests range from pencils for a poetry writing unit, to violins for a school recital, to microscope slides for a biology class.
Then, you can browse project requests and give any amount to the one that inspires you. Once a project reaches its funding goal, we deliver the materials to the school. You'll get photos of your project taking place, a thank-you letter from the teacher, and a cost report showing how each dollar was spent. If you give over $100, you'll also receive hand-written thank-you letters from the students. DonorsChoose.org's simple JSON API allows developers to pull DonorsChoose.org classroom project listings into their website or application using project selection criteria of their choosing. The JSON API has been used by DonorsChoose.org partners like Chevron, SONIC Drive-In, NBC Universal, Bing, PayPal, and others to build high-profile highly customized giving and cause marketing experiences. The API also enables developers to donate to projects or purchase gift cards without routing users to DonorsChoose.org for payment.
Education technology is changing the way instructors teach and students learn, and driving this EdTech are Application Programming Interfaces, or APIs. The best place for developers to find APIs for education apps is in the ProgrammableWeb Education category. Here we highlights some favorites.
Our API directory now includes 84 education APIs. The newest is the CollegiateLink API. The most popular, in terms of mashups, is the DonorsChoose API. We list 10 DonorsChoose mashups. Below you'll find some more stats from the directory, including the entire list of education APIs.
In April, we covered the DonorsChoose.org Hack Education contest, where developers were challenged to create apps and data visualizations with the DonorsChoose API that would engage the public and have an impact on education. Out of over 50 apps, an email mashup was named the top choice, with its developer receiving a trophy from political comedian (and DonorsChoose board member) Stephen Colbert.
There is a lot of discussion going on right now about what is wrong with the American public school system and about how to fix it. But despite heated debates about what's working and what's failing, there is still a lack of good information, particularly when it comes to what teachers need in their classrooms and what matters most to parents. DonorsChoose.org is trying to bridge that gap and now has a contest to encourage developers to help by using its DonorsChoose API.
It's easy to get caught up in platforms offering developers riches, or big mashup acquisitions. Now, we like all sorts of applications, but we often don't take time out to recognize those looking to create change through APIs. In the case of the three recent mashups we list below, each uses the DonorsChoose API and is attempting to help classrooms raise money and supplies.