A Peek Into EXO U’s Software Design Approach to BYODedu


Education should not be about building more schools and maintaining a system that dates back to the Industrial Revolution. We can achieve so much more, at unmatched scale with software and interactive learning.

Naveen Jain

Last month I wrote about EXO U’s approach to translating the moment of instruction into our software and the design principles which drive Ormi. The lessons we learned led us to define and live by a number of BYODedu tenets that influence the technical design and development of the Ormi platform. These tenets are summarized below:

  • Develop a mobile engagement platform that supports a diversity of teaching methods in education systems around the world.
  • Redefine mobile to include a broader set of devices: smartphones, tablets, personal computers as well as interactive displays.
  • Support all of the major operating systems used in classrooms including Android, Chrome OS, iOS, OS X, and Windows.
  • Deliver an intuitive, responsive, and consistent user experience across all platforms and form factors.
  • Provide a secure and personalized client runtime environment that can execute both Web and native apps.
  • Encourage student engagement in the classroom and beyond through contextualized messaging and collaboration.
  • Minimize the potential distractions introduced by BYOD with the right teaching tools and student controls.
  • Leverage existing investments. This includes integrating with school information systems and learning management systems.
  • Allow teachers and students to do what they have to do, whether online or offline, at school or at home.
  • Make it easy for teachers and students to produce, publish, discover, distribute and consume apps and content.
  • Right-scale a deployment from a single disconnected classroom to a large distributed institution, on-premise or in the cloud.
  • Include enterprise-grade tools and APIs to help easily organize and manage domains, users, and resources at any scale.
  • Allow for the collection of activity insight so that time on task and other relevant data can be analyzed to improve student outcomes.
  • Provide the necessary tools and APIs for developing engaging apps, while minimizing the learning curve for developers.

Combining the design principles with this larger set of BYODedu tenets for software development – together – create the backbone of our approach to building educational software.

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Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License by Paul Tocatlian.

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