Frog is built on widgets and having visited dozens of schools in the last year, I have been amazed at what is possible to achieve using just these available widgets. Frog’s developers and product teams have done their best responding to requests for new and different features, but creating tools which have to be used by everyone, does mean that sometimes the specialist option loses out.Thanks to FrogCode though, this is something that’s about to change.
One of the things I’m most excited about is the possibilities FrogCode is opening up. Every conversation I have with someone about building widgets follows the same format. At first, they are intimidated by the code, so I show them how to build a basic widget and once we preview their creation, suddenly the flood gates open and the ideas spill out:
“Can we have a widget that shows Google Maps?”
“Can we embed Office365 docs?”
“I wish we could build a phrase of the day widget that let’s you change the title and load in dozens of phrases”
Our head of sales, Anthony Doyle, sat down on night and built a widget which uses Google’s document viewer APIs to display any document you upload to a site. Anthony’s a smart guy, but I don’t think he has any programming experience.
You don't need to code
Our aim is for widgets and applications to be available to share with other schools via the FrogStore. Widgets can be packaged up so they just install. I’m secretly hoping a marketplace will form online where schools who need a specific widget can find a developer at another school to build it for them.
There will also be an option to allow you to change the code if it doesn’t quite work the way you want it to. I am pretty confident we’ll get 10 different activity timers, I’ve written one myself but I fully expect to be outdone once schools start building.
FrogCode is available in the Dickens release. We’re hosting a launch event over the Easter break (Halifax, 19th April) which will give you the opportunity to work with some of our developers and build some applications and widgets.
If you’d like to learn more, please post any questions on the forums. Myself and Chris Smith, our developer advocate (and chief architect of FrogCode) keep an eye on there and it’s the best place to ask about details.
I’m going to have my hands full between now and then creating tutorials and putting the finishing touches to my own widgets. After all, I want to share in the fun too!