An API is an Application Programming Interface, essentially a structured way for machines to talk with each other. The Tin Can API (sometimes known as the Experience API) is an emerging interface for learning technology that makes it possible to collect data about the wide range of experiences a person has (online and offline). This API captures data in a consistent format about a person or group’s activities from many technologies. Very different systems are able to securely communicate by capturing and sharing this stream of activities using Tin Can’s simple vocabulary.
The basic idea is that people don’t learn at a single place or time, or on a single device, so how can we seamlessly support learning however it happens for them? The Tin Can API is an attempt to enable this transparent learning conversation to happen. If it catches on it will have transformative implications for every dimension of education.
BLP Mobile Learning Trends 2012