Google funds the new MIT Center for Mobile Learning, where its App Inventor for Android open-source programming tool will live on.
(NASDAQ:GOOG) is funding the newly launched MIT Center for Mobile Learning,
whose first task is to rescue App Inventor for Android, which Google has
decided to abandon.
terms of Google's investment in the MIT Center for Mobile Learning were not
App Inventor for Android
is a tool people without
programming knowledge can use to build applications for smartphones based on
Google's Android platform. App Inventor, which has about 100,000 educators,
students and hobbyists on board, lets users visually fit together puzzle-piece-shaped
programming blocks in a Web browser.
Google CEO Larry Page earlier this month opted to stop
development on App Inventor
by the end of the year. Google said it
would open the source code to the public and vowed to explore
"opportunities to support the educational use of App Inventor on an open-source
shape in App Inventor being a good starting point for MIT's new center, which
will focus on the design and study of new mobile technologies and applications
to augment learning.
researchers will use App Inventor to construct "location-aware learning
applications, mobile sensing and data collection, augmented-reality gaming and
other educational uses of mobile technologies," according to a statement
The MIT Center
for Mobile Learning has three directors: Hal Abelson, the MIT professor of
electrical engineering and computer science who proposed an idea that prompted
the development of App Inventor when he was on sabbatical at Google in 2008;
Eric Klopfer, associate professor of science education; and Mitchel Resnick,
LEGO Papert Professor of Learning Research.
in the statement that his idea for App Inventor sprung from Resnick's Scratch
software programming platform with the core code for its programming blocks
coming from Klopfer's lab, which trains MIT students to be secondary school
science and math teachers.
Media Lab initiative completes the circle," said Abelson. "For me,
it's a terrific experience of starting with an idea, finding visionary industry
leaders willing to make it a reality, then bringing it back home to MIT so I
can work on projects I love, together with colleagues I admire."
meanwhile, found a way to save App Inventor as a development tool for computer
science students and researchers, without having to shell out money to fund it every
It's as good a
way as any to make use of assets that would have otherwise been banished to