Google and MIT have worked together on multiple projects in the past, and each collaborative project has given a good idea of Google’s mid- to long-term priorities. Their most recent investment is in the “MIT Center for Mobile Learning,” which is researching ways to “transform learning and education through innovation in mobile computing.” Google Android will be the starting point for much of this innovation.
Google App Inventor Gets a Boost
Google’s shared interests with MIT aren’t hard to see here. For one, Google is heavily invested into mobile, owning the world’s most popular smartphone OS and continuing to work at a strong tablet presentation. In the same way that personal computers boomed in popularity once they were integrated into our education system, smartphones could get a lot more attention if students were downloading their homework via an Android app. And for MIT, it seems that advanced made will indeed be targeting Android.
For one, Android is open source, which makes it a better choice for keeping costs low and giving users expanded capabilities. Additionally, the App Inventor – a tool designed to help starting developers put together simple apps – will be the platform MIT uses as the research begins. “App Inventor will be connected to MIT’s premier research in educational technology and MIT’s long track record of creating and supporting open software,” states Hal Abelson, Professor of Computer Science and Engineering at MIT.
It’s not just about the popularity of Android, however. Google has targeted educational institutions for Google Apps and other services. It’s the same thing Apple did during the computer wars: They’re attempting to earn loyalty during the pre-career phases of their future users’ lives.
[Sources include: The Google Research Blog]