News Post

Coding Curriculum Comes to Our Schools with MIT'S App Inventor
Coding Curriculum Comes to Our Schools with MIT'S App Inventor
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June 11, 2018. Esol Education has announced a collaboration agreement with MIT App Inventor, an intuitive, visual programming environment at Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL). The initiative confirms Esol Education’s commitment to advancing learning through technology. 

MIT App Inventor demystifies coding through a graphical drag and drop interface, allowing students to create simple mobile applications (apps) in under an hour. Through a range of knowledge sharing initiatives and professional development for teachers, Esol Education will roll out the MIT App Inventor curriculum to Middle School students at its schools around the world, which includes the newly established Dunecrest American School and Fairgreen International School in Dubai and American School Hong Kong.

MIT App Inventor, an open source mobile application tool, was developed by MIT Professor Hal Abelson when he was a visiting faculty member at Google. Dr. Abelson is a Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT and a founding director of both Creative Commons and the Free Software Foundation. Hal and his team of MIT staff and teachers aim to empower young people to develop apps worth making, and to use mobile computing for significant, real-world impact. The platform provides access to the entire web, thus through the technological infrastructure of the Internet, these apps can be vastly powerful. And since they can be published through markets like the Play Store, the apps are accessible to millions and can have great reach.

“As digital transformation sweeps across the world, we need to teach our children about the building blocks of tomorrow, empowering them to be engaged with technology as creators, not just consumers,” said Mr. Walid Abushakra, Chairman of Esol Education. “Hal Abelson and his team at MIT are providing our students with an extraordinary platform that will help them harness the power of mobile computing to find innovative digital solutions to challenges that face their communities and the world beyond.”

MIT App Inventor is a revolutionary visual, blocks-based coding tool that facilitates the creation of complex, high-impact apps in significantly less time than traditional, text-based programming environments. The “designer blocks” each represent a different functionality such as SMS or geolocation, with one block containing thousands of lines of technical code. Students can drag and drop blocks to create their mobile apps, and compile and test its functionality instantly, speeding up the coding and publishing process.

“The true value of teaching people to build apps is helping them figure out what’s worth making,” said Marsha Gordon, Director of Communications and Outreach at MIT App Inventor. “Young people all over the world are using App Inventor for projects that do everything from addressing bullying in classrooms, to guiding the blind through unfamiliar environments, to helping elderly relatives cope with the challenges of memory loss. They are using MIT App Inventor to make their world a better place.” To learn more about MIT App Inventor visit: appinventor.mit.edu.