There is obvious potential for m-learning, including quizzes, educational games, mini-courses, informal learning.. really the sky is the limit. If development is as easy as they claim, then we can focus even more on design and are not as limited by the complexity of app development. The App Inventor uses Open Blocks, which is distributed by MIT’s Scheller Teacher Education Program. Please note, the apps are for Androids and I will assume they will not be supported across all smart phones, which is a hindrance in developing m-learning.
According to the site, they will be granting access to interested users in the coming weeks. I have put in my request and will let everyone know if/when it is granted. All that is needed is a Google account to sign up.
Here is a video Google provides showing the development of a very simple app.
Google also provides descriptions of examples that have been developed.
I have talked in the past about Adobe Flash coming to TV and the potential impact on e-Learning (Adobe Flash on TV and Adobe Flash on TV – Update). Now Google has announced Google TV and it WILL have Flash (Flash Player 10.1). They even have a page regarding designing websites for TV that provides some guidance on designing Flash for Google TV. The SDK is expected in several months and Google TV devices will go on sale this fall according to their FAQs.
Baltimore has put in a bid for Google Fiber, which is Google’s experiment to select one or more trial locations for a ultra high speed fiber network.
Here is brief description from Google of what they are planning to build:
Google is planning to build and test ultra-high speed broadband networks in one or more trial locations across the country. We’ll deliver Internet speeds more than 100 times faster than what most Americans have access to today over 1 gigabit per second, fiber-to-the-home connections. We’ll offer service at a competitive price to at least 50,000 and potentially up to 500,000 people.
Of course I am biased as a resident of the Baltimore area, but I truly believe Baltimore is a fantastic location for this special opportunity. It is the location of superb higher educational institutions, research facilities, science and technology industry, and highly creative and innovative residents. Baltimore has a website that supports Baltimore’s bid and it includes community support via videos and Google Maps.
You can also provide support for Baltimore’s bid, if interested. The deadline for submitting your support for Baltimore or any of the other towns’ bids is March 26, 2010.
Google Labs recently released their Public Data Explorer. You can create charts and visualizations with public data sets. I created the examples below from data provided by the World Bank. The amount of data provided by the World Bank is impressive.
In my opinion, the animated map and bubble views need some work, but it is a beta so I will cut Google some slack.
In addition to data from the World Bank, they have data from the California Department of Education, U.S. Census Bureau, Eurostat and more. Researchers and teachers alike may find Public Data Explorer very useful. So, give it a test drive. FYI: You can embed your charts into a webpage or blog (like the examples above), which are updated automatically so the data is current. I will also be adding this new tool to the Cloud Apps page .
From time to time, I like to visit Google Labs and see their most recent projects. One of their latest is Google Image Swirl.
“Google Image Swirl organizes image search results into groups and sub-groups, based on their visual and semantic similarity and presents them in an intuitive exploratory interface. Try this tool to resolve an ambiguous query visually (apple, jaguar, beetle) or to explore a concept from different visual perspectives (Eiffel Tower, beach, impressionism).”
Below are some the results/swirls from searching “Caesar.” It is nice to see Sid is right up there with Julius.
It is still in the labs, so I am sure there will be improvements when released, and I do hope they increase the size of the images in the swirls. They are a bit difficult to view. What I do like is that I can very quickly dig into subgroups of the image results, refining the search visually.
Go ahead, give it a try, Image Swirl.
Each time Flash appears on another mobile phone I get ever more hopeful about Flash becoming THE delivery platform for m-learning.
So, will Flash be on the new Google phone that everyone is buzzing about? It is not currently, but Adobe will be making it available for download sometime in future and here is a preview.
We are moving a little closer to a world were Flash is on every smart phone… iPhone, where are you?