This is one of the most exciting moves in using innovative thinking and technology to move education forward, and comes about through a true development partnership between Google and MIT. The Media Lab has always had a reputation for inter-disciplinary doing, creating some of the most forward thinking applications in the world.
“The Center, housed at the Media Lab, will focus on the design and study of new mobile technologies and applications, enabling people to learn anywhere anytime with anyone. Research projects will explore location-aware learning applications, mobile sensing and data collection, augmented reality gaming, and other educational uses of mobile technologies.”
The genesis of the program according the press release was MIT Prof Hal Abelson’s work at Google, during his sabbatical, in creating the App Inventor for Android. App Inventor has established a new system of programming, using what my non-engineering mind translates as a plug-and-play building block development process. This is the type of sabbatical & corporate/academic partnership that catapults opportunity–putting together the most creative researchers with the most innovative companies, with phenomenal results. Add to this, MIT’s history of open sharing of results, data and product, and everyone can benefit.