Earlier this year we had the opportunity to participate in Google Summer of Code (GSoC) program. For those who are unfamiliar with the program, GSoC is a (very popular) student developer outreach program by Google. Under this program, for about 3 months selected students get to work on open source projects under the supervision of experienced mentors from the organization. Google, as an organization, uses many open source technologies since it’s inception and now for about 10 years GSoC is one of their efforts to give back and help open source projects, communities foster.
We have a couple of people in our BuildmLearn core team who were familiar with the program, having participated earlier as students and mentors for other large open source projects. We applied for the program and were shortlisted to participate.
We had a variety of projects for the students to choose from – from working on developing the BuildmLearn Toolkit on Linux and Mac OS to developing great educational mobile applications. Our project ideas were highly received with an interest from over 250+ students who applied to work on our projects. After careful evaluation, we shortlisted 3 students to participate in our projects.
The hacking period of 3 months was very productive and here is a glimpse of what each summer project was like:
Martin Rotter from Czech Republic worked on porting the BuildmLearn Toolkit to Linux, OS/2 and Mac OS X. He also worked on a lot enhancements to the toolkit and stabilize the code base. About his experience with GSoC and BuildmLearn, Martin writes “I was very happy, that all stuff was implemented and roughly tested before the deadline. We ported BuildmLearn Toolkit to Windows, Linux, OS/2 and Mac OS X, which is great achievement, which I am proud of.” Read more about Martin’s experience here.
We were successfully able to release this version of BuildmLearn Toolkit to public at the end of GSoC. Here is the post announcing the release.
Kelvin Khoo Kuok Yao from Malaysia worked on an educational mobile game called “Tell the time” which teaches children about the concepts of time and date in an interesting manner. Targeted at children 4 to 8 years of age, this mobile game uses an interactive clock and calendar elements to engage the kids. Kelvin writes about his experience “Overall, the GSOC experience was intensive yet fun. What could be best when you can do work at your home, has the freedom to implement your idea into an interesting project that you like.” Read more about Kelvin’s experience here.
We were able to publish the game to Google Play store as a part of this program. You may download and try the application here.
Abhishek Batra from India worked on an interesting mobile application called “Learn from Map” which is focused on teaching geography. Targeted at kids studying in primary schools, this application uses interactive map elements to teach geography and related topics in an informal environment. After completing GSoC 2014, Abhishek writes “I am really thankful to all the BuildmLearn members for giving me the opportunity to be part of this organization and GSoC. Past three months were really awesome for me. And I am not going to disappear any where and will continue to be part of BuildmLearn (this is the essence of GSoC program). I hope we can have more mLearning projects in the future.” Read more about Abhishek’s experience here.
We successfully published this application to Google Play store as a part of this program. You may download and try the application here.
Thank you, Google!
Overall, it has been an amazing and productive summer for BuildmLearn. We would like to thank Google for giving BuildmLearn this opportunity to be a party of this awesome program. We were able to take our projects to the next level and attract many new contributors!