BuildmLearn is a group of volunteers who collaborate to promote m-Learning with the specific aim of creating open source tools and enablers for teachers and students. The group is involved in developing easy to use m-Learning solutions, tool-kits and utilities for teachers (or parents) and students that help facilitate learning. The group comprises several like minded members of a wider community who collaborate to participate in a community building process.
This year too, we had applied to and were selected to participate in Google Summer of Code (2016 Edition). This summer we had 5 students working for us on different projects. We are happy with the overall progress that BuildmLearn has achieved during this summer.
For those who are unfamiliar with the program, Google Summer of Code is a global program that offers students stipends to write code for open source projects. Through this program, Google works with open source community to identify and fund exciting projects for the upcoming summer. Many open source projects like ours really benefit from this initiative of Google. Not only do we get large number of university students interested to work on our projects during summer; we also gain new long term contributors and project maintainers.
Below is a gist of what our students have been working this summer:
Anupam Das worked on the BuildmLearn toolkit app for Android. The goals for him this summer were to add the four new template to the exiting mobile app and to improve the overall design of existing template apps. I’m happy to announce that as we complete this edition of GSoC, the toolkit app supports 4 new app templates viz. Video Collection, Comprehension, Dictation and Match the following. Anumpam has been extraordinary in achieving these goals. Anupam also used this opportunity to fine tune the existing code, improving the overall stability of the app and also integrated the project with Travis-CI.
The new version of the BuildmLearn Toolkit with all the new templates is available for download in the Google Play store.
Screenshots from BuildmLearn Toolkit app
Jai Agarwal worked on the mConference Framework project this summer. The ‘mConference Framework’ project aims at developing an Android Framework which allows organizers to create apps for conferences and events. Using this framework, the organizers can create apps for any event, conference or meetup by creating and adding data in the configuration file (XML) from a static webpage. We have an initial version of the framework ready and hope to do some enhancements overtime so that it works out of the box for conference organizers.
Video showcasing an initial version of mConference Framework
Costin Giorgian worked on Physics simulations app. This mobile application is targeted at school and university students studying Physics. The app presents various physics experiments and concepts to choose from and see simulation in real time. It also allows the user to interact with the simulation using touch input, dragging objects and changing value of parameters like gravity, length (of pendulum, string), etc. We have showcased the app to school teachers and got some good feedback. Students are more interested to learn the concepts of Physics by actually seeing them in a tangible form in a lab, than studying the concepts in a classroom. We plan to incorporate some feedback that we received and release the app to Play store.
Screenshots from Physics Simulations app
Pranav Tiwari worked on building an open source portal for Universities. Many universities do not have a online platform for student-student and student-faculty interactions. Some universities do post results, notices etc. on their websites, but it’s not easily accessible, and there is no way to notify the students when these uploads are done. Interaction amongst various student bodies, clubs etc. are done through Whatsapp / Facebook / Google groups, which is very inefficient. UCP (University Campus Portal) solves this problems for the Universities.
Screenshot of the UCP (University Campus Portal) framework
Pranav has build a web application – that any university can easily deploy on their home server. The web application provides features like Discussions, News, Events, Drives and Events. The web app is responsive so it runs well on mobile devices too. Besides this, it allows a great deal of customization for the look and feel of the portal. Universities can choose an existing theme or create their own. The portal also exposes RESTful APIs for these features so that a client application (mobile / bots / etc) can be built for this platform. We are happy with the progress of UCP and looking for Universities to try this out.
Bhavita Lalwani was selected to work on Indic Language Input Tool (ILIT) for Android. The idea was to create an efficient keypad for indian languages using unconventional layouts for user input. We have the basic keypad layout in place and it works, however it is far from perfect. We would also like to build word and character prediction algorithms for this layout next, which probably is a good activity for someone who is interested in languages to take up.
Screenshots for an initial version ILIT (Indian Language Input Tool) for Android
Thank you, Google, Students and Mentors!
We are really thankful to Google for giving us this amazing opportunity to participate in the 2016 edition of GSoC. We have discovered talented contributors to our projects through GSoC. It has really been a productive summer for BuildmLearn. We were able to take many of our projects to the next level and attract many new contributors!