MIT App Inventor Impact

Feb 27, 2023 hal's Blog

MIT App Inventor Impact 2019-2022

One App At A Time

Since its release in 2012, MIT App Inventor has emerged as one of MIT's most widely used contributions to K-12 educational technology. It is part of the MIT-wide initiative Responsible AI for Social Empowerment and Education (RAISE). App Inventor’s goal is that anyone should be empowered to create mobile apps, even people with no technical background -- even students as young as primary school. The App Inventor server hosted by CSAIL supports over a million users a month, about half from schools. The 14+ million App Inventor users have created more than 85 million mobile apps, across 194 countries.

Since 2020, MIT App Inventor has created an AI curriculum that has been broadly included in MIT’s FutureMakers and Day of AI programs which have been used by over 3,000 educators in 90 countries. MIT App Inventor’s Conversational AI capabilities for Alexa was used as one of the primary tools in Amazon’s Alexa hour of AI.

The on-campus 2019 MIT App Inventor Summit hosted over 220 attendees from various parts of the world as part of the 10th anniversary of App Inventor platform celebration. Prof. Hal Abelson and the other original co-creators of App Inventor, Liz Looney, Mark Friedman, and Ellen Spertus celebrated with the other attendees and the winners of our first ever MIT App Inventor Youth Mobile App Challenge along with the MIT collaborators of this challenge at YR Media.

The Coronavirus pandemic presented many challenges and a marked increase in usage as schools and afterschool programs searched for viable solutions to assist them with remote learning. MIT App Inventor created the Coronavirus App Challenge and then in summer 2020 replaced the annual MIT App Inventor summit with the Appathon which has continued each summer since. The 2022 Appathon for Good welcomed 1100 contestants from 77 countries, with applicants ranging in age from 8 to 80 years old. App Inventor is cited by Learn Platforms EdTech 2021 as one of the top 40 Internet tools accessed by the most students and educators across the US.