Thursday, September 3, 2015

Summer Camp with Android Mobile Devices

In August 2015 a team of Russian and Estonian educators ran a mobile technologies summer camp “ Learned Cat 2015” near Pskov, Russia. During 8 days of the camp students from Moscow, Tallinn and Pskov, equipped with Android tablets explored the area of the Puskin estate and land museum, created an augmented reality layer and programmed their mobile applications with MIT App Inventor.

The area around Pushkinsky Gory is famous for being the place where the greatest Russian poet Alexander Pushkin spent several years of his life in 1820-s and created outstanding masterpieces of Russian literature. Although his poetry is studied by all Russian secondary and high school students, very few of them get a chance to visit the place of his major insprations. This is why we chose Pushkinsky Gory as our summer camp site.

The camp was run an the BYOD model. All students we encouraged to bring their smartphones and tablets in that they have OS Android 4.0 and higher on them. At the preliminary stage of the camp we asked them to install Layar augmented reality app, MIT App Inventor Companion, Compas app, and Google Goggles for QR coding. While on site the kids explored the Pushkin estate and museum exhibits and created their points of interest in Layar. Those points of interest are now publicly available and can be used by tourists, visitinng Pushkinsky Gory.

The “Electronic Guide” created by students is not only informative, but interactive as well. To create interactve Android apps we used visual programming environment MIT App Inventor, which was localized into Russian this summer. As part of the camp program, 21 summer camp participants, most of whom were girls, learned how to program in Blockly visual applications. With MIT App Inventor summer camp participants created and published through Layar augmented reality app their own quizes, tests and quests helping their campmates to understand life and creative work of Alexander Pushkin better.

The "Learned Cat" camp was supported by Google RISE award.

No comments:

Post a Comment