Education/Newsletter/June 2017/Integrating app development into Wikipedia in Education programs
Integrating app development into Wikipedia in Education programs
Author: Mina Theofilatou, Computer Science teacher (User:Saintfevrier)
Argostoli, Kefalonia, Greece
Summary: The Argostoli Evening School has developed an Android app with their work on Commons, Wikidata and Wikispecies for offline and/or online field use to acquaint the public with the abundant edible plants growing wild in their island's natural surroundings. The school's' innovative use of MIT's CC-licensed AppInventor environment in language projects will be presented by their teacher Mina Theofilatou at the Celtic Knot Conference in Edinburgh in early July.
The February 2017 newsletter mentioned that the Argostoli Evening School's semester two project would involve the production of an Android app for users to benefit from the work the school had done in the Kefalonia Wild Flora gallery on Commons. The KefaloniaWildFlora app is now available for anyone interested in identifying over twenty species of edible wild plants on the island of Kefalonia, Greece.
After planning, analysing and designing the app in class, a backbone was drafted in MIT's AppInventor block programming environment and student Angelo Papadatos took it on himself to complete the implementation of the app. He did an amazing job in producing a user-friendly app loaded with useful features! The app was developed first in English, in order to facilitate Israeli teachers who had expressed an interest in considering a similar project for the coming school year. All the basic info a user needs in order to identify the plants has been made available offline by integrating the necessary Wikimedia content (i.e. Commons photo, intro from Wikipedia article), while users with a data connection can access more details by merely clicking on the extra buttons. The app can be downloaded here; the Greek version will also be made available soon.
This is the second time the school has used assignments carried out on the Wikimedia projects as inspiration for developing an app to share practical and/or entertaining aspects of their work with a wider audience; last year's app was a quiz on the Kefalonian dialect primarily addressed at the younger generation of the island, as the local words are gradually diminishing from youngsters' vocabulary...
The 10th graders presented the wild flora app at the school's graduation ceremony on Thursday 22 June. Mina will include a language-focused AppInventor demonstration in her presentation at the Celtic Knot:Wikipedia Language Conference to be held at the University of Edinburgh Business School on 6th July. Both presentations are expected to display the versatility of the Wikimedia projects as a teaching tool and how they can be seamlessly integrated with cutting-edge programming tools that share the same open-content values, in the direction of disseminating local cultural and natural heritage to a diverse audience.