Paris Map Tour
The Paris Map Tour app reminded me of the trip I took to France with the French Club in high school. I visited all of the places in ParisMapTour’s destination list on that trip. For my modification, I added the destination that was most
important to me at the time—a side trip I took with a lone friend while the rest of the group went shopping—the Pere Lachaise Cemetery (I am still unsure how to include diacritical marks in the AI2 Blocks editor), home of Jim Morrison’s grave. Now that I’m a mother and have been a high school teacher, I’m not sure why they let two freshmen run off by themselves to the graffiti-covered grave/shrine of a rock star whose strung-out older fans had made themselves at home there.
When building the first version of this app, I was amazed at how easy it was to program it to find a URL via the ActivityStarter. I did not know the trick about adding /?q= to the end of a URL, which almost seemed to work better than specifying a bit.ly link in version 2. However, I did not understand how AI2 was able to use the ActivityStarter, WebViewer, and PresidentsQuiz action files I downloaded without my uploading them into the program. This was a challenging app to build, in part because the textbook switched to using tables in the directions. But once I got the hang of it, I was once again impressed with what this technology can do!
As I started building PresidentsQuiz, I could immediately see the potential for this sort of app in education. Teachers could easily create an app for any quick quiz, provided the students had mobile devices with which to access it. Of course, data collection would be a separate issue, but it would work for students to self-check their understanding. As there was no direction to program a tally or final score, I assume a quiz like this would be administered for that purpose. In this particular case, the quiz might not be an accurate measure of comprehension anyway, simply because the picture shown with each question (except the atom bomb question) could give away the answer if students know what the presidents look like. Assuming this quiz would not be graded, I added as my modification a “Previous” button, copying the blocks for the “Next” button but changing greater than to less than in the equation. One glitch I discovered is that the Android device’s keyboard may automatically insert a space after the student types his/her answer, which causes the answer to show as incorrect. The teacher would need to explain this in advance of administering the quiz. Also, the answers are case sensitive, so students would need to know it is important to capitalize proper nouns.