Demo Day Overview: Technology as a Means to Learn about Cultures

What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of technology? AI, robots, or tech gadgets? In the last Demo Day, our students showed that with the app-making platform AppInventor, we can create use technology to learn about arts and culture as well!

Below we have highlighted two AppInventor projects. The first one is from Lauren and the second one is from Jaxon. Both of these projects aim to introduce to us the unique features of different cultures.

 

“Matching Countries” by Lauren Lusher

First, we have Lauren. Lauren is interested in creating a geography quiz to show some of products which are popular to a particular culture. In the app, she has picked China, Japan, the U.K. and the U.S. She has also included in the app some interesting items such as crayons, silk and a computer.

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To match a product to the country where it is popular, users need to drag the product to its corresponding flag.

To make a product draggable, Lauren added a canvas to the screen and added ImageSprites (which are draggable items) on the canvas. Then, she added an image of a product to each ImageSprite. Let‘s use crayon as an example. To answer correctly, users have to drag the crayon ImageSprite to the American flag.

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Lauren also reflected on how she can do better. While Lauren found the items in this app interesting, she believed that she could have added more items so as to make the game more challenging. In addition, she would also like to add a timer so that users have to finish within a certain time limit.

Nonetheless, we believe that Lauren has done a great job in creating this game. It is certainly a fun way to learn about different cultures!

 

“Car Dash” by Jaxon

Next up, we have Jaxon. Jaxon created an app that touches up on the theme of popular culture. In particular, he introduced to us the game called “Mario Kart Wii”. It was a racing game developed by the famous video game company Nintendo.

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Credit: Nintendo

Jaxon enjoys playing this game so much that he recreated a similar game called “Car Dash” on AppInventor. There are 4 screens in this game. They are the (1) Introduction Screen, the (2) Level of Difficulty Screen, the (3) Game Screen, and the (4) End Screen. When users first open this app, they will be greeted with an introduction screen.

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There is an instruction and a button for players to enter the game. Creating an introduction screen is a common practice that we encourage for advanced students in class. This can give users time to understand what the app is about through the instructions.

After hitting the “Press Start” button, users can choose among 3 levels of complexity.

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After choosing the level of difficulty, users will enter the Game Screen. In this game, users have to use the “left” and “right” buttons on the screen to dodge the approaching vehicles.