Our Green App: Coding and Artificial Intelligence for Sustainability

By Theodora S. Tziampazi

Welcome in our green app!

A virtual assistant will guide you through the buttons of the application and remind you some tips for an environmentally-aware lifestyle. Reuse, reduce, recycle… and let the demo videos speak for themselves.

Our green app: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aedHiYDr7NQ&t=58s

Demo of the English version of the app: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q9HindPjHaM

Motivation sparks

The introductory part before the coding lessons was supported by some thought-provoking content I discovered in the “Terra Mission MOOC: Teaching Sustainability for Action”, a course supported by Scientix. It was the section on Circular Economy (English, Greek) that was most relevant to our work. Circular Economy is also the topic of the 4th Open Technologies in Education Competition organized by GFOSS – Open Technologies Alliance, Hellenic National Scientix Contact Point , while the mobile application is the submission of our school to this competition. I spent many hours with …apps and downs 😉 exploring App Inventor’s cappabilities until I came app with an idea that could meet my teaching expectations and goals and help students gain and app-ly knowledge. The only side effect was an app-etite for puns.

Level App in Digital Literacy

This mobile app was developed in MIT App Inventor 2 programming environment https://appinventor.mit.edu/. The virtual assistant hopefully makes the app more interactive and chats with us thanks to a capple of Artificial Intelligence Components included in App Inventor 2: the Speech Recognizer and the TexToSpeech. Since App Development is a multidimensional task that requires UX/UI (i.e. User eXperience/User Interface) considerations, a few more digital tools and resources were used. These materials are open and free, but there is attribution in the “About” screen of the app.

Think global, act local!

The pilot courses I designed were first implemented in Primary School of Fourni Korseon, Samos, Greece in 2022. As you have seen in demos, the result is adap(p)ted to our local context and it reflects our effort to make a “green” contribution to our remote island. The slogan behind this work is “think globally, act locally!”. I assumed that a particular context could be more meaningful in the sense that it is likely to engage members who identify as members of a school or a local community. But, it is not exclusive to those members; there is an English version of our app for the island (and this blog!) visitors.

Coming …app next! Customize the context

After the pilot courses, which took place in the spring of 2022, I have re-arranged and improved the lessons in order to create a constructive learning scenario for App Inventors- even beginners. The code is open source and will be published soon along with the learning scenario in Greek and English. I am currently refining the tutorial… so that more green apps pop app!

I will show you how to make such an application yourself and how to tailor it to your hometown, place etc. if so desired. In other words: After the pilot…we take off to any context!

I will keep you appdated on the course. Stay tuned!

Until then, smile, learn and protect our planet! 🙂

STEM wishes,

Theodora S. Tziampazi

Primary School Teacher, Scientix Ambassador (Greece)