Students Develop New App
Student Technology Meets 200 Years of History at Westfield
Westfield Heritage Village, one of the most carefully restored historical destinations in Ontario, and Grade 11 Computer Programming students may seem like unlikely collaborators, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Their partnership marries technology with over 200 years of Canadian history.
Partnering in the Community
Computer Programming students at Hamilton District Christian High had been exploring location-based, augmented reality gaming software where users can engage by using smartphones. They were looking for a partner organization with a great story to tell and a location that had interesting pieces, buildings, and features would make the project more authentic.
Nearby Westfield Heritage Village was a great fit with over 40 buildings and structures that cover more than 200 years. The Village intentionally does not have any signs describing the attractions, so a virtual tour added a level of accessibility for guests and would offer descriptions of the buildings allowing the visitor to discover more about the history.
Not only does the app provide a self-guided experience of the buildings, but also provides a game where users collect virtual artifacts to start a virtual farm.
To create the virtual tour, Westfield provided the pictures, content, locations, and descriptions of the buildings and items, while the students took on the roles of programmers, graphic designers, communication specialists, recording engineers for audio, and testers to complete the project.
The class found the project very rewarding as the collaboration was authentic. Student’s are delighted that real people will use the app and play the game, and that Westfield Heritage Village is pleased with the result.