Learning in Paris? There's an App for That

Technology gives a modern spin to studying history

This summer, 10 Ithaca College students will stroll down the Champs-Elysées in Paris with iPads in hand. The City of Light will serve as their classroom and the high-tech tablets as their textbooks.

The art history and computer science departments at the College collaborated to create an interactive curriculum for the summer course titled Art and Politics in Paris: Reading Power in Space and Image. Each student will have an iPad as a resource for notes, pictures, online quizzes, and interactive games related to the course.

John Barr, chair of the computer science department, worked closely with art history professors Lauren O’Connell and Jennifer Germann to add technology to the course. Barr also enlisted students Colleen Muldowney ’12 and David Banker ’13 to help him create the framework for the iPad application used in the course.

“This project is interesting because it mimics what goes on in real life,” Barr says. “Most of the time there’s a technologist who knows the technology but doesn’t really do the content.”

The application will help students learn about the art and architecture of Paris and what those things mean in relation to the social and political landscape of French history. The computer science and art history department will loan the students iPads for the duration of the course. 


In Other Apps: Ride14850
This free app helps Ithaca community members navigate the Tompkins Consolidated Area Transit (TCAT) bus system by determining where the user is and displaying the right route or routes to get them where they’re going. It was developed by David Kornreich, an assistant professor in the physics department, in conjunction with, which is published by a company run by Ari Kissiloff ’90, M.S. ’94, an assistant professor in the strategic communication department.