HACK HiT: WebAR campaign
When the Polish government introduced a textbook full of manipulation into secondary schools, we implemented a campaign to correct it. With a smartphone, young people scan the textbook. When the app detects a disputed text, it displays a correction.
Gazeta.pl, 180heartbeats JUNG v MATT, Panowie Programiści
On the enemies of civilisation: "Someone who proudly carries a bag that says No Rules is an enemy of civilisation - even if he doesn't realise it himself - and you really don't know what to expect from him (or her)."
On the European Union: "The unity of Christian Europe was also supported by Pope Pius XII. However, he certainly did not anticipate that in less than half a century there would be those who decided to integrate Europe on the basis of leftist ideologies with a rejection of God".
On in vitro conception: "Increasingly sophisticated methods of divorcing sex from love and fertility lead to treating the sphere of sex as entertainment and the sphere of fertility as human production, one might say breeding. This prompts the fundamental question: who will love the children produced in this way?".
On useful idiots: "The term useful idiot should definitely be remembered, as there is no shortage of such individuals even today".
There is no shortage of hits in Prof. Wojciech Roszkowski's History and Present Day textbook. Michał Rusinek wrote that it is the longest column in the world. Indeed the longest, because the publishing house Bialy Kruk has placed a voluminous volume in the hands of young people, and this is supposedly only the first part. And it is indeed a feature, because the author does not separate facts from judgements, presents a one-sided point of view, and leaves no room for discussion. In addition, he does not shy away from linguistic errors, makes incomprehensible interjections and often loses the logical train of thought.
Experts invited by the editors of the Gazeta.pl decided to expose the manipulations contained in the handbook. The errata was worked on by historian of ideas Dr. Piotr Laskowski, historian of the 20th century Prof. Dr. Marcin Zaremba, historian of philosophy Sebastian Matuszewski, teacher of the year 2018 and cultural studies expert Przemysław Staroń and content coordinator for diversity and inclusivity at Gazeta.pl Wiktoria Beczek.
The challenge was to identify places where the author does not separate opinion from fact. Educators agree that young people should learn not one point of view, but a multitude of interpretations of the facts of modern history. The subject History and the Present, which is present in secondary schools, should teach young people openness to different world views and debate skills. In this way, it should prepare them for an informed participation in democracy.
To launch the handbook errata, all you need is a smartphone with a built-in camera and a web browser. The user does not need to install any application!
As the camera scans the pages of the book, artificial intelligence analyses their editorial layout: the positioning of images, titles or subheadings. When a fragment of the text questioned by experts reviewing Professor Wojciech Roszkowski's publication is detected, a graphic animation immediately appears on the phone's screen, informing that the content requires a correction or additional commentary. The student can then read the correction or go to sources exploring the topic in more depth.
The smooth operation of webAR requires real-time processing of huge amounts of data. We have therefore ensured that the campaign has a stable IT environment, reliable servers and fast data transfer.
Our errata is virtual. Correcting a bound handbook with another one is a big financial and environmental cost. Besides, which student would want to read a textbook to a textbook? We opted for smartphones, as this is a tool commonly used by the young.
This fact has not escaped the attention of Professor Wojciech Roszkowski, who warns in the book: "We open a smartphone and are immediately greeted by some information. (...) We can find out someone's opinion, for example about the Independence March - obviously negative, about Polish patriots - obviously critical, about faith - obviously doubtful, about aesthetic behaviour - obviously undermining traditional morality. (...) Drenched every day, they have the task of forming our opinion." So let's make an important disclaimer at the end: the tools we have created, you use at your own risk! :)