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Tools for training cultural professionals

Heritage education constitutes a heritage in itself to be known, protected and enhanced. Let's discover the contribution of eLearning to the education of teachers, citizens and students.

Within the large sphere Humanistic Culture, Creativity, Social Transformation, Society of Inclusion also converges the thematic area concerning "Cultural Heritage," a research area that, in a connected and strongly transversal way, brings together the great challenges of our country and the European and national priorities and that refer to cultural, archaeological-environmental, artistic-literary heritages, social and inclusive values, and the productive and creative capacities that characterize and orient our culture.

Also from this point of view, focusing the discourse on our country, Italy, we can certainly note that there is a long tradition of training, school and business, in the classroom.
The inadequacy and delay in the development of early e-learning and the natural Italian reluctance to adopt new training systems and, in general, to open up to experimentation has also marked this area.
But, even the reluctance had to give way to the incontrovertible thought that e-learning is already one of the most interesting areas of application in this area of training as well, for companies, private citizens, students and employees.
Reinforcing the above, online training, is confirmed as a tool within everyone's reach, and is an increasingly inclusive and increasingly used means for companies to provide continuing education for those now working in all areas of training, school and business.

Despite the strong potential and multidimensional qualities that Italy expresses, the vastness of its cultural and artistic heritage, its landscapes, and its productions (fashion, design, food, creative productions) requires to be more enhanced through the definition of objectives aimed at the great European challenges. 
Similarly, the dimensions of the social, environmental and economic transformations that have affected the great geographies of our planet and our society demand profound system innovations with respect to the major issues involving the quality of life, the relationship of man with his environment, people's health, and the relationship with technologies.
Heritage education also constitutes a heritage in itself to be known, protected and enhanced.
Educational action, including in e-learning, should be aimed primarily at school teachers of all levels and, through them, at the young and very young, without neglecting the adult public, starting with an examination of the territory and landscape. 
It is certainly a significant endeavor in that it operates according to scientific and administrative structures and within the regulatory and institutional framework. 
It is certainly an activity strongly embedded in the territorial context and is developed taking into account the progress of knowledge in the various disciplines and innovations in communication and technologies. 
The aims concern the development and promotion of knowledge, skills and behaviors that are manifested throughout the life of each individual.
The educational process cannot end at the end of the educational cycle, but must continue in different contexts - professional, tourist, associative - in order to encourage and support the assumption of an ever-increasing awareness of the citizen-heritage relationship. 
The objectives identified, from complementary points of view, point to the complete transition to digital as an indispensable tool for effectively knowing, interpreting, enhancing and preserving cultural and archaeological, environmental, archival and documentary heritage.
Digital manufacturing, for example with other enabling technologies, enable Made in Italy to compete internationally and develop collaborative business models; the study and experimentation of new economic, participatory and sustainable models help strengthen the resilience of production systems, territories, and communities. 
Strengthening and producing new knowledge, advanced information management with regard to the ancient world and our literary and artistic heritages implement the attractiveness and identities, individual and collective, of our country. 

Cultural Heritage is a great factor of cohesion and rootedness in the distinctiveness of territories, a shared source of remembrance, understanding, dialogue, cohesion and creativity, which needs to be known, shared, communicated, interpreted, preserved, and restored by the care of many different professional skills. 
Investing in Cultural Heritage, and therefore also in the tools to promote it such as e-learning, consolidates a recognized prestige in the humanities and antiquities, stimulates innovation and strengthens the competitiveness of businesses, fosters economic growth and local development of small towns (villages) and cultural tourism, and contributes to the construction of reflective societies and citizens increasingly aware of their shared history and memory and of the common cultural space in the plurality of its expressions.

Great attention, in determining the research objectives, has been given to the issues of the profound social transformations that run through Italian society, in order to effectively, efficiently and equitably govern the processes of change. 
The study of social innovation processes, management models and practices, new methodological approaches and evaluation methods to respond to today's problems, including in the field of distance learning, for the enjoyment of culture.

It should be pursued within the framework of the importance of lifelong and recurrent education, education for social inclusion and cultural integration. 

Lifelong education is not only a specific field of Education, but is cross-cutting: there is no protection without knowledge and education. 
And on this path, the Multidisciplinary Commission of CNEL and ISTAT also decided to no longer just measure GDP in the usual and well-known way, but to include new dimensions and among the new indicators for measuring well-being are the enjoyment of beauty, art and landscape.

Simply put, cultural heritage and its dissemination, is a new tool for measuring Equitable and Sustainable Wellbeing.

Technology and innovation, through especially e-learning training of operators, together with the proposition of new collaborative and inclusive business models, represent the strategic support towards the resilience of Italian cultural and creative enterprises and the territories on which they insist, guaranteeing equal opportunities in access to work even for fragile and disadvantaged individuals. 

Technology and information technology in all their forms and manifestations are influencing and pervading our lives. 

Among the various definitions of the term digital, one of the most common qualifies it as an alternative content to the paper, material form and tangible reality. 
According to this definition, digital is content that can be exploited for enjoyment with technological systems such as computers. 
Having established the definition of digital, the second step is for us to move from analog to digital size, a path that occurs through digitization. 
Clearly, the great advantage of digitization is that it allows for information, data, that can be worked on with the use of electronic equipment, computers and so on. 
That is, digitization makes it possible to generate items that otherwise would not be possible to work on, except at the cost of major efforts, with associated loss of time and major financial commitments. 
Digital is changing the world, the way we interact in society and also in schools, which can benefit greatly from it.

In the cultural heritage sector, the revolution brought by digital is extraordinary. The enormous potential for sharing and accessing information is a very important source for the dissemination of heritage culture. 
In addition to this aspect just outlined, enormous is also the potential that the introduction of digital has for the preservation of cultural heritage. 
First of all because of the possibility of expanding documentation, for example through linkage with other sources such as studies and publications on preservation and restoration work, but also through the collection of photographic reports from citizens on the state of preservation and exposure to risks, the direct evidence linking the assets to social life, traditions, etc...

The first goal of introducing digital technologies into schools and teaching in their use must be to bridge the digital divide that is often an obstacle to accessing data and information, developing skills and, above all, the ability of students to be true participants and key players in "active citizenship."

While the spread of basic computerization is progressing, the availability of computerized equipment and digital solutions for student participation are struggling to take off. 
It is no coincidence that, according to a survey sponsored by the Ministry of Education, one in seven students attends a 2.0 classroom, in which everyone has a tablet and about one in four has purchased digital textbooks, while 55 percent of the students surveyed rate the contribution of the educational path in creating digital-related knowledge and skills as nil or almost nil. 

In general, digital technologies intervene at many levels of interaction in society and have the greatest impact in the area of school education. 
In fact, the impact of digital affects all age groups, but especially young people (the digital natives), who are adept at learning technologies and making them their own, and are well disposed to the use of digital innovations in all areas of their social life. 
Digital is thus increasingly becoming the language we use in our relationships and the engine of change.
Within schools, digital and technologies have an impact on learning processes especially on the development of children's basic skills and the development of operational skills and in relational aspects, both student-to-student and student-to-teacher relationships and ultimately in the relationship with society. 

It is undeniable that the reason is relatively simple because we are talking about new tools available for the development of interrelationships and collaborations, tools that allow the overcoming of distances, physical and immaterial, becoming facilitators of relationships. 

In this scenario, important for learning and education is the stimulus that digital and new technologies can provide in the impetus for effective interdisciplinary educational paths.

The introduction of digital technologies serves to make secondary school curricula more professional and distinctive. The creation and updating of educational paths, with the integration of traditional methods and materials and contributions derived from cultural and scientific heritage in particular, with the support of digital would make teaching more interesting and more adherent to the demands of the outside world. 

Today, the world of production speaks clearly with digital language, and it is crucial that schools equip themselves with the latest tools close to the professions of the most advanced and competitive economic world. 
We have mentioned the school as a space where digital technologies find application, but if it is true that digital education begins in the classroom, it is also carried out in common environments, predisposed to collaboration, in laboratories, libraries, museums, cultural heritage, and the territory, so that these, too, become again places where project activity and the encounter between knowledge, know-how and collective participation can be developed or continued. 

The digital revolution will lead to a rapid evolution of the cultural heritage professions, which the educational world must take into account.

New professionals will have to be able to employ advanced technologies properly, to be employed in the areas of documentation, conservation, restoration and enhancement of Heritage and the related territory. 
The development of updated educational paths must take into account the changed conditions that now see the convergence of skills and knowledge once considered distant, pursuing the goal of reconciling the knowledge traditionally the subject of classical teaching with the need for innovative use of digital. 
This shift is crucial at the time of launching into the world of university education and the world of work, where competition, especially at the European and international level, is growing and where appropriate skills and expertise are required. 

Looking to the future and innovating teaching models: the need to design and implement these new models so that they can be experimented with becomes a priority, with new teaching paths for innovation, which will make it possible to respond to the dual need to "educate heritage with digital" and even more concretely make it possible to ferry to the world of work and the new digital heritage professions.

It is clear that the impact of digital in the school expands the number and possibilities of teaching tools and consequently opens up new avenues for teaching strategies. 
Support for teaching thus evolves to more current forms over time, allowing with experience to refine the most effective use of digital technologies themselves. 
Of paramount importance then becomes attending to the training of teaching staff for the changes imposed by the impact of digital. 
The teacher must be empowered to lead the process of change and not be overwhelmed by it. 
It is important that the address is aimed at a conscious use of new digital tools and media, but also at learning that is functional for the development of teaching paths. 
In order to achieve this goal, however, it is necessary to carry out an analysis and then an assessment of the level of learners' skills, from these, make a careful analysis of training needs. 
Only following these steps is it possible to define educational interventions related to the use of digital so that they can be coherently and effectively included in educational pathways and be aimed at the best preparation for the world of work, the construction of citizen identity and civic participation.
The possibility of breaking down physical barriers and the creative and hands-on approach to learn about through visual exploration museums and collections, works of art, having access to audio and video multimedia materials, animations, as well as access to a multiplicity of teaching materials, cataloging standards and hundreds of projects and experiences made around the world, are fundamental to the learning process and heritage education. 
Thus, education using digital will enable a better approach to the knowledge and promotion of cultural places and themes.

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