8.7 Fostering the creative use of new technologies
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According to “Digital schools in actions” (école numérique en actions), the Walloon Government has launched since 2011, 3 calls for projects “digital schools” (école numérique). The project’s partners are the Governments of the French-speaking Community and the German-speaking Community. The project aims at boosting the use of innovative Information and Communications technologies in the education sector (formal and non-formal). There have been 3 calls since 2011: • 28 projects on 175 were accepted for the first call (2012/2013) ; • 72 projects on 450 were accepted for the second call (2013/2014) ; • 200 on 490 projects were accepted for the third call (2014/2016). For the 300 accepted projects, 690 computers, 5824 digital tablets, 293 interactive whiteboards, 104 projectors, 269 digital tools (camera, printer, etc.) were provided. The accepted projects also received digital training for teachers. Teachers were also supported all along the process by expert trainers. These projects have often implemented sustainable teaching practices enhanced by team which had participated to the projects. It also confirmed that the needs in computer equipment are various according to the projects. The technical and teaching support is an important key for success. This call for projects belongs to a global project named “IT Plan for education” (Plan TIC pour l’éducation) which belongs itself to the global Walloon Digital strategy. The project “IT for education Plan” is the third project aiming at fostering new technologies in schools. 2 previous projects, “Cyberécoles” (1997 to 2000) and “Cyberclasse” (2006 to 2012), enabled the installation of 40 000 computers in schools. The call for applications “connected schools” aims at providing with WIFI every learning spaces in 200 pilot schools. At the end, the goal is to provide every Walloon school with WIFI and mobile equipment. In order to develop the use of digital learning, new call for projects will be launched every year. Every laureate will receive an equipment kit (computers, tablets, etc.). Brussels The Computing Centre for the Region of Brussels (Centre d’informatique pour la Région Bruxelloise) works on the project « Fiber to the school » since 2014. This is a key project in the Region’s multimedia strategy. It aims at providing with high-speed internet the 168 secondary schools of Brussels. The project will go on a 6 years period of time from 2014 to 2019. The Brussels Region funds the project (2 000 000 euros per year). At the moment 92 schools are connected. At the end of 2017, 112 schools will be connected. The Computing Centre for the Region of Brussels connects schools at the rate of 28 per year.
- « Lirtuel» is the digital library of the French-Speaking Community. It was initiated by the “public reading public service” (service de lecture public) in 2015. This project is attached to the project “Digital Loan in Libraries” (Prêt Numérique en Bibliothèque) which gathers french-speaking libraries (France, Switzerland, Belgium). In the French-speaking Community, there is one common digital catalogue. It is free and accessible to any member of recognised public libraries. The French-speaking Community funds the platform. In order to buy the books, the Public Service collaborates with the central libraries of every French-speaking Provinces and the Region of Brussels. They all participate to a common budget. Each province gives 5000 euros per year. The French-speaking Community contributes with 10 000 euros. Since last year, 2 local libraries have also participated with 500 euros each per year according to information provided by the public reading public service. The digital catalogue depends on the agreement signed with the publishers. Therefore, children’s books are not yet well represented in the catalogue. There was no specific communication to schools to inform young people about this opportunity.
- “PointCulture” was formerly the national network multimedia library. The missions have now progressed with the development of the digital market. “Point Culture” concludes every 5 years an agreement with the French-speaking Community. It defines its missions for the 5 next years. Its mission is now to create a place where public use art and culture, criticize, experiment, question their relation to the Arts and explore the issues that drive social live. It targets the entire population including young people. The 4 fields of actions are:
- To inform and to initiate young people to the various arts disciplines ;
- To disseminate and promote the work of cultural operators, artists, etc. ;
- To raise awareness, to inform, to educate about cultural skills and cultural knowledge ;
- To highlight the audio-visual heritage. Point Culture is funded by the French-speaking Community. For the year 2015-2016, it received 5 999 000 euros which is 66 % of Point Culture’s revenue according to the activity report. The French-speaking Community has also funded 967 000 euros of “non-profit employment” (emploi non-marchand). The total amount of subventions represents 87 % of Point Culture’s revenue for 2015-2016.
- The “Wallonia Museum Homepage” gives virtual access to almost 500 museums in the French-speaking Community. It includes a database with all school activities or learning activities provided by the museums for young people. No more fundings are dedicated to the project at the moment. The platform is not kept up to date.
- “Quai 10” (Le centre de l’image animée et interactive – Quai 10) is the new audiovisual centre located in Charleroi. It gathers 2 disciplines: cinema and video games. It provides learning tools, learning spaces on the “image” thematic. The “gaming space” collaborates with the Federation of Youth Centres and Youth Organisations FOR’J. Together they welcome young people and organise animations, training, and workshops. They develop young people’s critical thinking through the discovery, the analyse and the creation of video games.