8.7 Fostering the creative use of new technologies
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Croatian Academic and Research Network – CARNET is a public institution operating within the Ministry of Science and Education in the field of information and communication technology and its application in education. CARNET began operating in 1991 as a project of the then Ministry of Science and Technology and became the first and only provider of Internet services in Croatia. Four years later, the Government of the Republic of Croatia adopted the Decree on the establishment of CARNET institution with the aim of innovating the education system and encouraging the progress of individuals and the society as a whole through ICT (information and communication technology).
CARNET implements a project e-Schools. The project was first launched in 2015 by CARNET with the goal to increase the level of digital maturity for 10 percent of primary and secondary schools in Croatia. In digitally mature schools, teachers use technology to improve teaching, develop their own digital content and provide support for independent learning and the development of critical skills in students who are at the heart of the teaching process. Students actively participate in teaching with increased motivation to learn and continue their education, and thus become more competitive in the labour market. The management of e-Schools is efficient and transparent, and communication and exchange of e-documents between the school, its stakeholders and founders is much simpler. In the second phase of the programme, by the end of 2022, all schools will be equipped with wireless local area networks and the corresponding active network equipment. The e-Schools project won the European Commission’s RegioStars Award as a EU-funded project in the field of regional development.
Policy for making new technologies readily available to empower young people's creativity and capacity for innovation are described in Chapter 8.6. Developing entrepreneurial skills through culture.
The Ministry of Culture and Media (MCM) is a top-level authority for media and media polices. It puts media literacy (medijska pismenost) in focus (see Chapter 6.8 Media literacy and safe use of new media).
MCM has several initiatives aiming to develop and make accessible online repositories of cultural content:
- A project E-culture – culturale heritage digitalization (e-Kultura – Digitalizacija kulturne baštine) aims to increase access to the cultural heritage and protect it by use of digital storage.
- Cultural content online - The aim of the initiative is to ensure the availability and diversity of cultural content that cannot be held in front of the public in the coming period. In one place it will be possible to follow all the activities that were recorded or broadcast live.
- In the service of heritage visualisation - s a spot where the interested public can access the body of work of the prominent professional photographers of the national conservation service in the second half of the 20th century.
Those initiatives don’t target youth in particular.
It should be noted here that the media and media policies are within the competence of the Ministry of Culture, which is responsible for the regulation of the media sector, as well as the development of programs dedicated to the media. The Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Croatia implemented a support program for non-profit media in the period from 2012 to 2016. Under this program, starts-ups have also been funded and/or project proposals aimed at launching new media. The program was abolished in early 2016, and so far no substitute program has been introduced to support either non-profit or any other media. Furthermore, the Ministry of Culture, within the framework of the Public Needs of Culture in the Republic of Croatia, supports cultural media within the framework of support to Books and Publishing. Support for this program is provided for specialized journals and publications in culture as well as electronic publications dedicated to culture and art. As part of the program, youth and for-youth media were not prioritized in any way. These are all programs dedicated to the media within the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Croatia, while the other bodies in charge of youth do not have special programs or project lines to support media and media projects, the creative use of new technologies.
Thus, there is no official document on the national level or the program of encouraging the creative use of new technologies, and the empowerment and development of technological competences is part of the media literacy program which is an integral part of Implementing citizenship education, conducted within informal educational programs or as optional classes in primary and secondary Schools. The only town which officially introduced Citizenship Education in schools is the city of Rijeka.