8.7 Fostering the creative use of new technologies
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All of the stakeholders working for the cultural benefit of young people, whether public (cultural institutions, local authorities, schools, etc.) or private (associations, businesses, etc.), bear in mind the central, regular role played by technology in the cultural practices of youngsters, who are now digital natives. Young people's use of technology is bringing with it far-reaching cultural change: different relationships with space and time and the transformation of cultural venues and devices, which are becoming ever more hybrid. Cultural stakeholders must therefore adapt to these upheavals, all the while encouraging wider use of these new technologies.
There is currently no single political strategy aimed at developing the practice and use of new technology in young people, or financial programme specific to the development of cultural practices with regard to technological innovation. The initiatives are led by a range of operators that can work jointly.
Ministry in charge of Culture
The recognition and development of new technologies for disseminating cultural creation is one of the missions of the Ministry of Culture, which has a Research and Innovation Inspectorate Delegation tasked with supporting trials bearing on digital technology, culture and heritage. These trials are rolled out through calls for innovative digital service proposals not specifically intended for young people. One of the flagship projects seeking to develop the creative, enjoyable use of new technologies is the deployment of "Micro-folies" – cultural venues which combine social settings with places for disseminating cultural content and hosting creation workshops.
Micro-folies are original, hybrids, "adaptable and hyperconnected" cultural venues that can be laid out around modules (spaces): a digital museum displaying 250 works from national collections, in digital format, a stage where artists, associations and amateurs can come and rehearse and perform, an eatery, organised in liaison with local associations and a workshop area, equipped with 3D printers, computerised sewing machines and computers. Such spaces have been designed for children, as well as designers, artists, students and all local residents.
Led by the Ministry of Culture and coordinated by La Villette, a cultural public institution supervised by the latter Ministry as well as the Ministry of Economy and Finance, Micro-folies can be rolled out across all territories by adapting to local contexts and relying in particular on local intermediaries in the territories (local authorities, associations, schools). Project leaders looking to set up Micro-folies are supported by La Villette.
These alternative cultural venues have been set up in deprived urban areas or areas in need of revitalisation (deprived urban areas, towns in former mining basins). The aim of the Micro-folies is to democratise digital and technological culture by bringing it closer to local residents and young people, as well as encouraging their participation and awakening and recognising their creativity.
The Ministry of Culture and La Villette were aiming to set up 1,000 Micro-folies by the end of 2022.
Ministry in charge of Education and Youth
Since the 1990s, the ministry in charge of Education has been developing programmes on information and communication technology (ICT) in education for teachers and students alike. The latter take media and information lessons in this respect (see 6.8 Media literacy and online safety through formal education). Furthmore, digital skill acquisition schemes have also been set up:
- The B2I - IT and Internet Certificate in upper secondary schools (Brevet informatique et Internet au lycée), which is aimed at certifying students' Internet and multimedia literacy;
- PIX, a public service for testing and certifying digital skills, which has been freely accessible since 2017 to Year 9 and 10 (third and fourth year of secondary school) students, upper secondary school students and higher education students, as well as any other person who might be interested.
Initiatives for delving deeper into the creative practice of new technologies in particular have also been rolled out:
- organisation of the " European coding week" for promoting computer programming learning and discovery actions.
- the launch by some local education authorities of competitive examinations for schools on the creative and enjoyable use of digital technology.
- Beginner's classes in computer programming with "Scratch programming software" that can be used from primary school.
Participation in these initiatives is neither systematic nor compulsory, but depends on the school and their strategic plan.
Community and associative initiatives.
Local authorities have the possibility of shaping their own programmes and facilities bearing on developing the creative use of new technologies for young people. It would also be worth highlighting the role that associations play in developing cultural projects spanning new technologies, innovation and design, much like some Fab labs (shared workshops dedicated to digital fabrication). Moreover, these projects are usually carried out jointly between local authorities, associations and institutional partners of the Ministry of Culture.
The use of technologies, particularly IT, as cultural participation tools, is promoted by the Ministry of Culture, which has put together a cultural mediation offering making use of new communication technologies:
- Such websites as l’Histoire par l’image, EduThèque run by the Ministry of National Education,
- The portal www.histoiredesarts.culture.fr,
- Apps enabling virtual tours edited by the ministry in charge of culture,
- Digitisation of collections and their availability online via "Joconde"
- Visitors' aids that can be downloaded from computers or on smartphones, or the use of social media websites as mediation channels.
- The history of arts tool for organising and sharing research, Renkan, which can be used to view, on knowledge maps, historical chronologies across some twenty artistic fields as well as thematic pathways with regard to an artist, an artwork, an art movement, a technique and so on.
- The Culture Pass (Pass culture)
The culture pass
See chapter 8.4. Promoting culture and participation to cultural life