New technologies in support of creativity and innovation
National Digital School Plan
The use of new technologies to support creativity and innovation was promoted nationally in 2015 by theNational Digital School Plan(See6.8,8.6). The policy act, implemented starting from 2016, is in continuity with the previous experiences activated by the Ministry of Education with funding and regulatory guidelines starting from 2009. In this context, digital is valorised, identified as an enabling and driving tool of change. The idea behind the interventions provided for in the plan is that any digitalization efforts are channelled within an idea of innovation, of a school that is no longer solely transmissive, but open and inclusive. As part of the Plan, other interventions have been considered to pursue the objectives set, including the promotion of active policies for BYOD (bring your own device), the implementation of a digital identity (SPID) through the activation of digitalization for each student and for each teacher, the completion of the digitization of the school administration and teaching, in order to reduce processes that use only paper, improve school-family-student digital services and open school data and services to citizens and businesses.
Week of Scientific and Technological Culture
Among the various initiatives organized by state institutions to support creativity and innovation, there is theWeek of Scientific and Technological Culture, established in 1991 by the then MURST (Ministry of University and Scientific and Technological Research), in collaboration with the then Ministry of Education (today the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of University and Research) and the Ministry for Cultural and Environmental Heritage (today MIC).
The Week of Scientific and Technological Culture aims to spread a solid technical-scientific culture, stimulating the creation and launch of effective communication and exchange channels between the universe of civil society and the Research System (represented by universities, public and private research centres, museums, companies, associations, etc.). Among the objectives of the initiative, there is the promotion of a project aimed at creating a national system of permanent institutions (museums, centres and cities of science and technology, universities, academies, etc.) that provide citizens and in particular school-age young people updated and certified technical-scientific information. The subjects who take part in the “Weeks” organize specialized workshops targeting young people.
AICA-Ministry of Education agreement
In promoting the creativity and innovation capacity of young people it’s worth mentioning the consolidated partnership between the Italian Association dedicated to the development of knowledge, training and digital culture (AICA) and the Ministry of Education. In April 2020, AICA announced the renewal of the Memorandum of Understanding with the Ministry for the promotion and support of thedevelopment of the culture of digital innovation and the dissemination of digital skills. The agreement, valid for three years and signed for the first time in 1999, is aimed at students but also at teachers and non-teaching staff. It provides for the implementation of activities aimed at greater digital development in schools as well as at the development of students’ skills.
The objectives include: valorisation of IT certifications in schools; implementation of national and territorial initiatives that aim to promote digital skills for the effectiveness of web research and the improvement of multimedia communication; definition of means and tools that promote the connection between the world of school and the work market, digital businesses and local initiatives aimed at orienting young people; support for activities and programs for the dissemination of culture and skills aimed at digital security and safe web browsing by students.
Some specific initiatives aim at promoting the creative and cultural use of digital tools and the digitization of institutions. They aim at the active involvement of young people through digital media and social networks, taking advantage of some events of national importance.
Regarding the school year 2020-2021 it is worth mentioning:
- “L’arte ti somiglia”, a campaign that already existed and was re-proposed in 2020 as a result of the limitations of access to cultural sites, due to the COVID-19 health emergency. Among the various activities and in addition to the #iorestoacasa initiativethere was the social campaign, aimed at users and above all young people, which invited to find similarities between people and portraits in the works of art in Italian museums, sharing them on social networks using the hashtag #l’artetisomiglia. The MIC then relaunched the photos of all those who participated on its social channels. In this way, the “ArTyou ready” campaign was carried out in an innovative way and through a new edition, which weekly involves users on the Internet in order to stimulate creativity through digital media, with particular attention paid to cultural heritage;
Facilitating access to culture through new technologies
Syllabus for digital civic education
In 2018, the Ministry of Education (then MIUR) presented asyllabus dedicated todigital civic education as part of the bigger initiative Generazioni Connesse, promoted by the MInistry to promote safety online and a better internet. The platform aims to provide young generations not only with materials, content and useful resources – available through an OER (Open Educational Resources) collection – for an informed use of the Internet but also the right tools to train citizens who can actively participate in social life using digital means. The syllabus was created together with over one hundred organizations (institutions, national and international academia, civil society, etc.).
General Catalogue of Cultural Heritage
To facilitate access to the immense Italian tangible and intangible cultural heritage, the MIC and the ICCD (Central Institute for Catalogues and Documentation) created the General Catalogue of Cultural Heritage(https://catalogo.beniculturali.it/), a database which contains all the descriptive information of the cultural heritage catalogued in Italy and the result of the activity of the various Institutions that, in the area, deal with their protection and valorisation.
The catalogue cards are managed by SIGECweb. The database contains over 2,700,000 heritage cards and will be updated progressively. Only a part of the heritage cards (monuments, collections, collections, objects of artistic and historical interest, archaeological finds and sites, scientific and naturalistic assets) can be consulted. The platform allows users to search, view previews and access the catalogue sheet of the individual asset of interest. From the site, it is possible to consult a summary sheet (from which to draw the essential information on the asset :) and download an analytical sheet, which contains detailed information, including historical information, state of conservation, legal conditions and presence of constraints, etc.
National Library Service (SBN).
TheNational Library Service (SBN)is a network promoted by MIC, the Regions and the Universities and coordinated by the ICCU (Central Institute for the Single Catalogue of Italian Libraries and Bibliographic Information). It was created for the consultation of books and volumes. Currently, state libraries, local authorities, universities, public and private institutions operating in various disciplinary sectors adhere to the program (over 6 thousand in June 2017). Currently, the SBN Catalogue allows access to 19.467.291 bibliographic information, accompanied by 109.284.059 localizations . Access to the catalogue is possible from the web and through a special smartphone app, which can be downloaded from the main app stores (Google Play and AppStore).
Through the SBN Public Catalogue, it is possible to: identify the documents of interest; identify the libraries that possess these documents and access the personal data sheet of the single library; access local catalogues for additional information on document availability; access the remote lending service or supply of documents in reproduction through the libraries participating in this service; access the Entries of authority, i.e. controlled entries in order to guarantee the uniqueness of the term sought.
During the COVID-19 health emergency, in 2020, the “#IOLEGGODIGITALE” project was launched, as part of the digital solidarity initiative “Unite to restart”, promoted by the ICCU together with other private partners (DM Cultura and Amazon Web Service). The “ioleggodigitale” portal allows access to over 2 million free books, copyright-free digital resources belonging to the INDACO Network digital library, including e-books, audio books, music, films, language courses, video games that can be used and downloaded for free, without the need for authentication.
Galleria degli Uffizi Online The digitalisation of part of the Galleria degli Uffizi Collection is certainly another positive step in accessibility happening as a result of the COVID19 pandemic. Through the portal is possible to view the catalogue, the photographic archive and inventory and the works related to the project Euploos. Sistema Hera Paestum An online platform for classifying, managing and studying the heritage of the Archaeological Park of Paestum and Velia. HERA is a shared digital system that allows users to examine and manage the findings, documents and images of the entire archaeological site, while allowing them to cross databases in an efficient way.
Castel Del Monte HoloMuseum The Unesco site of Andria (Barletta) has become a HoloMuseum, a project based on Microsoft technologies of Cloud Computing, Artificial Intelligence and Mixed Reality, which on one hand enhances the experience of the real visit and on the other allows people to enter the castle from anywhere in the world. This would also enhance the on-site visit, once possible, since a whole series of augmented reality contents can enrich the experience, from the visualization of multimedia contents and audio-visual materials on the history of Castel del Monte, to interviews with art critics, up to the interaction with 3D digital models to explore some themes and elements of the architectural structure of the castle.