8.7 Fostering the creative use of new technologies
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Development of ICT infrastructure in education institutions is an ongoing, continuous process of education modernization. In 2016, primary and secondary schools became members of Academic network of Republic of Serbia - AMRES. This network oversees building, development and management of educational, scientific and research computer network in Serbia. The AMRES has, in cooperation with the Ministry of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications and the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development, launched a project called "Development of ICT infrastructure in educational, scientific and cultural institutions". The goal was for all primary and secondary schools in Serbia to get safe Internet access through the Network. In relation to the commercial internet connection, the advantage of this connection is the ability to block sites with harmful and inappropriate content and all other unwanted pages. The Ministry of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications has implemented a project to expand the number of Eduroam access points educational institutions. This service in Serbia is provided by AMRES by providing free access to secure internet at over 19,500 locations within universities, institutes, schools, libraries, etc.
To reduce the digital gap in rural areas, at the beginning of 2017, a project was launched to introduce a wireless WiFi network in schools in rural areas of Serbia. The project is implemented by the Ministry of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications, the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development and Microsoft. The construction of wireless local computer networks in schools was started together with AMRES at the beginning of 2019, and this pilot project covered 33 primary and secondary schools in the territory of the Republic of Serbia.
According to the Digital Inclusion Report in the Republic of Serbia 2014 to 2018, about 2,900 primary schools received computer rooms through the “Digital School” project in the period from 2010 to 2013. This trend continued in the following years.
A lot has been done in terms of infrastructure and policy in the past years as described above and in Chapter 6.8 Media literacy and safe use of new media. Knowledge of basic digital competencies, programming and computer problem solving have become an integral part of the curriculum in schools at all levels of education. Having this in mind, creative use of new technologies in highly emphasised in art-related curricula described in section 8.5 Acquiring cultural and creative competences through education and training. Thus, the curriculum for specialized classes for creative industries - performing and audio-visual arts is leaning heavily on modern technology and therefore is necessary to use electronic textbooks in teaching and learning and to publish pupils’ work on the school website as well as on platforms formed for the needs of work.
As mentioned in Ch 8.5 - Providing quality access to creative environments, the Ministry of Culture and Information announces an annual call for financing or co-financing projects in the field of contemporary art in the Republic of Serbia. The call provides financial support to cultural programmes that among other things, encourage the application of new technologies in culture. One of the areas of culture for which the funds can be obtain is the digital creation and multimedia.
The Ministry of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications encourages the development of the information society through programmes and projects under the common slogan "Smart and Safe". The aim of these activities is to educate and raise awareness of the need for prompt, proper and targeted involvement of citizens, the education system and the economy in modern digital streams. Within this initiative information and communication technologies in education, science and culture is singled out as a separate area of activities. In this regards, the Ministry of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications supported the project of connecting 19 key cultural institutions to the academic Network of the Republic of Serbia - AMRES, as well as equipping the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts to raise its digital capacities.
The goal of these projects is continuous investment in the information and communication infrastructure of cultural and scientific institutions, in order to enable better work, creation of new services for the audience, more adequate access to younger generations and creation of attractive and interactive contents in the field of cultural heritage and art as well as from the field of contemporary creativity and science.
The Cultural Heritage Browser of Serbia has been initiated by the Ministry of Culture and Media with the strategic support of Microsoft Serbia with the aim of presenting to the general public including young people, a variety of digitized collections and to provide information on heritage held by libraries, archives, museums, galleries, institutes for the protection of monuments and other cultural entities.
Through this browser it is possible to get credible information about the searched keyword. The data collection mechanism is based on unique software solutions used in museums, galleries, institutes for the protection of monuments, archives, libraries and other cultural entities dealing with cultural heritage. As a reliable source of information, it contributes to the scientific research, education, promotion of cultural heritage and cultural activities in general.