We are aware of the importance of Digital Literacy as one of the 21st century skills. However in our classroom, teachers nowadays are struggling to teach their pupils these digital skills. The problems they have are many and diverse: teachers run into ICT problems, for example the Wi-Fi is not working, someone forgot to charge the batteries of the iPads. Sometimes teachers themselves simply lack the necessary IT knowledge and experience or they don 't have the pedagogical skills and competece to teach and evaluate with and for digital literacy. Landscape Erfgoed Utrecht and PABO MarnixAcademie organised a symposium with workshops on this subject on the1st of November 2017 Marnix Academie Utrecht (Netherlands).
Mariette Pennarts, Deputy Administrator for Culture in the Province of Utrecht, opened the afternoon with a speech about the importance of dealing with both cultural education and digital means. The Provence of Utrecht has significantly contributed to the European Commission Erasmus+ project “Digital Innovation in Cultural and Heritage Education in the light of 21st century learning” (DICHE) to explore how digital resources can make an effective and innovative contribution to cultural education today.
Arie Vonk - project leader DICHE - and Mathy Vanbuel from ATiT presented DICHE and the first results of the pilots (download their presentation here - in Dutch only). They described what the implications are for education of putting the emphasis on these 21st century skills? After these presentations, the participants split up in smaller groups to zoom in during two rounds of workshops on more specific topics related to the theme, for example:
- the creative teacher in the 21st Century (download presentation in Dutch),
- cultural heritage education 2.0 (download presentation in Dutch)
Sanne Scholten, Director of LKCA (Landelijk Kenniscentrum voor Cultuureducatie en Amateurkunst) concluded the academic part of the meeting with a column about the opportunities and possibilities for digitalisation. She called upon those in the room that were sceptical or even negative, to consider what already exists and what works. This ranges from digital access from anywhere at anytime to digitises archives to Virtual Reality applications to move in space and time and experience life in another place or another era. Despite her enthusiasm for all the new opportunities and possibilities, Sanne Scholten remains very much aware of the serious issues and challenges this innovation creates for established institutions, as well as for LKCA itself as a national knowledge institute. (Read Sanne Scholten's column here in Dutch or here in English)
We can summarise this interesting day by emphasising how important it is to make education and cultural organisations future-proof, to connect with the world that young people live in today, what an important role professionals play in this process and how technology ca be used for that. Thanks to digitisation we can reach even more people with cultural education and make it even more fun.