Cultural Heritage:

a source of resilience and learning through digital education

The COVID-19 pandemic, by restricting movement and forcing the closure of cultural heritage sites/institutions, has strongly affected the entire cultural sector, which is now struggling to try to recover. The fruition of culture has come to a turning point: it requires the design and implementation of innovative practices, new forms of promotion, communication, access and transmission of knowledge. This change of perspective involves also the definition of a new vision, related the environmental issue: cultural institutions must increasingly act as a bridge connecting Nature, Culture and the Environment. 

With respect to these challenges, a new, correct and mature use of digital tools is essential. A precondition for this to concretely happen is to promote a multidisciplinary VET education, which includes the natural, human and digital sciences, necessary to train and forge renewed professional figures able to help address the challenges of the cultural sector.

DIGICULT offers an innovative e-learning pathway, based on digital tools and focused on cultural heritage, with the aim of developing disciplinary, key and life skills, improving learners’ key competences

As summarized in the recommendations of the European Commission and the European Council: communication in the mother tongue, communication in foreign languages, digital expertise, social, civic and environmental competences, initiative and entrepreneurship, cultural awareness. This e-learning pathway can motivate learners with reference also to young people at risk of leaving school since it transforms their knowledge and passion for digital tools (such as video games or social media) and their increasing environmental sensitivity into skills useful for their professional future. Trainers/teachers can experience a new mixed teaching approach that integrates digital, foreign languages and learning-through-practice. The DIGICULT project, in pursuing this educational pathway and being centred on a new cultural paradigm, is coherent with some SDGS – Sustainable Development Goals – set by the United Nations 2030 Agenda.

Sustainable Development Goals

Goal 4 – Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and to promote lifelong learning opportunities for all; Goal 5 – Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls; Goal 8 – Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all; Goal 12 – Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns Goal 17 – Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development.

DIGICULT will promote these goals through promoting:

    • a formative / cultural narration that takes into account the environmental context of cultural heritage; 
    • an e-learning pathway aimed at deepening some SDGS – Sustainable Development Goals, the concepts of ecological and digital transition, the new dimension of cultural heritage; 
    • a game aimed at providing both quality education / services and digitization / innovation in cultural institutions. 
    • a conscious and environmentally friendly cultural consumption pattern (e.g., cultural events with low environmental impact).

Furthermore, the DIGICULT project will take place in a context characterized by the “New European Bauhaus” strongly promoted by the European Commission to strengthen the links between the world of culture and creativity and the world of production, science and technology, to guide the ecological transition pursued by the Green New Deal and the New Generation of the EU.

DIGICULT involves:

    • 6 European country with strong expertise in the cultural heritage, educational and digital fields.
    • VET learners – Young people (14-30 years old) attending training courses. • VET learners – trainers involved in training courses.

The project wants to achieve the development the new competences, thanks to an innovative educational pattern conceived as a replicable model, up to the challenges of the cultural sector: the design and implementation of innovative practices, new forms of promotion, communication, access and transmission of knowledge based on the assumptions of digital and green transition. DIGICULT, in coherence with Council Recommendation on vocational education and training for sustainable competitiveness, social fairness and resilience and the Digital Education Action Plan, focuses on synergies between cultural heritage and digital education in VET considering the following key factors: 

    • COVID-19 crisis has brought greater awareness of the need to improve the use of technology both in VET and cultural heritage sectors; 
    • living and learning cultural heritage has to continue to be a source of resilience, even if enjoyed at a distance, as young and adult people continue to draw inspiration, joy and solidarity; 
    • changing labour market underlines the need to provide innovative earning methods and to empower guidance services in order to facilitate agile adaptation to new labour market requirements; 
    • VET trainers and learners need to perform new roles in the digital era in order to be resilient and future-ready for their personal and professional life.

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission.
This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.