The TOGETHER project aims to foster digital creativity of young generations by leveraging the “service learning” methodology and applying it to secondary schools, with the aim to engage students in community-valuable activities of digital transformation for cultural heritage resources, protecting and enhancing its value as community’s cultural assets.
Started in May 2021, the project will develop a training path for secondary school teachers on how to provide significant creative digital skills through the application of service-learning oriented to the design of a motivating learning environment, aiming to engage students in real-life initiatives in collaboration with key local actors for the promotion of their cultural heritage.
What is service-learning?
Service-learning means to create a link between students’ learning objectives and actual needs from the community they are living in, therefore literally taking learning out of the classrooms and into real life. service learning differs from community service because it is not sporadic or made on a voluntary basis, but systematic and included in the school’s syllabus, developed in a close and long-term relationship with the community’s stakeholders.
Why cultural heritage?
Because cultural heritage lays at the heart of the creative economy, seriously hit by the COVID-19 emergency, and it plays a fundamental role in ensuring the continued development of societies. Therefore, there is an increasing need for the young generations to take over a role of responsibility towards their current and future cultural wealth, through the deployment of new competence frameworks where hard (digital) and soft (creativity) skills should be prominent.
The project TOGETHER has been designed in order to deliver the following tangible results:
- A teacher’s handbook and competence framework. The handbook will be an instructional resource for secondary school teachers in the field of humanities to guide them towards the design and implementation of Service Learning-inspired initiatives addressed to the promotion and digitisation of local cultural heritage through digital creativity.
- TOGETHER Digital Creative Academy, an open online environment that will be useful for secondary school teachers and leaders to integrate the learning path taken with the Handbook. It will host a set of complementary resources (i.e. the Toolbox) like proposals for activities, project concepts and strategies, templates, assessment sheets and digital resources, delivered in a variety of formats. Elements of gamification will be adopted to improve students’ engagement. The Academy will be designed as a Social Learning Environment, thus encouraging co-creation of materials, participation and the formation of a European-wide community of practice.
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