TOGETHER project: Politeknika Ikastegia Txorierri towards the protection of cultural heritage and service learning

What inspired us to develop TOGETHER?

The terrible impact of the COVID-19 emergency has put an unprecedented pressure on the cultural and creative sector across Europe, unveiling the need for greater attention, resources and a process of modernisation that should first and foremost be sparked from younger generations. The discussion around digital transformation of cultural resources has been established for many years, although it has still not led to the anticipated significant impact. Now, the aftermath of the pandemic demands for a clear acceleration in action, which is going to be effective only if remarkable investments are made to provide the necessary skills and competences to the future professionals in this sector.

The TOGETHER project aims to support young students to engage creatively and critically with cultural resources through the smart adoption of digital technologies. This change of paradigm will call for a re-thinking of the fruition of cultural wealth, that should be digitally enhanced to improve its flexibility, accessibility and potential for inclusion. Teacher capacity, in this context, will be among the main challenges, since education practitioners tend to lack experience in developing young people’s creative digital skills. For this reason, TOGETHER aims to support them with adequate training and professional development to make digital creativity emerge and be applied to cultural heritage.

What is service learning?

Service-learning aims 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 the real life. It differs from community service because it is not sporadic or made on a voluntary basis, but it is systematic and included in the school’s syllabus.

Students will be encouraged to commit to the needs of their community in terms of devaluation and deterioration of their cultural capital, bringing their learning outside of the classrooms to see the immediate application of the knowledge received and growing a gradual sense of responsibility towards the society.

What are the expected results of the project?

  1. Teacher’s Handbook and Competence framework

The Handbook will be a meaningful pedagogical resource made available for the Continuous Professional Development (CPD) of secondary schools’ teachers a, providing them with an innovative educational model that leverages on digital creativity skills to formulate concepts of Service Learning and project-based learning aimed at involving students in initiatives based on the digital enhancement of local cultural heritage.

  1. TOGETHER Digital Creativity Academy

The Academy will be an online platform that will host the digitised version of the Handbook’s modules, previously developed during IO1 and a Toolbox with a collection of tools, instructional materials and multimodal resources complementary to the Handbook. The aim will be to create an open online environment that will be useful for secondary school teachers and leaders to integrate the learning path taken with the Handbook, thus enhancing their learning experience. The Academy will also serve the purpose to create a social hub between all users scattered across EU, leading to the formation of a community of practice.

The Consortium

The partnership of the project consists of eight partners from Germany, Portugal, Serbia, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Belgium, Spain, and Italy. They met online for the first time on the 27th of May to establish first contacts and to decide on the next steps. The Consortium is currently working on the development of the Competence Framework.

Social media:

FB https://www.facebook.com/togethererasmus

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/together-eu/

Contact details: Sheila Larrabaster (slarrabaster@txorierri.net)