Sharing and reuse of museum objects in learning environments

Vincenza Ferrara, Italy , Andrea Macchia, Italy, Sonia Sapia, Italy, Francesco Lella, Italy

Published paper: Sharing and reuse of museum objects in learning environments

In recent years many projects have developed online catalogues and repositories to manage and promote cultural heritage. After the massive digitalization of cultural heritage, open data modality suggests to rethink access to digital resources of museums and their use and reuse in different environments such as learning and tourism. Museums are rethinking who they are and what they can do to partner with schools and others to encourage interests and curiosity by citizens, teachers and students. Indeed the online accessibility of cultural materials and their sharing through technology can provide the use and reuse, in particularly, of museum information for developing learning, educational content and tourism application with full respect for copyright and related rights related to the aims to deploy museum community content as a means to enhance visit experience. Different projects have shown that digital resources and technology tools can be used as new teaching aids to develop a new learning environment, using collaborative and cooperative learning modality.
However, the language and terminology adopted by museum staff to describe cultural heritage is, often. not easily accessible and understandable for the general public or for teachers and pupils. To solve this problem technologies can provide opportunities to rethink the implementation and presentation of contents.
This paper presents MUSED, a user-centred framework designed by a partnership between museums and schools. A Platform has been developed to search, download and re-use digital resource of cultural heritage by teachers for their multimedia lessons . The Open data access , sharing museum resources and annotation tools were provided to encourage teachers and students to access and to know the cultural heritage. After access to reserved area of Website MUSED the information material was surfed online within the virtual paths offered by the Museums to track down useful objects to implement the contents in order to create a customized e-lessons, a container of explanatory panels and virtual museum objects relating to the subject matter. With the aid of specific software, each teacher will be able to make a hypertext with the support of images and information of the museum catalogues.  After the lesson the teachers will bring students to museums so they will see objects that have already got to know, placed within the hypertext. In this way the students can implement the associative and experiential activities for the improvement of their cognitive abilities and their curiosity.
In this way the museum object becomes a tool for teaching and educational environments will be created to improve engagement and student learning. On other side through annotation tools teachers and students will be able to integrate information of museum objects with content related to school subject so different information can increase digital museum resources. This approach may be very interesting not only to encourage museum visits and improve the relationship between museum and educational environment, but also to look for a new way to promote cultural heritage in other context such as lifelong learning and tourism.

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