Dear guests, friends,
It is with great pleasure that I participate in this teleconference today in order to applaud the first attempt being made for informing educators of an EU member state about Europeana, the largest digital library dedicated to the world cultural inheritance, on behalf of the three Educational Associations OELMEK, POED and OLTEK.
The demands of the society and the contemporary school are constantly changing and the use of technology as enforcement tool and facilitator of the educational process has become even more imperative. This was made clear over the past year where the pandemic has revealed educators’ and students’ need fοr using technology in order to satisfy and make sure that children have access to the proper education they deserve. Under extremely difficult and demanding conditions, educators in Cyprus managed to overcome the difficulties and obstacles they faced, and through training and personal efforts they were able to contribute to the distant learning process.
Europeana is the biggest digital library in the world in the area of Cultural Heritage. Its materialisation comprises one of the biggest successes of the European Union since it provides access to millions of pictures, texts, audio files, videos and 3D objects from thousands of European libraries, records, museums, art studios and audiovisual collections. And what is more, these materials are accessible internationally.
In today’s webinar, the participants will have the chance to discover the multiple sources and the specialised tools that can significantly contribute to the digital learning process offered by Europeana. At the same time, the fact that cultural heritage and story-telling can contribute to the educational process will emerge.
This seminar is held within the framework of the celebrations for the Day of Europe, the 9th of May, which is a day for celebrating peace and unity all over Europe. This date is not accidental, since it signals the anniversary of the historic Schuman Declaration. At his speech in Paris in 1950, Robert Schuman who was the Foreign Affairs Minister of France back then, proposed a new form of political cooperation in Europe which would deter any possibilities of war amongst the people of Europe. Schuman’s proposal is considered as the founding stone for what we came to know as the European Union.
We express our gratitude to Cyprus University of Technology and mr. Marinos Ioannides, UNESCO and ERA Chairs on Digital Cultural Heritage who had they idea and took the initiative for organising this event. We also would like to thank the speakers of today’s seminary Susan Hazan, Chair, Europeana Association Network, Isabel Crespo, Business Development Coordinator, Education, Europeana, Maggy Szynkielewska, Content & Exhibitions Coordinator Europeana and Beth Daley, Europeana Editorial Adviser and Chair.
I will end my speech by citing an excerpt from Robert Schuman’s proposal which led to the creation of the European Union.
“World peace cannot be safeguarded without the making of creative efforts proportionate to the dangers which threaten it. The contribution which an organised and living Europe can bring to civilization is indispensable to the maintenance of peaceful relations.”
I am certain that Europeana and all actions that take place and will take place in the future with regards to the biggest digital library, will significantly contribute on various areas such as the educational process, the preservation of cultural heritage and the peace and solidarity among countries.