2 minutes to read Posted on Tuesday April 12, 2022

Updated on Tuesday April 12, 2022

portrait of Luigia Palumbo

Luigia Palumbo

Teacher , Capozzi-Galilei School

portrait of Georgia Evans

Georgia Evans

Editorial Officer , Europeana Foundation

Built with Bits – an educational challenge: the Italy winner

Europeana’s ‘Built with Bits’ programme invited students and educators to combine collaborative learning experiences and digital technologies with the values of accessibility, inclusivity and sustainability at the heart of the New European Bauhaus movement. We speak to Luigia Palumbo from Capozzi-Galilei school, who won the programme's ‘Italy’ category, about the experience and the value of digital cultural heritage in education. 

A screenshot of the Mozilla hubs project Anatomical Open Air Museum showing an open space with a fountain and information boards
Title:
Anatomical Open Air Museum in Mozilla hubs - CC-BY-NC-ND
Creator:
Luigia Palumbo
Date:
2021
Institution:
Capozzi-Galilei School
Country:
Italy

Congratulations on your success in Built with Bits! Can you tell us about your institution?

The Institute ‘Capozzi-Galilei’ is located in Valenzano (Municipality of the metropolitan area of ​​Bari) and includes the Kindergarten (Agazzi), the Primary (De Bellis) and Intermediate Secondary School (Capozzi and Galilei). It is a school open to innovation and experimentation, focused on student needs, and aims to put the students and their educational training at the centre of learning, as people and future citizens. We also aim to promote the exchange of skills and experiences among teachers through the combined use of professional and structural resources and ongoing training courses.

Why did you apply to take part in Built with Bits?

I applied to participate in ‘Built with Bits’ because I felt that it was an opportunity to undertake a new training path for both myself and my students. I had previous experience working with Augmented Reality and Virtual Worlds, but I had never used Mozilla Hubs and Spoke by Mozilla before entering the project, so it was exciting to learn something new. 

I have never run activities using Europeana resources, so this represented something new for me and my students too. The use of Europeana resources allowed me to treat scientific content with a historical approach, since we searched for ancient anatomic tables.

Children sat in a group on steps
Title:
Class 2B CC-BY-NC-ND
Creator:
Luigia Palumbo
Date:
2021
Institution:
Capozzi-Galilei School
Country:
Italy
Children sat in a group on steps

Tell us about your winning entry, ‘Anatomical Open Air Museum’!

Our initial idea was to build a ‘surrealistic’ museum that brought together elements which could not co-exist in reality. We wanted to create an original exhibition, characterised by symmetry, without walls, immersed in the harmony of the famous ‘trulli’ of Unesco World Heritage. The trulli are ancient sustainable buildings located in South Italy that don't require heating and air conditioning.  

The initial idea was developed thanks to the help of the students. I was really interested in a project that was student-centred, collaborative, inclusive, multimedial, manual and multicultural. Anatomy was an opportunity for my students to enhance creativity in creating material models and multimedia products.

We are satisfied with the final product and virtual space because it responds to the initial idea of ​​an anatomy open-air museum, in which the modern is opposed to the ancient, mathematics to science, individual to collective work. The work, conceived within the framework represented by the New European Bauhaus, is characterised by the integration of different cultures and different media.

Can you say more about how your project was connected with the New European Bauhaus?

Our project perfectly aligns with the thematic axes of New European Bauhaus. It is the result of the students’ collective design and encompasses different disciplines. It bridges science, mathematics, technology, art, civic and digital education, and foreign languages ​​such as English and Chinese. Our project connects with nature, the local culture and environment - particularly given that the ‘trulli’ we took as inspiration are sustainable and use solar energy. The project also focuses on hand craftsmanship and digital innovation. Great attention was given to the inclusion of foreign students and students with special needs, one of the key elements of the New European Bauhaus.

The museum that we created as part of the project is an open area which anyone can access to look at ancient drawings from Europeana. In order to create this virtual environment in line with the New European Bauhaus, it was necessary to deepen our understanding through the Europeana website and other resources. If I hadn't done this programme, I would never have known anything about the New European Bauhaus, as I teach Mathematics and Science, so Built with Bits has also greatly enriched my cultural background.

What do you think is the value of using digital cultural heritage and immersive technologies in education?  

Digital cultural heritage allows us to overcome disciplinary separation, for example, encouraging students to consider a scientific topic from different points of view, including artistic and historical.

Immersive technologies improve student motivation thanks to the degree of involvement and level of entertainment they offer. They promote discovery and research, encourage active learning and problem solving skills, and offer better digital and scientific skills in a simulated reality. Motivation, enjoyment, inclusion, strengthening self-esteem, especially in children with learning difficulties, are extremely important for their active and productive collaboration and participation. 

Given that 2022 is the European Year of Youth, have you considered other ways to engage students and young people with your winning project?

Our project concerns human systems, which are usually studied in the second class, such as the musculoskeletal system, the respiratory system, the cardiovascular system, the urinary system and the digestive system. I would like to continue working on this project next year. It could be enriched by adding the nervous system and the reproductive systems, so the virtual space would concern the entire human body. In fact, in the current project, there are suspended anatomical elements belonging to these two systems. 

A screenshot of the Mozilla hubs project Anatomical Open Air Museum showing an open space an information board on anatomy
Title:
Anatomical Open Air Museum in Mozilla hubs - CC-BY-NC-ND
Creator:
Luigia Palumbo
Date:
2021
Institution:
Capozzi-Galilei School
Country:
Italy
A screenshot of the Mozilla hubs project Anatomical Open Air Museum showing an open space an information board on anatomy

We would love to hear from your students directly - what was the most valuable thing that they learned from the programme?

My students replied that the most valuable thing was to build a virtual environment, but also to search for resources in Europeana and to discover the New European Bauhaus. To collaborate for a common goal and to produce manual and digital products individually and in small groups was also important to them. 

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