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2 minutes to read Posted on Monday February 20, 2023

Updated on Monday November 6, 2023

portrait of Ping Kong

Ping Kong

Founder , Heritage & Education gGmbH

portrait of Georgia Evans

Georgia Evans

Senior Editorial Officer , Europeana Foundation

Professionals in Focus - Ping Kong

Europeana Network Association Members Councillors have diverse jobs and experience across the heritage sector, but are united by their passion for digital cultural heritage. In our ‘Professionals in Focus’ series, we speak to Councillors about their roles, working lives and plans for their time on the Members Council. Today, Ping Kong tells us about her work bringing together digital, heritage and education. 

Headshot of Ping Kong
Dr. Ping Kong, Founder of Heritage & Education gGmbH. Permission granted for Europeana reuse.
Ping Kong.

How did you enter your profession?

I have been working in the field of UNESCO World Heritage since 2006, with a focus on capacity building for professionals. While working, I noticed the gap in capacity building for the younger generation, who are the future guardians of our common heritage. Therefore in 2021, I founded a non-profit organisation in Berlin that works with UNESCO World Heritage sites to develop place-based, cross-curricular e-learning materials for school children (9-16 years) to support Education for Sustainable Development. 

What are you currently working on? 

We create accessible and engaging e-learning curricula to transfer and share the values and knowledge embedded in World Heritage sites, encouraging pupils to explore Local Solutions - Global Challenges. Our cross-curricular e-learning materials use interactive EduTech, storytelling and multi-sensory media presentations to create a student-centred, self-paced, collaborative learning journey. It offers a ready-to-use digital solution for pupils (9-16 years) to learn about sustainability in a contextualised and meaningful way. In addition, the e-learning materials provide downloadable worksheets to guide offline, hands-on activities and lesson plans for teachers/instructors to use flexibly in different formal and informal educational settings, such as eTwinning, flipped classrooms or project weeks. It is made available free of charge on the open-source learning platform for schools and pupils across cultures to enhance intercultural understanding.

What are some of the challenges in your role? What are some of your favourite elements?

Our e-learning curricula require copyright free digital materials from heritage sites and other resources in order to ensure the free use by teachers and pupils. Acquiring suitable audiovisual materials can be a challenging process. Open Education Resources (OER), as recommended by UNESCO, shine a light on the future of education, but they need collaborative efforts and further support from different stakeholders in the long run.

My favorite part is the participatory process of creation. We have an interdisciplinary team across cultural/natural heritage and pedagogy, and we invite a wide range of local stakeholders in the design and feedback. It is a very dynamic and beneficial experience, in which we gain a deep understanding of the needs and interests of our target audience and relevant stakeholders, and we have received inspiring input and genuine support for a shared vision.

What was your motivation for joining the Members Council? 

I believe in the power of culture and education and I am interested in building synergies across different sectors. Europeana is pioneering the digitisation of cultural heritage in Europe with the support of dynamic and active communities from all walks of life. I am very excited to join the movement and discussion with dedicated professionals to embrace digital transformation through innovation, creativity and collaboration.

 What do you plan to do as a Members Councillor?

As a Members Councillor, I would like to work together with Europeana’s various communities to enhance the educational applications of digital cultural heritage. I plan to ensure that the needs and interests of our Education Community are better heard and better served. Meanwhile, I would like to strengthen the exchange and cooperation between the Education community and other communities, such as the Climate Action, Copyright, EuropeanaTech and Impact community by supporting some joint initiatives.