Title:Bringing Cultural Heritage into Primary School Classrooms through Web technology: The Milano Romana Tecnologica Case-Study
Authors:Paolo Paolini, Franca Garzotto
Publication:MW2008: Museums and the Web 2008

Involving children in Cultural Heritage, in general, requires strong cooperation between cultural institutions and teachers. Cultural institutions ?own? the artifacts and the scientific knowledge; teachers are in charge of the learning process. Technology can help in a number of ways to achieve a more symbiotic approach: it can make the learning process more effective; it can contribute to the fun and the hype, and therefore provide additional motivation to kids; and finally, it can generate ?rewarding results? from an educational perspective. The project Milano Romana Tecnologica (i.e., Milan at the time of the Roman Empire presented through Technology), was carried out by a classroom of 24 pupils (K5) in Milan, Italy. Children combined several activities in a period of 2 months: they visited the Archeological Museum in town; they searched for additional material on the Internet or in the school library; they shot pictures or made drawings when they could not find the proper visual documentation; they creating narratives; they recorded MP3 audios?.and finally, they developed a ?multichannel? hyperstory on Roman Milan, using ?1001stories? (the instant multimedia engine that was presented at Museums and the Web 2007). The result is a pleasant and fresh interactive multimedia narrative which provides multiple reading paths and is delivered as Web Site, podcast and CD-ROM. A copy of the CD-ROM was given to the parents of each child. The children had a lot of fun. According to their teachers, they not only got acquainted with multimedia technology, but also (and above all) improved their knowledge and understanding of both Milan during the Roman period and more generally, Roman Civilization. Families were enthusiastic about the fact that their kids had done something previously considered beyond their capabilities (and they were also happy to receive the CD-ROM as a souvenir of that school year). The cultural institution (i.e., the Archeological Museum) was very happy to receive so much interest and attention.