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DigiCULT 19
states, and business changes'. Ian Huckvale thought
`much funding for technology projects was time
limited'. Seamus Ross was concerned that no-one
knew the cost of maintaining learning programmes
And the Forum turned to a collation of its
recommendations to curators and e-learning
Mr Huckvale suggested: `We need international
standards from which they can create their own
application profile.Then we need guidance on things
like creating bindings, cross-walks and mappings to
allow interoperability. One of the things DigiCULT
could do in the future is expand on something like
that to advise people how to map out of proprietary
collection management metadata systems.'
Mr Towell thought: `Policy-makers need to be
aware that there is a step in projects that is called
creating application profiles; they do not need to
know anything about it but they need to make sure
that it goes into their funding programme. And they
need to allocate someone to be responsible for it ­
not a solutions provider contractor. It is usually
against the interests of commercial contractors to
implement standards.They take a long time to
create an application profile and are expensive to
implement.That is a mistake that is being made
over and over again.'
He suggested recommending `key performance
indicators to measure impact rather than output', but
other members warned that this was very difficult.
Mr Ayre even called it `very dangerous', saying that
studies of ICT impact on schools were causing
policy-makers to rethink their programmes in
terms of `return on investment'.
The Forum agreed, though, that the cultural
heritage sector needed an application reference
profile, perhaps sponsored by the European Union.
Lorna Campbell was enthusiastic but warned: `To do
that is a massive job. Someone would have to put up
funding for it.'
inally, quiet-spoken and bespectacled director of
the Norwegian ALM Authority, Jon Birger
Østby, came up with a list of recommendations for
his academic and industry fellows to work on.
`If I should focus on some development strategies,
risks and opportunities I would point out the
following aspects:
- `Making the educational authorities aware of the
ALM institution's resources and possibilities relevant
to learning and teaching.
- `Promoting cross-sectoral standards within
Archives, Libraries and Museums and co-ordinating
these with the educational ones.'
These were an important basis for the use of
sources from the different sectors, Mr Østby said.
He went on: `In education, it is interesting to use
different types of material that are connected
thematically or geographically. It is important to
make it possible to search in this material across
various types of sources and sectors. It is also essential
to develop better systems of linking different sources
to geographical maps.'
The education and cultural heritage sectors could
usefully open up more sources across country barriers
such as Roman antiquities or Picasso paintings.With
Picasso and other forms of modern culture, there was
a copyright problem but that was not only an
economic question. It was often difficult to find all
the actors involved for the necessary permissions.
That tended to lead to a fall-back on older, free
The ALM Authority director realised that, in a
European context, the language differences were
obvious obstacles to the common use of digitised
resources. It was a challenge that would have to be
met. He went on with a set of very concrete actions
that should be taken:
- `We need programmes to educate personnel in
the cultural heritage sector in the use of electronic
technology, especially on how to use this technology
for educational purposes.
- `If we are to provide educational resources, we
also have to study the educational programmes
concerning relevant subjects and teaching levels... a
prerequisite for co-operation in the development of
learning tools adapted to the needs and wishes of the
educational institutions.
- `Likewise, if it wants to make use of the learning
object metadata standard, the cultural heritage sector
has to pay attention to what is happening in the area
and play an active role in co-ordinating this standard
with the ones used in cultural institutions.'
Overall, Mr Østby recommended, `that we develop
a strategy for better co-operation between the
educational and the cultural heritage sectors.'
And so the Forum's wish list came together.The
DigiCULT 14 was putting the cultural heritage and
education sectors on notice: If you want to set your tills
ringing with those e-learning Euros, you have got quite a
lot of learning to do yourselves.
Time will tell if any of those curators, museologists
or pedagogues were listening.
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