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Examples of digital communication technology in culture and education

Since the early ’80s, the introduction of digital technologies has provided cultural institutions, educators and exhibition curators with a brand new array of opportunities, techniques, and solutions aimed to facilitate the transmission of complex and intellectually-demanding content to the general public.

The development of such techniques, as well as the theoretical basis on which such development is based, are still evolving, today. Indeed, in the infancy of digital cultural communication, two possible approaches emerged.
On one side, digital communication in cultural and educational fields passively mimicked means and paradigms of traditional transmission of knowledge, though in apparently innovative forms. On the other, new technologies were enthusiastically and ingenuously seen as a sort of magic wand capable per se to automatically make complex concepts easily understandable by all. A typical example is what happened to museums, especially scientific and historical ones, in which, in the late 1990s and early 2000s, interactive exhibits and multimedia installation have quickly become ubiquitous only to realize some years later that a proper content dissemination through digital means required a profound redefinition and adaptation of many of the standards on which cultural mediation is based upon.

Furthermore, the rapid obsolescence of hardware, man-machine interfaces, digital media technologies, and modalities of digital interaction between people (such as in the liquid word of social media, for example) transformed into a quickly decreasing efficacy in the possibility to engage and stimulate the audience attention, especially that of young people.

In the last 10 years, a series of new approaches and solutions spread out, based on the efforts of multidisciplinary teams – usually composed of a balanced mix of scholars, educators, communication specialists, designers, and technology professionals –, together with a growing awareness of what cultural dissemination through technology actually means.
A crucial point is the concept of digital storytelling. While creating interactive digital storytelling experiences capable to generate “story-centered cohesive narrations” (1) is crucial in fostering people’s emotional engagement and, ultimately, to transmit culture; a naive and superficial approach to such techniques could easily destroy scientific integrity and the public’s capability to elaborate their own cultural interpretation of the subjects presented.

Since the beginning, Inexhibit is paying a particular attention to such matters, especially in fields related to art and technology; we present here a selection of our articles focused on the most innovative and promising digital communication experiments and solutions developed by research teams, museums, and cultural institutions.

1) The museum as a digital storyteller: a collaborative participatory creation of interactive digital experiences (http://mw2015.museumsandtheweb.com/paper/the-museum-as-digital-storyteller-collaborative-participatory-creation-of-interactive-digital-experiences/

Cover image: Addie Wagenknecht, Optimization of Parenthood


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our articles about Examples of digital communication technology in culture and education

Big Bang Data | Exhibition at the CCCB

Big Bang Data | Exhibition at the CCCB

The exhibition Big Bang Data, at the CCCB in Barcelona, is a project aimed to investigate the “data explosion” into which we are all plunged
case-studies
Cubetto: a toy to teach computer programming to children

Cubetto: a toy to teach computer programming to children

Cubetto is a toy designed and produced by "Primo toys" to teach the basics of computer programming and STEM to pre-literate children in Montessori schools
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Everyone can make art at the Tate Modern!

Everyone can make art at the Tate Modern!

Bloomberg Connects, an ensemble of interactive digital projects supported by Bloomberg, is active from September 2013 at the Tate Modern in London
case-studies
Florence | interactive installation at the Uffizi

Florence | interactive installation at the Uffizi

The Uffizi Gallery in Florence presented in October 2014 an innovative multimedia installation allowing users to virtually visit the impressive Tribuna room
case-studies
London | Mathematics gallery at the Science museum – Zaha Hadid Architects

London | Mathematics gallery at the Science museum – Zaha Hadid Architects

On December 8, 2016, the Science Museum in London opens a new permanent exhibition dedicated to mathematics, designed by Zaha Hadid Architects
case-studies
London | NHM – Leafsnap UK: the Tree Identification App

London | NHM – Leafsnap UK: the Tree Identification App

For anyone who doesn’t know their oak from their elm, the Natural History Museum has launched Leafsnap UK.
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London | Visual art beyond vision – “Sensorium” at Tate Britain

London | Visual art beyond vision – “Sensorium” at Tate Britain

The revolutionary exhibition Sensorium running at Tate Britain in London from 26 August 2015 investigates how 4 paintings could be perceived by all 5 senses
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Microsoft HoloLens mixed reality device – our test and review

Microsoft HoloLens mixed reality device – our test and review

Will Microsoft HoloLens Mixed Reality wearable device change the way we work? After testing in June 2016, we present here our review, opinion, and a verdict
case-studies
Milan | MaTeinItaly: the story of maths

Milan | MaTeinItaly: the story of maths

The objective of the MateinItaly exhibition at the Triennale in Milan is to familiarize people with mathematics presented as a problem-solving discipline
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Milan | New particle physics exhibition opens at the Science Museum

Milan | New particle physics exhibition opens at the Science Museum

"Extreme. Looking for particles" is the title of the new section of the Museum of Science and Technology Leonardo da Vinci in Milan
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Museo Martinitt e Stelline

Museo Martinitt e Stelline

The Museo Martinitt and Stelline is a museum in Milan that, mainly through multimedia exhibits, tells the history of the city's orphans in the 19th and 20th century
mymuseum
On Broadway – interactive urban data at the NYPL

On Broadway – interactive urban data at the NYPL

On Broadway is an interactive installation, on view until January 2016 at the New York Public Library, a web application and a digital portrait of Manhattan
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Padua Botanical Garden interactive installations

Padua Botanical Garden interactive installations

The historical Botanical Garden of Padua has opened its doors to innovative means of communication and new-media installations designed by dotdotdot
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Smithsonian Skin and Bones mobile app for NMNH

Smithsonian Skin and Bones mobile app for NMNH

The Smithsonian Institution released “Skin and Bones” a free scientific app for mobile to be used at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington
case-studies
The Little Museum of Diary

The Little Museum of Diary

The Piccolo Museo del Diario (Little Museum of Diary) is a museum in Tuscany dedicated to the history of the common people preserved in diaries and letters
mymuseum
Trento |“Made in Math”, discovering mathematics at the Muse

Trento |“Made in Math”, discovering mathematics at the Muse

The exhibition "Made in Math", at the MUSE, Science Museum of Trento, discloses to the general public how much mathematics influences our everyday life
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Venice | a journey inside Pollock’s Alchemy

Venice | a journey inside Pollock’s Alchemy

Alchemy by Jackson Pollock at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection is an exhibition that allow the visitors to appreciate a masterpiece of the 20th century art
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When museums became virtual – 1: the origins

When museums became virtual – 1: the origins

A brief history of virtual museums. Part 1: from early experiments to different types of digital museum to the virtual Guggenheim by Asymptote architects
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When museums became virtual – 2: now & beyond

When museums became virtual – 2: now & beyond

History of virtual museums, part 2. Virtual tours, augmented reality, intangible heritage, new immersive digital museums, experimental interaction devices
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