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 bases 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 the 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 of automatically making 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 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 world 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, transmitting culture; a naive and superficial approach to such techniques could easily destroy scientific integrity and the public’s capability to elaborate their cultural interpretation of the subjects presented.

Since the beginning, Inexhibit is paying 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, courtesy of CCCB Barcelona.


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

A multimedia corridor connects the buildings of Prague’s National Museum

A multimedia corridor connects the buildings of Prague’s National Museum

The multimedia exhibition presents a time-lapse of the urban transformations of Wenceslas square and highlights of the 20th-century history of Prague.
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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
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
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
case-studies
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
case-studies
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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The Little Museum of Diary (Piccolo museo del diario)

The Little Museum of Diary (Piccolo museo del diario)

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
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
case-studies
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
case-studies



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