PoliCultura is an inititive by HOC-LAB of Politecnico di Milano, the leading university in the field of engineering in Italy. Since 2006, PoliCultura has involved nearly 30.000 students aged 5 to 18, and over 2.500 teachers.
Classes of students are called to create interactive multimedia narratives using 1001Stories, an innovative authoring tool created by HOC-LAB. The focus of PoliCultura is on digital storytelling, that is telling multimedia stories through a combination of images, audio and video. The result is a website (for PC, tablet or smartphone), a downloadable app, a CD-ROM, that can be uploaded on YouTube.
Teachers together with their classes may also participate in a competition that rewards the narratives according to the different school levels. The evaluation is based on the quality of the result and the educational value of the experience: the development of a multimedia narrative must support effective acquisition of educational benefits, as well as the full involvement of the class.
All classes, teachers and schools which conclude the narrative receive a certificate and a digital “badge”, in accordance with international standards on the badges. All multimedia narratives will be made highly visible: an innovative portal, a dedicated YouTube channel and an interactive APP.
The evidence so far is that students acquire solid benefits: familiarity with the technology, “authorial” skills with multimedia, ability in teamwork and project development… In addition, it is often reported a general increased motivation in taking part in school activities.
HOC-LAB provides a constant support and teachers can carry out the work in complete autonomy. If they want to get a special training, they can enrich their expertise by following the online course (MOOC – Massive Open Online Courses) dedicated to the “Digital storytelling at school” (www.dol.polimi.it/mooc). Teachers may enroll freely the course.