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Promotion of the use of ICT in educational centers to value the hydraulic heritage

Promoting new forms of teaching and learning through the use of new technologies in the study of hydraulic heritage is the main objective of the project "Innovative Learning by Hidraulic Heritage Mapping", an initiative that will be coordinated by the Universitat Jaume I and that is part of the call for Erasmus+ KA2 projects of Strategic Associations in the Field of School Education.


This initiative is part of the line of work on hydraulic heritage carried out by the FACSA Chair of Innovation in the Integrated Water Cycle, which is coordinating the project.

The project, which will last three years, will be based on the development of a series of technological tools that will enable students to acquire ICT skills in subjects such as history, geography or the environment. In this way, the aim is to awaken students' interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) while at the same time getting to know and appreciate the historical hydraulic heritage: its history, its importance, the advances it provided and how it influenced the structuring of the territory.

Specifically, a database will be generated with client-server architecture that will be used from a mobile data collection application customised for this purpose (geolocation, photography of hydraulic heritage, etc.) and an educational multiplatform where you can enter historical or geographical information on this heritage to create interactive maps or story maps that highlight it.

"Interactive maps are not static, but tell a story. For example, you can see how a mill has evolved throughout history or what the changes in the flow of a river have been. This type of tool can be used in subjects that are not normally linked to ICTs and, for this reason, we thought that it could be interesting and a good way of encouraging or bringing this technology closer to students who, from the outset, are not so interested in these disciplines", says the project coordinator and director of the FACSA-UJI Chair of Innovation in the Integral Water Cycle, Sergio Chiva.

The development of these technological tools will be carried out by the three universities participating in the project: Universitat Jaume I, which has a multidisciplinary team formed by, the geospatial technologies research group GEOTEC, the Historical Centres Chair and the Education, Heritage and Social Sciences Research Group (EPiCS), all of them coordinated by the FACSA-UJI Chair; the University of Alicante through its Interuniversity Institute of Geography, expert in databases and georeferencing; and the Universita degli Studi di Pavia (Italy), specialist in heritage.

So that these tools can be used in educational centres, the three universities will also develop content for an online course aimed at teachers that will deal with different aspects of historical heritage, educational innovation and the use of the application and platform. In addition, a methodological guide will also be developed to guide teachers on how to use these technologies in the classroom.

In order to implement the whole process, the project also counts on the participation of four secondary schools: IES Penyagolosa of Castelló, Istituto superiore "Tamarelli-Foscolo" (Pavia, Italy), Agrupamento Escolas of Campo Maior (Campo Maior, Portugal) and Agrupamento Escolas nº3 of Elvas (Elvas, Portugal) which will carry out pilot studies to test the tools developed.

"The idea is that the students carry out during the course different learning activities with these tools in their respective schools so that they become familiar with them and acquire the necessary knowledge. Afterwards, it is planned that students from the different schools will put into practice what they have learned through a one-week mobility experience that will take place every year in a different area: Castellón, Pavia in Italy and Campo Maior in Portugal, respectively", explains the project coordinator. In this way, the students of the different participating schools will catalogue the hydraulic heritage of these areas and at the same time provide information about the operation of the tools so that improvements can be implemented.

"We believe that it is a very interesting project because these tools will be tested once the project is finished and they can be extended to more organisations, institutes or any centre that wants to use them as everything is developed in free software. In addition, another very positive aspect is that the tools could be extended to other heritages and applied very easily to boost the local development of municipalities, especially small rural municipalities", says Chiva.

Project website: http://h2omap.uji.es

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