The O-City project wants to convey the importance of the feeling of identity that the heritage provides, and we want to do it thinking about all the actors involved. For this, O-City has focused on heritage and education as a source of future and progress within the orange (creative) economy framework. O-City.org is the online world where cities exhibit their natural and cultural heritage; it is a living world that can do something for you.
To teachers, O-City offers an educational platform designed and directed exclusively for them, that is, designed to train the teaching sector; with an extensive library of knowledge in the four areas that form the ground of the orange economy:
- Cultural (heritage and intellectual property)
- Technicians (creative technologies)
- Soft Skills (critical thinking, creativity, etc.)
- Business (business development, pitching, etc.)
The project has prepared all the courses you need to generate multimedia content through a didactic methodology based on the PBL (Project-based learning), either as end-users or teachers who want to bring O-City to your classroom and work with your students. In these free online courses, you will also find professional and personal skills and tools such as soft skills. The demand for ICT professionals’ experts in multimedia creation is growing. Our educational systems requires catalysts that helps our teachers stimulate training processes through real projects whose resolution increases the motivation of our students.
Teachers and heads of study of academic centers may use the training modules to carry out multimedia projects on the cultural realities of their cities and integrate them into the existing curricula, exchanging knowledge and experiences with teachers from other countries. Also, O-City provides students with the necessary training to carry out multimedia projects of various kinds (photography, video, comics, infographic, animation, and podcast). Knowledge will be transmitted through which they will be able to create in the future professional life in the orange economy sector within their territory.
In both cases, motivational tools will be provided for teachers and students when developing projects with a real purpose: to upload the multimedia product made in the classroom to the O-City platform.
Learning Experiences in Spain
Fourteen experiences have been developed by Spanish O-City partners since July 2020. First experiences were focused on the photography course because this was the first course to be implemented. These experiences served us to validate the methodology and to improve the resources. Next, we are going to explain briefly each experience.
E5_1 Photo course
This was the first experience launched on July 2020. Forty-six people attended to this course, which was lectured in Spanish using a blended methodology with twelve synchronous lectures. The attendants profile were varied, some teachers from universities and secondary schools, some professionals and some amateurs formed a miscellaneous public that allows us to test the implemented resources and review them in order to guess how to improve the materials. After the course it was clear that the resources could be improved by adding new pills (short videos performed by professionals) to explain some particular aspects.
Because of this course, twenty-four cities were included in O-City.org and twenty-six new photo-video multimedia were uploaded.
E5_2 Photo course
On November 2020, a second experience was developed using the photo-video course, after including all improvements derived from the first course. This second-course was taught in English and forty-eight students with a more academic profile (professors, students, and research staff) belonging to European institutions were enrolled. Eleven cities were registered, and eight audio-visual projects were uploaded.
These two courses have allowed us to begin to energize the O-City project, generating links and synergies that have accompanied us until the end of the project. Experiences E5_6, E5_7, E5_8 and E5_9 emerged thanks to these courses. In this sense, an interesting fact has been that 90% of attendants to these courses found them feasible to promote photography and implement the contents in their teaching environment. However, 15% to 25% did not see it possible to involve local councils.
Andrés Castrillón from the University of Cauca (Colombia) commented in the surveys: “I would be interested in knowing more about the other modules commented Soft Skills, Heritage and Culture with emphasis on the subject of intellectual property and business. We could move forward with the Faculty of Accounting, Economic and Administrative Sciences of the University of Cauca on these issues, specifically in the Tourism program.”
After this course, a meeting with institutions interested in bringing the workshop to their study programs in Spain and America was held. The health situation we have experienced has slowed down the implementation of O-City in the classrooms of these universities.
E5_3 Video course for Audio-visual Communication Degree Students
The first experience with a University group was performed in December 2020 using the video course. The selected group was formed by thirty fourth grade audiovisual communication degree students. This experience was less successful than it was expected; on one hand, this was because these students were indeed experts on video implementation, so they did not need the resources provided by the course. On the other hand, these students felt underestimated because they did not monetize their work. Nevertheless, some of them were in contact to a municipality, which was interested in their work and student´s opinion about the project change after it. They expose their experience in this video .
After this course only two multimedia from two different cities were uploaded to O-City.org.
E5_4 Photo course for Fine Arts Degree Students
In turn, we have implemented O-City in the Faculty of Fine Arts of the UPV. The students have used the O-City tool to select, classify and describe the patrimonial elements that were, as had been seen in the subject itself, threatened by a high risk of abandonment and degradation. Three lessons from the O-City photography course have been transferred to the classroom. In particular, the lessons were: Photography as a tool for heritage conservation, Elements of a camera, and Writing a script for certain multimedia content. The total number of students who received the training amounts to 36, in two groups (morning and afternoon).
The activity consisted of:
- Select a heritage element and justify the selection.
- Take a photograph that exposes the values detected in the characterization of the previous point.
- Write a brief review according to the research accompanying the image.
The reception of the contents has been excellent on the part of the students. Many of them have shown interest in taking the entire course of twelve lessons to develop the audio-visual content and subsequently upload it to the O-City Platform. Seventeenth heritage proposal were obtained as outcome of this course.
E5_5 Photo course for UNESCO Forum University
This experience was implemented between april and may 2021 and it was organized with UNESCO Forum University and Heritage Chair. The course was lectured asynchronously. One hundred and twenty-two people with different profiles participated in this course. They were teachers from secondary schools and Universities, students and professionals from Spain, Germany, France, Uruguay, Argentina, Colombia, Perú and Dominican Republic. Twwenty-five new multimedia were uploaded to O-city.org thanks to this course.
UNESCO Forum University expressed the UPV’s commitment to continue contributing to the preservation and enhancement of Cultural Heritage through cooperation between universities and promoting the growth and exchange of knowledge in the FUUP Network, coordinated in collaboration with the UNESCO World Heritage Centre (WHC). Let’s consider the objectives of the UNESCO Chair. It is inevitable to think that they were aligned with those of the O-City Project, so the possibility of generating joint synergies and organizing this new edition of the O-City Photography course arises.
E5_6, E5_7, E5_8 and E5_9 Latino-American Experiences
As we have explained before, many lectures from Latin-American Universities attended to UPV´s online courses and demonstrated their interest in implementing this project in their own lectures. In order to support these experiences, UPV creates the Latin-American Network O-City, that involves these Universities:
- Universidad del Cauca (Colombia)
- Escuela Superior Politécnica del Litoral (Ecuador)
- Universidad Católica del Norte (Chile)
- Catholic University of La Plata (Argentina)
The project is still running, and we are going to receive the outcomes at the end of the course.
E5_10 Courses for American Space (UPV)
With the aim to promote O-City course in North-America, UPV team contacted to American Space, which is the result of collaboration between the U.S. Embassy and the Universitat Politècnica de València that offers programming that covers different teaching and learning activities. Inside this framework, O-City project is offering its courses.
The experience is already running and we hope to extend this during next year.
E5_11 O-City for Erasmus Students
From September to December 2021, O-City courses were offered to Erasmus Students in Gandia UPV Campus. Twenty-five students from eight different countries participated in this experience. In order to institutionalize this, a learning mobility agreement was signed between UPV and eight universities.
Each student committed to enrol in two courses, one technical and another non-technical. They formed three people teams for implementing three multimedia each one. Students had to pass the course’s test. The multimedia implemented were uploaded to O-City.org.
Eleven multimedia were implemented thanks to this experience. Most of them were infographics, but also there are some photo-video content and podcast.
This experience was held online, with one mentoring session each week.
E5_12 O-City for Telecommunication Students
O-City project was presented in a fourth grade class of the Telecommunication Degree in order to promote the implementation of Final degree projects related to O-City project. Some students are now working in the proposal of its work
E5_13 O-City for Tourism Students
O-City project was presented in a second grade class of the Tourism Degree in order to promote the use of this project in some subject related to the heritage and the tourism.
E5_14 O-City Podcast course for Audio-visual Degree
Using the expertise acquired from E5_4 previous experience, UPV team proposed a new course, this time based on the podcast course and directed to students of the first grade of Audio-visual communication. This experience was tremendously successful, because students were very grateful to the project for giving them the opportunity to present their work. This video presents a brief explanation about this experience told by one of the groups.
After this course, seventeenth new podcasts were uploaded to O-City.org.
We have presented fourteen different learning experiences implemented in Spain during the second part of the project development. These experiences have served us to validate O-City learning program.
After each experience, participants have filled a survey in order to collect their satisfaction. From these surveys, we have obtained that 95% of participants are satisfied or very satisfied with the experience. They highlight the facility to get access to the recorded lectures, in the case of the blended courses, and the possibility to interact with the teacher. Furthermore, 91% are satisfied or very satisfied with the quality of the contents.
Regarding to the courses oriented to teachers (experiences E5_1 and E5_2) 92% agree that they will be able to apply the project in their lectures and they point out that the course have provided them new ideas to improve their teaching. All of them agree with the methodologies proposed inside each course and are very grateful for these.