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£13M FUNDING TO DEVELOP PROJECTS FOR CULTURE ONLINE

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The school curriculum and adult learning will be enlivened by a ...
The school curriculum and adult learning will be enlivened by a

series of Culture Online projects to be launched this year, culture

secretary Tessa Jowell has announced.

Culture Online (COL) will use the latest technologies - via the

Internet and other digital platforms - to offer new forms of access

to the nation's cultural resources. As well as providing key

resources for schools, it will allow people around the country to

learn from and participate in a variety of innovative new projects.

By inspiring and motivating children and adults, Culture Online will

encourage them to interact with the arts, heritage and culture in new

and more creative ways.

£13m of funding will be available to fund this stage of Culture

Online, covering the period 2002 to 2004. The money will be spent on

20 to 30 targeted projects. Drawing on the varied resources of

cultural institutions, the projects will be accessible in a variety

of ways including an online gateway linked to Curriculum Online and

the National Grid for Learning, both run by the Department for

Education and Skills.

Announcing the funding Tessa Jowell said:

'Culture Online has the potential to transform people's experience of

the arts, dissolving barriers of distance, time or attitude. By

allowing children and adults to access the rich resources of our

cultural sector they will acquire a world class educational and

recreational tool.

'These new projects will demonstrate what is possible by creating a

'digital bridge' linking new digital technology with cultural

resources, educational institutions and homes. I hope they will prove

a powerful learning asset offering children and adults new insights

into our wonderful cultural heritage.'

DCMS will shortly be inviting organisations to put forward proposals

for involvement in projects. Criteria for the assessment of proposals

will also be published.

Projects might, for example, deliver:

- interactive technology allowing people to see a major exhibition at

a national museum that they were unable to visit. The experience

could be enhanced through digital television, the web, and

connections with other events throughout the country. The museum

could also collaborate with television companies, historic sites

and local museums with relevant collections. This would enable

people to explore the history, influences and inspirations behind a

great painter's work, or to participate in a local project inspired

by the exhibition.

- a cross-curricular project on the impact of the Second World War,

incorporating a virtual tour of London during the Blitz designed by

a computer games company, recordings of local people's wartime

experiences collected by a group of museums working with

schoolchildren, and the creation of a digital storybook showing how

the region changed as a result of the war.

Culture Online projects will unite the abilities of cultural

organisations and the private sector, including broadcasters,

education professionals and those on the cutting edge of digital

technology, to create innovative, high quality resources for adults

and children.

Notes

1. The department was awarded£5m Development Funding for Culture

Online. It engaged independent business strategy consultants to

conduct a full economic options appraisal which set out a business

plan for COL. A further£10m has been allocated for the production

of 20-30 targeted projects for children and adults over the next

two years.

2. Culture Online is an integral part of the DCMS e-business

strategy, which, in itself, is a response to the government's

commitment to the UK Online programme. This programme aims to

ensure everyone who wants it has access to the Internet by 2005 and

that all government services are online by that date and to make

Britain one of the leading knowledge economies.

3. The Culture Online vision is available online .

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