Today, Nikos Manouselis from Agroknow (Greece) and Cristian Cechinel from Universidade Federal do Pampa – Campus de Bagé (Brazil) are the keynote speakers in a working session organized by the Computing School of the University of Alcala. Both speakers have a strong background relationship with Information Engineering Research Unit of the University and have therefore been invited by us to participate in this knowledge-sharing event.
Nikos’ talk, entitled “Opening Up Digital Collections: a case study on the connection of cultural collections with educational activities”, introduced how digital collections of cultural and scientific institutions may be organized and exposed to Web portals and online services in order to support various user information needs and tasks. It has particularly presented the case of Natural Europe, a research project that connects museum collections with educational activities, allowing the design of digital educational pathways over digitized cultural items from Natural History Museums. After this talk, a discussion on relevant research directions and potential technology challenges took place.
Cristian Cechinel, a representative of the IGUAL project (which stands for “Innovación para la Igualdad en la Universidad de America Latina”) gave a talk about the project objectives and achievements, which basically are to improve the quality, relevance and accessibility of Higher Education in Latin America, particularly for the most vulnerable groups.
IGUAL project assumes that if more low-income students successfully finish their studies despite the deficiencies in their basic education, the project will have a direct, positive impact in the accessibility of higher education for a segment of the population (public schooled students) that is usually in a disadvantaged position compared with students that could afford private schools. The role that University of Pampa plays in the project was specially highlighted and detailed by Cristian.