Target users: in museums, schools, social innovation practices

Target users for Homm-sw: students, teachers, tutors, educators territorial, social workers visiting a museum (and visitors to the museum in general), practitioners in social innovation domains.

Beyond ones common to other ICT tools in use in museums, Homm-sw has two key innovative functions.

First, recording and retrieval of users’ activities: during the visit in a museum, the visitor accessing her account may browse and take notes in her personal workspace and then retrieve and explore them, and many more, as much as she likes after the visit.

Second, information offered by a set of related clips are easily seen in the conceptual map proposed by the authors.

Crowd sourcing and sharing of non-linear narratives may enhance the effectiveness of museums in developing inclusive and collaborative educational practices, contrasting learning difficulties and creating connections between people.

ICT can enhance learning, both informal learning, that is typical of traditional museums, and non-formal learning (increasingly important in museums through hands-on activities aimed at creating practical skills and know-how).
Homm-sw can improve the usability of museums to enrich the knowledge acquired in formal education and support dissemination of learning processes associated with the knowledge of the local context and its relations with the rest of the world.

Homm-sw has tools that:

  • support educators, also in contrasting learning difficulties, in developing inclusive and collaborative educational practices; support curators;
  • facilitate crowd sourcing;
  • create a personal web repository of contents and connections; share contents to be published, if approved by the administrator; create a network of contents and applications, at different levels for different users and specific needs.

Through the creation of knowledge and of opportunities for interaction, Homm-sw may help to enhance historical, cultural, social heritage of a territory, strengthening the museums as agents that promote social inclusion, community cohesion and sustainable development.

In museums, Homm-sw supports the needs of the end users of the activities proposed by museums.
Before the visit to the museum, the enrollment of individuals and the group to which they belong (e.g. as school classes accompanied by teachers) will set the conditions to create a personal workspace and a group’s workspace. A self-assessment test prior can be implemented (customizable by the teacher, in the case of classes of students), related to the aspects that are specifically explored in the activities of the museum.
During the visit, the users will be identified by a proximity card. The time for interaction with ICT tools will be limited, during the visit, since the museum is a unique place to make the real visit and the hands-on activities. The personal workspace will be enriched by various information and may be extended through many channels (tablets, mobile phones with custom applications).
After visiting the museum, each user will be able to navigate freely through the Homm-sw application indefinitely. The personal web space may be adapted to the specific needs (for example, the level of knowledge effective) and to user’s preferences. [see also Configuration]

In schools, Homm-sw creates platforms to share information and specific contents between colleagues in the same level of class, or who teach disciplines in the same area or the same discipline. Given the strong acceleration of scholarly publishing in the creation of online tools, let us imagine a production of tools more effective and efficient (also monitored by relationships with the universities) which can exploit the potential of creating documents by professionals in the field of education, and by teachers. Homm-sw is an excellent example of a platform that allows you to build pathways of multidisciplinary contents, scientifically validated and monitored by professionals working in museums, in order to support learning processes  linked to an active knowledge of the local context.
The software architecture of Homm-sw ha a great openess and flexibility, allowing users to access and manipulate contents so far poorly disseminated, poorly known, printed in a few copies, too specialized or even outdated, but still appropriate in their educational usage.
The manipulation of texts, the use of agile images and videos, the ability to create free connections and to implement the filing of documents are exactly what a new generation of educational staff and teachers  expect to find in a toolbox to support them in the common work at school and in museums.

Social innovations practices have an increased need to communicate and share information on the processes and outcomes of their proiects and practices. The modularity allowed by Homm-sw in creating digital storytelling could improve sharing of practices across different domains of social innovation practices.