Building a Living Co-curriculum through Technology Design for Intangible Culture Heritage

July has been a busy time for the Hilali Network and opportunity for our partners to come together face to face to explore creative approaches to our first major joint activity: the Hilali Summer School.  This month, Dr Shaimaa Lazem, lead of the Hilali Network in Egypt reports on her eclectic stay in the UK. The purpose of the trip was to design activities for the Hilali Summer School. The outcomes of this Summer School will form the basis of a student-centred Living Co-Curriculum for Intangible Cultural Heritage and Human Computer Interaction:


The first part of my trip was to associate partner Open Lab in Newcastle (UK) to bounce ideas with Culture Heritage expert (Prof Peter Stone), Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) researchers from Open Lab at Newcastle University and Northumbria University (Professor John Vines and Dr Rachel Clarke). We focused on ways by which participatory approaches in technology design could be put to use with students and community members. Next on the agenda was working with Higher Education specialists Dr Anne Preston (UK lead Hilali Network), Prof Linda Price, and Dr Sam Elkington (Higher Education Academy) to explore life-wide learning, flexible learning, and problem-based learning as potential educational frameworks for the curriculum – this curriculum is something which the project will develop of the next few months and make available to everyone interested in merging design in Intangible Cultural Heritage, Human Computer Interaction teaching with re-design in higher education. It is also something we hope other sectors will be interested in remixing. The curriculum will be embedded in the Culture Logger Toolkit, which will form the basis of our work from October.


I spent three weeks at Kingston University in London where I worked with Dr Danilo Giglitto, research associate for the Hilali Network. We worked intensively to integrate my expertise in teaching Human Computer Interaction and my knowledge about the Egyptian computing science context, with his domain expertise in intangible cultural heritage – along with the plethora of ideas we had in the first two stages of this trip whilst at Open Lab. The outcome is a problem-based, hands-on curriculum and a student-centered pedagogical approach to explore the use of technology in bottom-up Intangible Cultural Heritage documentation.


During the trip, we also received 53 applications from amazing undergraduate engineering students to join our Hilali Summer School, from which Dr Giglitto and I selected 19 students.


The Hilai Summer School kicks off on 21st August and runs across two weeks.