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Modern Technology and Content: How Innovation Contributes to the Creation of a New Form of Knowledge

16 June 2022
Современные технологии и контент: как инновации способствуют созданию новой формы познания

On 16 June Innovative Space at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum hosted a session dedicated to the influence of innovative technologies on the process of children’s knowledge acquisition and their interaction with the world around them.

The discussion centered around innovative technologies: their influence in the process of information perception, their impact on the cognitive processes, and their role in focusing a child on basic knowledge. Elena Pronicheva, Director of the Polytechnic Museum, and Maxim Lunev, Head of the Corporate Communications Department at Russian Railways participated in the session. They spoke about the practical application of digital tools and multi-format technologies to communicate with young audiences, as well as used examples from their own experience.

Elena Pronicheva emphasized that one of the major missions of the Polytechnic Museum is to lay the groundwork for the future of science. The museum achieves it through a retrospective of accomplishments of Russian scientists over the past 150 years. She also noted that digital technologies are being introduced across all levels of the museum’s activities, from exhibitions to educational programmes. «We want to inspire invention, so that children and teenagers stop thinking short term and start thinking long term; so that they can see themselves as IT professionals, creating not only narrowly focused software, but building whole ecosystems — including those for cultural projects. We want to talk about the future and motivate young people to think about what kind of world they want to live in and what level of comfort they would like to enjoy in it,» emphasized Elena Pronicheva.

Maxim Lunev spoke about digital projects in the Russian Railways portfolio. Among them, for example, is a video tour of Pavlovsky railway station, where thanks to computer generated imagery and full-scale filming the unique architectural monument that once was lost came to life. Another initiative is the historical and educational project entitled Historical Baggage. Produced together with the Institute of Russian History of the Russian Academy of Sciences and the Russian Historical Society, it combines physical and virtual environments. It includes both multimedia displays at railway stations, an Internet portal, and a mobile app. «Digitalization is not just a trend. It is impossible to imagine any industry without it — much like any day of absolutely any person,» Lunev summed up.

Ilya Krivitsky, General Director of Krasny Kvadrat Media Group moderated the discussion. He has noted that today’s digital-native generation is used to perceiving the world through technology and is capable of shifting attention quickly. This requires new approaches to cognitive interaction with the world.

Part of the discussion was dedicated to Captains of the Future, a multiformat educational ecosystem being developed by Krasny Kvadrat. Once completed, the ecosystem will feature ever so popular digital avatars. Captains of the Future features educational future-oriented scientific content for children 7–12 years old. Currently in the works are a four-book project on futurology, AI, environment and space; a series of informative podcasts and doodle-lectures; an animated series for teens; and an interactive science exhibition at VDNKh. The producers plan to add a game design tutorial written by teens and a mobile game.

Entertaining content presented in different formats will allow to inspire children to learn and explore applied sciences and changing technologies. «Innovative technology is a new tool for learning about the world. Thus, it will soon become a major influence in the way the content is shaped. Interacting with information with the help of new technologies in a new way shapes both the process of perceiving the world and interacting with the environment,» summarized Krivitsky.

The session concluded that alternating digital and offline formats is the most relevant path into the future, including exhibitions, museum projects, VR and AR mechanics, computer games and printed books, interactivity and phygital. And the transition to metaverses will lock all these technologies into one surrounding space, which will become a new reality.