Dr. René Horcicka is the Director of the University of Portland’s Salzburg Center in Salzburg, Austria. He is an Academic Technology Roundtable Fellow with an interesting project on cultural geography titled “Creative Bridges – Acquiring Cultural Content through the use of Technology.”
In this podcast, he talks with UP Tech Talk cohost Sam Williams on site in Salzburg about how to identify and communicate authentic cultural knowledge with the use of digital technology. Dr. Horcicka expects his UP students to produce a series of 3-5 minute videos which focus on their experiences in learning about the authentic culture of Salzburg and other parts of Europe.
“If you take a look at the things all tourists do in Salzburg,” Dr. Horcicka explains in this podcast. “You have a good idea of what industrial culture is.”
For example, The Sound of Music attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. The students could question things that are presented in the Sound Of Music. They could interview locals with video cameras. How about the music? Do locals know the song Edelweiss? Is the Schnitzel with noodles something that anyone would eat here? Look behind the curtains and explore the authentic culture behind it….By doing this they [students] will be able to get closer to how Austrians in Salzburg live.
While students are studying abroad in Salzburg, they have the opportunity to go on many field trips. Dr. Horcicka’s course on cultural geography aims to equip his students with the tools to explore and understand cultural realms and to find creative ways to present authentic culture to a bigger audience. His hope is that better communication about authentic culture will foster better preservation of it.