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Developing Educational Strategies - some background stuff

By: Dr Lynda Kelly, Category: Museullaneous, Date: 10 Oct 2010

I'm currently attending a workshop on developing educational strategies for museums in a rapidly developing part of the world. Here's some resources for background reading.

Showing students Aboriginal objects

 © Australian Museum

Developing any kind of strategy is a challenge and working up an educational strategy for the cultural heritage sector can be complex. With my audience research and Web 2.0 hat on here's some resources I think will be helpful as background reading/thinking.

1. Online Learning

Learning trends in an online world: What the Horizons 2010 report has to say

Horizons report 2010 Museum edition: Three blog posts summarising this report. Start here and follow the link. What's next?

  • Augmented reality
  • Location-based services
  • Gesture-based computing
  • Semantic web

'Lose a wall for learning': Stephen Heppell talks about learning in a digital world parts one and two.

What does this research/thinking mean?

  • the ways visitors will now learn in our physical spaces will be different and incorporate choice, challenge, control, collaboration (Paris, 1997)
  • the ways we work will need to change (see some early thinking in this paper)
  • ‘Visitors will come to museums with more tech in their pockets than in the entire museum’ (Appelbaum, 2008)
  • 'Visitors enter museums already connected' (Heppell, 2010)
  • Move to an app-driven world (Wired, August, 2010)
  • A new paradigm:
  •       then © 1998 “Do not distribute”
  •       now © 2008 “Click here to share”
  •       2010           "Like this"

2. Museum Learning

Learning in museums literature review: Chapter 2 from my thesis that summarises literature on learning generally and museum learning specifically, as well as applying my findings to practice (Chapter 7)

Learning in museums section of website has resources, research and other findings

3. Educational websites

Developing educational websites: investigating internet use by students and teachers: Papre outlining study of students ad teachers use of websites. Also has links to other papers and resources on right-hand side

e-kids college: notes about a workshop held with schol students when developing AM website

Web to Classroom workshop: "On Wednesday 25 and Thursday 26 November 2009 we held web to classroom workshops with primary and secondary teachers. The aim was to find out how teachers are using the web in their classrooms and how we can work more closely with them via our own website." Here are the notes.

What do these studies tell us?

  • Kids want museum websites for information, not interactivity beyond asking a question
  • they can get games and conversations elsewhere
  • they see a divide between social media sites for social purposes (Facebook, YouTube) and don't tend to use these for "educational purpose" - the have strict divide (although with smartphones this is blurring somewhat)
  • Kids are low users of Twitter, teachers are starting to take this up
  • Teachers use portals developed by education departments and are high users of free online tools such as wikis, vimeo, Moodle etc
  • when accessing a website they want to know - what's in it for me? why should I use yet another website and not what I already have been using? How is it better than Wikipedia? 

4. Audience Research

Audience Research website

Evaluation, Research and Communities of Practice: Program Evaluation in Museums: Introduction to audience research paper

Models of museum visitor research: my current thinking on the state of play in audience research 2010

5. Australian Museum Education Projects and Activities

Educational Services portal

Museum in a Box: "... an exciting outreach program for educational institutions and students in New South Wales. There are over 25 different boxes containing a treasure trove of real museum specimens, casts, artefacts, dioramas, images, DVDs, CDs, games, books and web resources. The fun activities for children are explained in the Teachers' notes and information about the topic is given on large panels. Each box has a theme and the activities are linked to the school syllabus." (Karen Player, MIAB)

Video conferencing

My Cultural Object: "We went to a school in Sydney to find out what cultural objects are personally significant to Year 5 students. What we found was intriguing and, in some cases, quite moving." (Helen Wheeler, Education Officer)

Gagali the Gecko on Facebook (Laura McBride, Indigenous Education Officer)

Bugwise for schools citizen science program (Science Communication Unit)

6. Other resources