Sharing the Children's Museums Treasures: Lessons Learned

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  • ProcessCompiled before and after participating.Black ink= Student’s answer to the question prior to beginning project.Red ink= Staff clarifying points by asking “What do you mean by that?”Blue ink= Student’s answer to the question following the project.Green ink= Staff clarifying new points by asking “What do you mean by that?”Effort to visualize and quantify their understanding of Wikipedia before and after the project.- See if the tutorials and the process altered their view of Wikipedia.- No specific topic or issue to focus on. Just wanted to see what their thoughts were.
  • The purpose of the project was not to brainwash students into loving Wikipedia.It was an opportunity for them to learn a new online skill while also helping the museum.Nonetheless, the results of the Meaning Mapping surprised me!Nearly every student illustrated a deeper understanding of what Wikipedia is.Many provided detailed opinions of Wikipedia’s reliability, ease of use, and role in the classroom.I did NOT preach about Wikipedia or discuss the role of Wikipedia in schools. The tutorials and readings were objective & factual, not persuasive.We DID make clear that this work was important for sharing the museum’s knowledge with a global audience.They made these connections & came to these conclusions on their own.Quotes“This is what the internet was made for - to bring more knowledge.”- (Wikipedia is) discredited. It’s not given as much credit as it should be….I still don’t think teachers will give it due credit, but now I think I will give it more credit than before.- While it’s still not used for school…(Wikipedia is) the future of research. People will use it more… it will become our main source of research.
  • In depth research: Students enjoyed their time in the exhibits and meeting with museum staff to learn more.5 new articles in Wikipedia: 6,714 page views in the month of MarchReuben Wells Did You Know Main Page appearance (a majority of these views). Other 4 had page views in hundreds.Further collaboration with curators to clarify and update articles.Wikipedia Widget now on TCM webpages links to articles.Planning to add QR codes to some exhibit spaces, which will link to articles.Page viewsReuben Wells: 6042Fireworks of Glass: 268Water clock: 214Bucky: 163Cannon: 154


  • 1. Sharing The Children’s Museum’s Treasures
    A MAP Wikipedia Project
  • 2. The Idea
    MAP students will…
    • Develop research skills through the investigation of museum resources.
    • 3. Contribute content to Wikipedia & become involved in a 21st century collaborative online environment.
    Proposed outcomes:
    • TCM will have their iconic objects represented in Wikipedia.
    • 4. A worldwide audience will be able to learn about the objects in-depth.
  • The Process
  • 5. The Treasures
    Photo by Aaron Bernstein
    Flickr photo by user nicolernorman
  • 6. Meaning Mapping
    “What do you think or know about Wikipedia?”
  • 7. Findings
    Reliability & Accessibility
    • 19 students now believe Wikipedia to be more reliable.
    • 8. 7 pointed out the importance of citations.
    • 9. 2 “experimented” with its accuracy (both were satisfied).
    • 10. 1 felt Wikipedia to be less reliable after now being wary of sources.
    • 11. 4 commented on the Wikipedia community & global accessibility.
    Wikipedia in the Classroom
    • 10 pointed out their teachers’ dislike of Wikipedia.
    • 12. 5 of these students made a point to disagree with their teachers’ views.
    Ease of Use
    • 7 mentioned the difficulty in contributing or the intricacy of the process.
    • 13. 2 found Wikipedia easy due to the guides within Wikipedia.
  • Student Feedback
    “I like the idea that what we accomplish as a team will be on the web for anyone with internet access and a computer to see.”
    • Authenticity/ Importance
    • 14. New skills & information
    • 15. Motivation
    • Rotations
    • 16. Bi-Weekly schedule
    • 17. Imbalance of work load
    “This project is definitely the most legit project that we've ever done.”
    “This project was a great learning experience. It was also a very hard challenge and helped us find the qualities we ourselves are good at. It taught us how to use Wikipedia and how to make articles that can be helpful in the future.“
  • 18. Outcomes