Before even starting to think strategically about digital learning we need to think about different types of learning, and what that represents. With this in mind themain question I’m going to try and address in this presentation is What exactly IS personalised learning and [next slide]... What does it have to do with Digital Technology?
[previous slide] and what does it have to do with digital technology?
For me “digital” in digital learning isn’t just a reference to the technology used. It is the characteristics,participation, dialogue and empowering individuals.Not driven by technology for technology sake, but by an awareness that many learners are already creating personalised learning environmentsforthemselvesusingdigital resources all the time in their daily lives. Our audiences are becoming more connected, social and sharing and they expect similar levels of participation in cultural engagement. require new models that engage audience learning experiences in ways which are acceptable to them. Personalisation and digital technology combined can offer a mechanism for this.
The goal of personalised learning is the creation of a system or experience that meets theneeds, interests and potential of all visitors, regardless of their backgroundsenables visitors to take joint responsibility for defining their goals and their learning strategies. Therefore I see it as important that personalised learning experiences have a huge focus on collaboration and participation.
One of the key things I believe are involved with personalised learning with digital technology is that it can provide more opportunities for the learner/visitor to get involved. Handing over the decisions to the visitor: providing choice and individual control for engagment. I see digital learning to be an integral part of creating personalised learning environments in which learners can create a coherent experience of diverse learning experiences, where they can collaborate with experts in areas of personal interest, track and review their own learning across different sites/applications, and over all feel a part of the learning experience. It sounds like something we should be aspiring too right?But really where does that sit institutionally? Will this type of personalisation fit with the institutional mission?
learner voice and choiceI see all cultural experiences as a learning journey, whether or not there are formal learning outcomes. Cultural institutions should make every visitor feel like an individual with wide-reaching potential .To take joint responsibility for and be seen as an active agent in determining each individuals own learning priorities.And To provide opportunities for understanding and critical engagement. Again this raises issues of how do you get institutional support for handing over some museum authority to the visitor? Does that fit with institutional aims?
User Focus. Putting visitors at the heart of their own learning experience. I would like our audiences to engage in learning as constructive dialogue rather than as a passive process of transmission.ForMuseums to take on the role of privileged participant rather than that of expertAnd for museums and audiences to actively work together in an open learning environmentBut can this user focus be implemented in siloed museum departments
Taking all of that into consideration, one of the projects that has ideas about personalised learning experiences and digital technology is QRator.QRator is a Collaborative project at University College London, between UCLDH, CASAand UCL Museumand Collections. Using technology developed at UCL and Tales of Things and iPads, the aim was to establish new interactiveconnections between museum exhibits and the public viewing objects. Where visitors play an active role in the interpretation in museum. Visitors are on par with curators. Developing new kinds of content, co-curated by members of the public,academic researchers and museums staff. The public to type in their thoughts and interpretation of museum objects and click ‘send’. Their interpretation become part of the objects history and the display itself via the interactive label system to allow the display of comments directly next to the artefacts.Image: Andy Hudson Smith
UCL’s Grant Museum of Zoology – one of the UK’s oldest natural history collections – it has an atmosphere of a densely-packed Victorian collection, but also now employs iPads to experiment with ways of using a natural history collection as a starting point for questions about science. Alongside displays of stuffed chimpanzees and extinct dodos, iPads, asks provocative questions about the ways museums operate, and the role of science in society. The first questions the museum is asking its visitors to answer include: “Should human and animal remains be treated any differently in museums like the Grant?”; “Can keeping pets be justified given their impact on wildlife?”; “Should science shy away from studying biological differences between races?” People can engage with the topics either via the Museum’s iPads, their own smart phones, or over the internet.Encouraging visitors to understand and critically engage with the choices open to them, and to understand the potential implications of these choices personally, socially and economically. Creating an “open learning society” by enabling communities to come together and explore questions and problems. Museums should provide an opportunity for people to think rather than just observe. Meaning making and co-construction of knowledgeletting people find connections with objects on a personal level, They will gain more from this experience; it breaks down barriers between museums as the keepers of objects and visitors.
QRator enables members of the public to type in their thoughts and interpretation of museum objects and click ‘send’. Their interpretation become part of the objects history and ultimately the display itself via the interactive label system to allow the display of comments and information directly next to the artefacts.
Visitors own interpretations are instantly displayed right next to the specimens, Demonstrating that visitors and museums have a joint responsibility for and be seen as an active agent in determining learning priorities.We want to give visitors active learning experiences and opportunities to engage in the museum’s work and feed into how our museums should be run, opportunities for them to tell us what they know and need to know about the life sciences, what issues they care about and want museumsto raise. Creating a truly individual museum learning experience. The Grant museum is a small museum with a small staff, QRator was created with curatorial input, but ultimately it is classed as a technology project and evaluated as such.
I’m not saying this is the right way to deliver personalised learning, QRator throws out more questions than it answers. What are the key issues that museums need to address when planning future opportunities for personalised learning with digital technologies? Is the ability to add their own interpretation, and to think about choices museums make encourage critical thinking and personalised learning?Can you create meaningful digital learning experiences with the visitor? Can you create meaningful digital learning experiences without the visitor?And if you can, can its impact on learning be evaluated?
The next case study is a collaborative project with The Imperial War Museum, UCLDH, CASA and Knowledge Integration. Funded by the NESTA R&D fund. Research and development project testing whether the application of social media models to cultural collections successfully increases audience engagement and reach. aims are to increase Engagement, comprising elements of comment, debate, consumption of more of the collection and increased time spent exploring content; and Spread, which encompasses different people and different places, for example interaction with the collections pre- and post-visit, at home or via mobile.embedding the audience voice and input throughout a museum’soutput.This project is within the New Media department at IWM. There are no formal learning outcomes associated. What does that say about digital technology and learning?
Again raising more questions than we have answers, and these are some of the issues I don’ think we have even begun to consider when it comes to creating digital learning strategies for cultural institutions. So it comes back to the three key questions of the panel: ‘what do we mean by learning in a digital context?’, ‘what kind of learning do we want to encourage?’ and how do we know if learning is taking (or has taken) place? If we dont know these questions or that digital projects that have brilliant potential for learning experiences are even being produced within our own institutions how can we begin to think strategically and operationally about digital learning?
Personalisation and Digital Technologies creating digital learning experiences with the visitorhttp://www.flickr.com/photos/iamjames/4265013065/
Claire Ross Doctoral Candidate Centre for Digital Humanities Department of Information Studies, UCLclaire.firstname.lastname@example.orgTweet me: @clairey_rossBlog: claireyross.wordpress.comUCLDH blog:www.ucl.ac.uk/dh-blog http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3422/3266335651_3da8d55b6a.
What isPersonalised Learning?http://www.flickr.com/photos/deano/89253703/
What does it have to do withDigital Technology?
Questions Raised • What are the key issues that museums need to address when planning future opportunities for personalised learning with digital technologies? • Can you create meaningful digital learning experiences with the visitor? • Can you create meaningful digital learning experiences without the visitor?http://www.flickr.com/photos/iamjames/4265770952/
Social Interpretation www.blogs.iw m.org/social- interpretation
Questions raised• Can social media models be used as a form of personalised learning?• Is social interpretation learning at all?• Can personalised learning experiences with digital technology be used when dealing with difficult or contentious cultural content?• Is it learning if we allow factually incorrect visitor interpretation?