The Smithsonian
19 Museums
136 million things
5,000 people
How can we help peopleexplore their own interests?How can they continue toexplore these interests with usafter they go hom...
Crossing Boundaries Within            BetweenMuseums            Museums           With          Other          Groups
Collaboration – HBRBoth partners help others climb thisladder - and in the process of helpingothers they lift themselves u...
Case Study #1Crossing Boundariesto engage educators with digital content
Smithsonianeducation.si.edu
Collections.si.edu
Photos by Joe Hobson
http://scems.navnorth.com
Empower the User:Digital Learning Resources Project (open source toolset)
Case Study #2Crossing Boundaries to engage youth in  social networks &   “digital badging”
Core Badges: Across the Institution                  Smith
Citizen Science
Review and Assessment by:   Smithsonian Experts   Badged Teachers   “Powered-Up” Peers   Tree Banding Database    Exte...
Environmental Badges
Case Study #3 Crossing Boundariesby co-curating exhibits
How can we help peopleexplore their own interests?How can they continue toexplore these interests with usafter they go hom...
Both partners help others climb thisladder - and in the process of helpingothers they lift themselves up to the topof the ...
Choose partners based on their superior expertise orcontextual knowledge.Work on strategic problems you can’t solve alone....
snorby@si.edu
Stephanie Norby, How to connect with other museums
Stephanie Norby, How to connect with other museums
Stephanie Norby, How to connect with other museums
Stephanie Norby, How to connect with other museums
Stephanie Norby, How to connect with other museums
Stephanie Norby, How to connect with other museums
Stephanie Norby, How to connect with other museums
Stephanie Norby, How to connect with other museums
Stephanie Norby, How to connect with other museums
Stephanie Norby, How to connect with other museums
Stephanie Norby, How to connect with other museums
Stephanie Norby, How to connect with other museums
Stephanie Norby, How to connect with other museums
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in …5
×

Stephanie Norby, How to connect with other museums

210 views
181 views

Published on

Published in: Education, Technology
0 Comments
0 Likes
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Views
Total views
210
On SlideShare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
0
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
3
Comments
0
Likes
0
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide
  • I am the director of a central office of education at the Smithsonian. Each morning I either ride my bike to work along this mall. Often tourists stop me to ask, “Where is the Smithsonian?” One day, a man asked me this question and a started to give my usual answer.
  • And so I said, as I had often said before, “The Smithsonian is our national museum, it is not one museum but nineteen museums, most of them along this mall.
  • The museums focus on science, history, art and culture have a combined collection of 136 million things.
  • Over 5,000 people work at the Smithsonian and hundreds are curators or researchers who study our collections and conduct research all over the world.”When I stopped to take a breathe, the man said, “Lady, I drove in a mini-Winnebago for three hours from Pennsylvania to get here this morning and I drove another hour trying to find a parking space. I finally found one but I only have two hours and I’m here with my four sons – 6,8,9, and 12 and my mother-in-law who only speaks Italian. So what should we see?And this was my “aha” moment. When I realized its not really about the Smithsonian, its about his sons and his mother-in-law. So I talked to the boys for a few minutes to find out their interests and we came up with a plan.One of his sons was interested in sports, but there is no Smithsonian sports museum. Instead you could go to our to one of our history museums to Mohammed Ali’s gloves, or to one of our art museums to see portraits of sports heroes and heroines, or to our national air and space museum to learn how astronauts exercised in space. But how could they possibly know what to see and how could they possibly see it in 90 minutes. 
  • So I continue to struggle with these three questions – How can we help people follow their own interests? And how can they continue to explore these interests after they go home?
  • I know I can’t answer these questions alone. I need help from my other colleagues in the museums. I think we can better answer these questions when we work across museums. And I think there are other people and organizations outside the museum that can help us.
  • So if we’re going to work together, what do I mean by collaboration. Here is a definition provided not by museums but by the Harvard Business Review. In their research, they argue that collaboration should address a big question that you cannot answer alone. They also think collaboration is about innovation, not consolidating resources, not economy of scale, but innovation. And that’s from business.Now I’m going to present three case studies. This is about process. How did we go about working together to solve these problems. Each addresses the concerns of a different audience – teachers, youth, Tibetan monks – and each explores a different type of mediation – using digital collections, social networking, and co-curation of exhibits. All are addressing in some way my bigger questions of how do we engage audiences in their own questions and how we continue to stay connected after they leave our museums. These may not be your questions, and if not, I am hopeful that talking about how we collaborate may give you some ideas about ways to attack your own questions.I’m going to give a brief overview of each of these projects – about 5 mintues. Then at each of your tables you’ll read a case study about one of them and discuss it for a few minutes or about your own problems and solutions. I’ll close with thoughts about best practices in collaboration.
  • Crossing boundaries to engage educators in using our digital content to meet their own needs.
  • We have one website – smithsonianeducation.org – that has over 2,000 educational resources – this could be lesson plans, or videos, or websites, or interactives and games from all of our museums. But they are static, not easily changed.
  • And we have collections.si.edu which is a collection of our digital images. So far we have digiitized almost 8 million records and almost 1,000,000 images in our collections along with metadata about the object. And more each day. What if we could combine the digital resources and digital collections and gave the teachers tools to easily adapt these materials. To make their own materials.
  • For twenty years we’ve hosted a big open house event that attracts thousands of teachers. Educators from all of our museums are there, to talk to teachers and share free resources. We demonstrate ways to engage children in museums, we have curator-led tours, we give them wine and cheese, and we have fun. But we wondered. Does anybody really use what we give them. So we decided to conduct brief interviews as teachers left the event. We asked, do you use these materials in their classroom 70% said yes. We said, do you share these materials with other teachers 78% said yes. But then we wondered, they had been drinking. Teachers are kind, perhaps they intend to use the resources, but did they? So we waited three months and then we randomly selected a group from registration forms and called them. Once again we verified the numbers. 70% used. 78% shared. Well done we said. But we couldn’t leave well enough alone, we asked, how do you use them. The teachers said they had to change the materials because they just didn’t work. 95% said they changed the materials. Why? Oh the reading level was too difficult for my children. Or, I teach Latino children and I substituted the images so they could see themselves and their culture and the lesson. Of my children are really interested in comic books so I put the images and the language in a free ap to make a comic book.
  • We started with the usual online surveys, asking online visitors how they used our materials.
  • We brought some of these teachers to Washington DC during last summer. They came for a full week. During that we week we helped them develop their own lesson ideas – with educators and curators providing assistance. Every morning for the first hour they worked with us on prototypes.
  • Starting with paper and pencil they showed us what they would like the interface to look like. They described how it would work. They shared ideas with each other.
  • By the third week we developed an online prototype that we could test. We learned that they wanted to be able to save images, like Pinterest. They wanted to be able share their collections with others, like Pinterest. But they also wanted tools to make educational resources themselves. For example, they wanted to be able to easily change the text, adapting the reading level of their children. Or develop discussion questions. Or group images for comparison. Fairly straightforward strategies that teachers often use in their classroom but could be adapted to their children’s interests and needs.
  • This is an example of a set of resources developed by a teacher for a unit on the Mars landing. She can save it, adapt it, and share it with other teachers.We now have the requirements for this toolkit, and we’re currently fundraising to build it. Our intention is to open source it so any museum could add to the collection or use the code to build their own.
  • Case study #2 – crossing boundaries to engage youth in social networks and digital badging.
  • We all know badges. Some of us earned them in girl scouts or boy scouts for doing projects or community service. Others may have been in military service. They are a physical recognition of some accomplishment. But now it also possible to do digital badges. These are virtual badges that you can post on facebook and other social media sites to tell your own story. MacArthur Foundation and Mozilla are investing in the infrastructure for badging and offered some “start-up” grants to test the idea. So when I say they provided the infrastructure, they build the housing complex and we’re going to have one room in this larger system.
  • There will be several badges available to those who engage with Shout. For example ……. a Dirt Detective badge that involves exploring soil quality – and that links to Smithsonian online resources and live webacsts with experts… an Oral Historian badge that recognizes those who record and share oral histories about environmental changes in their region ……. and a series of badges that recognize milestones of participation in an important Citizen Science project that comes out of the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC).Let’s look more closely at the Citizen Science Tree Banding project.
  • So far four Smithsonian museums are developing their own badging systems, but we’re building them together on the same platform called badgestack. The science msueums wants to reward visitors for engaging with the collections while you visit the museum. They give digital badges for taking ten picures of objects in the collection, or posting blogs, or keeping a journal. Our contemporary art museum has a lab for teens. Teens learn about technology tools as they explore our collections. They may be inspired by collections to create their own works, or serve on production teams for the Smithsonian generating new content. But they can earn badges along the way as a kind of credentialing, a documentation of their accomplishments.
  • The Dalai Lama believed that the teaching of science should be incorporated into the monastic traditions. Buddhist is not dogmatic, if you have a better idea, no problem, it should be added to the teachings. So the Dalai Lama was not replacing their philosophy with science, but integrating into their teachings. To accomplishment this, a cohort of 30 Tibetan monks engaged in dialogues with scientists over a ten year period. At the end of the 10 years, they said now you are ready to teach.The monks said no. It would be “unethical” to teach when we do not feel sufficiently prepared. But while individually we are not ready, together we could help each other to teach.
  • Our museum partner in this venture was the Exploratorium in San Francisco, a hands-on science museum. So they taught the monks inquiry based methods of exploring science concepts. Smithsonian staff taught the monks how to develop an exhibit. And the monks created the exhibit adding their own ideas. Her are monks working with popsicle sticks to design the layout of th exhibition.
  • While we offered basic advice on how to build the exhibition, they built it. Here are traditional Thangka painters painting th panels.
  • Here is another picture.
  • This is the Dalai Lama’s personal tailor sewing the panels. You’ll notice that the cloth is familiar, the panels are made from the same fabric as the monks robes.
  • We prototyped the exhibit elements with visitors – children from the Tibetan schools and local monks, as they honed the exhibit and their teaching skills.
  • I’d lke to show you a clip of one of these prototyping sessions.
  • The monks also engaged in debates in their exhibition. Here are monks debating some of the ideas presented in another sections.
  • And her is the final exhibition. It has been on display in Delhi as part of an international conference, in Dharamshala, and even at a monastery in Tibet. The monks are now working on their second exhibition on climate change.
  • And here is his Holiness viewing the exhibition.
  • So I return to my three big questions. I think all of these case studies offer an opportunity to use museum expertise and resources to pursue their own interests and ambitions. Each focused on a different audience. Each focused on a different type of mediation – digital collections, social networks, co-curating of exhibits. All of them took place inside and outside the walls of the museums. We made a connection in or with the museum, but the experience extended beyond our own boundaries. And they all resulted in some artifact of learning – a teacher created teaching resource, a digital badge and posting of student work, and an exhibit.
  • So I return to my – or the HBR – definition of a collaborationAt each of your tables you have one case study. You could either discuss this case study and whether or not it was a collaboration. Or you could share your own programs and talk about whether or not they fit with the Harvard definition of a collaboration. If you could take about ten minutes..
  • I mentioned that in preparation for this presentation I read many articles from museum publications on collaboration and the HBR. Here is a brief summary of some of their common findings. Some suggestions for collaborations.
  • I mentioned that in preparation for this presentation I read many articles from museum publications on collaboration and the HBR. Here is a brief summary of some of their common findings. Some suggestions for collaborations.
  • Stephanie Norby, How to connect with other museums

    1. 1. The Smithsonian
    2. 2. 19 Museums
    3. 3. 136 million things
    4. 4. 5,000 people
    5. 5. How can we help peopleexplore their own interests?How can they continue toexplore these interests with usafter they go home?How do we know whathappened?
    6. 6. Crossing Boundaries Within BetweenMuseums Museums With Other Groups
    7. 7. Collaboration – HBRBoth partners help others climb thisladder - and in the process of helpingothers they lift themselves up to the topof the ladder. They are consciouslycreating a new path that createssynergies for themselves, while leavinga trail for others to follow. The intent ofthe collaboration is not just their ownsuccess but that of the largercommunity as well.
    8. 8. Case Study #1Crossing Boundariesto engage educators with digital content
    9. 9. Smithsonianeducation.si.edu
    10. 10. Collections.si.edu
    11. 11. Photos by Joe Hobson
    12. 12. http://scems.navnorth.com
    13. 13. Empower the User:Digital Learning Resources Project (open source toolset)
    14. 14. Case Study #2Crossing Boundaries to engage youth in social networks & “digital badging”
    15. 15. Core Badges: Across the Institution Smith
    16. 16. Citizen Science
    17. 17. Review and Assessment by: Smithsonian Experts Badged Teachers “Powered-Up” Peers Tree Banding Database External Triggers
    18. 18. Environmental Badges
    19. 19. Case Study #3 Crossing Boundariesby co-curating exhibits
    20. 20. How can we help peopleexplore their own interests?How can they continue toexplore these interests with usafter they go home?How do we know whathappened?
    21. 21. Both partners help others climb thisladder - and in the process of helpingothers they lift themselves up to the topof the ladder. They are consciouslycreating a new path that createssynergies for themselves, while leavinga trail for others to follow. The intent ofthe collaboration is not just their ownsuccess but that of the largercommunity as well.
    22. 22. Choose partners based on their superior expertise orcontextual knowledge.Work on strategic problems you can’t solve alone.Invest in collaboration for the long-term – technologyplatform, “backbone” organization that keeps the workmoving, training for staff.Collaborate in-person but sustain using technology
    23. 23. snorby@si.edu

    ×