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The Wolfsonian-FIU co-organized a convening hosted by the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation to explore the impact of digital and social media on the future of museums, especially young ...

The Wolfsonian-FIU co-organized a convening hosted by the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation to explore the impact of digital and social media on the future of museums, especially young learners—an extension of the Wolfsonian’s interest, following the 2008 and 2009 WebWise conferences co-organized with IMLS.

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Reimagining the museum convening final report 3.24 Reimagining the museum convening final report 3.24 Document Transcript

  • FINAL REPORT TO The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation REIMAGINING THE MUSEUM CONVENING October 22-23, 2009 with support from
  • The Wolfsonian–Florida International University Miami Beach TABLE OF CONTENTS I. SUMMARY OF CONVENING A. BACKGROUND B. OVERARCHING QUESTION AND CHARRETTE FORMAT C. POST-CONVENING REFLECTIONS II. APPENDIX A. CONVENING ATTENDEES B. CONVENING DESCRIPTION  Advance Readings  Agenda: Thursday, October 22, 2010 – Dinner & Introduction to Topic/Method  Agenda: Friday, October 23, 2010 - Welcoming Remarks - Charrette Activities - Opening Activity & Participant Introductions - Introduction to Existing Research/Knowledge Panel #1: The Changing Learning Environment Panel #2: The Changing Museum Agenda Panel #3: YOUMedia at Chicago Public Library as a Case Study - Introduction to the Challenge - Breakout Sessions & Feedback from YOUMedia Teens by Groups - Closing Discussion C. POST-CONVENING SURVEY & QUESTION RESPONSES D. REPORT RESOURCES 2
  • The Wolfsonian–Florida International University Miami Beach I. SUMMARY OF CONVENING A. BACKGROUND The Wolfsonian–Florida International University (FIU) along with the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) developed and co-hosted two WebWise conferences—one took place in Miami Beach in 2008 and the second, in Washington, DC in 2009. The aim of the annual WebWise conference is to bring together library and museum professionals to discuss research, issues, and experiences related to emerging digital and media technologies. To reach these goals, the 2009 WebWise Conference explored the ethical and strategic issues raised by the use of new media and technology by cultural institutions. Attended at full capacity by representatives from cultural institutions across the country, the conference provided invaluable opportunities for participants to share knowledge and experience. With MacArthur Foundation support, The Wolfsonian hosted a reception and dinner at the 2009 conference attended by 300 speakers, demonstrators, and participants of the conference. The reception exposed participants to the work of MacArthur Foundation grantees through demonstrations and five- minute presentations by eight digital learning, media and education grant recipients. This event provided an informal opportunity for the cross-fertilization of ideas between conference attendees, WebWise speakers, MacArthur and IMLS grantees, and outside participants (including senior administrators and “big thinkers” from the museum and library communities) especially invited to the event. Following the reception, MacArthur grantees each hosted a table at dinner, allowing conference attendees to further exchange ideas with the grantees. Providing an evening of concentrated exposure to emerging digital media learning strategies and research findings, the reception and grantee-led dinners created opportunities for staff from “content holder” institutions to engage in dialog with researchers from the field. These informal grassroots conversations further reinforced the observations from different participants, that libraries have made more progress than museums in collaborating with leaders in digital media and learning. The development of the idea for the Reimagining the Museum Convening evolved in great measure from this experience. With the intention of addressing these issues, a convening proposal was developed and submitted to the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation by co-organizers Cathy Leff, director, The Wolfsonian–Florida International University; Diana Rhoten, program director, Knowledge Institutions, Social Science Research Council and research director, Digital Media and Learning; and Drew Davidson, director, Entertainment Technology Center, Carnegie Mellon University. Other participants in the lead team organizing the convening included Kate Rawlinson, asst. director of education and public programs, The Wolfsonian, and Morgan Arenson, program officer, Digital Media and Learning Initiative, Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation. B. OVERARCHING QUESTION AND CHARRETTE FORMAT The goal of the convening was to explore how museums are being impacted by unprecedented cultural trends, including the increased use of digital media and the growth of participatory culture; and, more specifically, how museum-based learning—online and onsite—might evolve in response to these changes. After much discussion the lead team identified the following guiding question for the Reimagining the Museum Convening: 3 View slide
  • The Wolfsonian–Florida International University Miami Beach How might museums maximize the learning experiences achieved through digital media and object collections, and what spaces might be created by and within museums to engage young learners in informal and formal learning experiences? The organizing team determined that a one-day charrette would be the appropriate format for the topic being considered. Duane Bray, partner, IDEO, a design firm known for its leadership in human-based design processes, agreed to facilitate the convening. The charrette process is often used in the design field to address a specific “problem” through rapid-design brainstorming and testing with potential users. It is structured as an intensive and somewhat competitive, team-based approach. To utilize the expertise of the various fields represented by the participants in considering the future role and practices of museums as part of a networked distributed learning environment, each team contained a mix of education and digital media learning specialists and researchers, museum and library professionals (including museum educators, curators, administrators, and exhibition and new media designers), and interactive design professionals. (See Appendix A: Convening Attendees for list of participants.) A sub-question of the convening addressed how a process developed in the context of the design field might be used to address a larger question that was not, itself, design-related. As detailed in Appendix: B Convening Description, the organizers advised participants to prepare for the convening by reading three articles on digital media learning and use by youth. Most participants also attended the dinner in Princeton the night before the charrette, which allowed them to get acquainted informally. At the dinner, Duane Bray also introduced the guiding questions and the charrette format in order to set the stage for the following day’s activities. The agenda of the convening included:  Welcome and introductions;  Introduction to the day’s activities by Duane Bray;  Three panel presentations made by selected attendees on the changing learning environment, the changing museum agenda, and the Chicago Public Library’s YOUMedia space as a case study;  Introduction to the challenge by Duane Bray;  Breakout discussions by the four pre-assigned teams;  Presentation of selected ideas to YOUMedia teens via teleconferencing and gathering of feedback from them;  Closing discussion. Notes and/or transcripts for each of these components are included in Appendix B. Organizers also sent a post-convening survey to all participants in December 2009 to gather additional feedback on the convening. (See Appendix C: Post-Convening Survey and Question Responses.) C. POST-CONVENING REFLECTIONS The convening’s charrette process yielded multiple ideas museums could further develop and test using their particular collections. All are detailed in Appendix B: Convening Descriptions. We provide a few examples here: 4 View slide
  • The Wolfsonian–Florida International University Miami Beach  Citizen curators – Teens take on role of curators who connect a piece of art in a museum with an object in their personal collection by finding six intermediate connections.  Block Tour – Youth post on their personal blogs an audio tour that they’ve created of their own neighborhoods, paralleling the audio tours found in museums.  Design Museum Project – Museums provide tools and create a forum for teens to explore a design collection and the community they live in. Teens design something (DIY) like a product or a solution to a community problem; show it online or in the museum; gather feedback from peers and professionals; and, hopefully, get that product actually made and introduced into the real world.  Pandora Told Me – A teen provides the museum with some simple data related to his/her personal interests, and the museum provides the teen with a personalized tour through the museum that specifically hits objects or works s/he may find most appealing. This tour can be delivered through a mobile device on loan from the museum, through the student’s personal mobile device, or in a paper format. Digital versions could be downloaded at home or in school to provide sneak peek at the museum collection in advance of a visit. In addition to these ideas, there were a number of other notable observations made over the day through presentations, feedback from the YOUMedia teens, and break-out group discussions, as well as those drawn from responses to the post-convening survey. They are organized here in three areas of discussion: museums as nodes for digital media learning; youth learning and engagement; and the charrette process. Museums as Nodes for Digital Media Learning  Museums are very different places from libraries. They often are not publically-funded institutions and their mandates usually require a large commitment of their resources to the acquisition and care of collections that require careful tracking; large volumes of storage space not accessible to the public; conservation, preservation, research and curatorial expertise; and so on, in addition to public access and educational outreach.  We need to know more about the kinds of systems that need to be in place for museums to take part in a networked learning environment. IMLS encourages museums to think differently about physical and e-learning spaces and to also conduct a community learning survey or assessment to situate the museum in the learning needs of their specific communities.  Although user-generated content, as well as some gaming and mobile activities, is happening in museums, they are still largely not linked to pre- and post-visit activities; and physical learning laboratories in museums are rare and unlikely to develop soon in the current economic climate.  Because of the range of subject content and fields of interests, museums rarely cross-fertilize, and different types of museums pick up on digital technology in different ways, e.g. science museums compared to art museums.  Museums need to clearly define their goals for digital media and social networking strategies. What do they hope to gain from their investment and how do they calculate per capita cost or evaluate the success of the decision to invest in digital media? 5
  • The Wolfsonian–Florida International University Miami Beach Youth Learning and Engagement  Student-centeredness is vital to developing digital media activities that will appeal to teens. Teen participation needs to be integrated into the brainstorming and design process from the beginning. The YOUMedia students’ responses to the ideas the adult groups had conceived made it very obvious that teens have different interest than adults, need more structure than adults might realize, and that they are particularly attracted to activities that involve their neighborhood and are part of their daily experience. Making assumptions about what teens know/understand may lead to programming that is not relevant to the communities for which they are created.  The idea of place, specifically their own neighborhoods, is important to teens and may be a part of a content strategy for engaging them.  More research needs to be done on object-based learning through digital media compared to learning from hands-on activities. We also need a clearer understanding of what the terms digital media learning and hands-on learning mean. What blended learning experiences could be created and how do they relate?  The idea of curating may be a way for museums to connect to teen interests, while still focusing on a practice that museums are traditionally skilled in. This also provides the opportunity to explore the idea of “collegial pedagogy” whereby youth and adult professionals work together to produce an original work.  The different spaces and levels of engagement identified through MacArthur-funded (Mimi Ito’s) research – hanging out, messing around, and geeking out – are keys to the success of the CPL’s YOUMedia space and could also be employed in developing teen-focused spaces in museums.  Teen spaces in museums need to be easily accessible and near galleries and collection objects. The museum must create a space that is perceived by teens as safe and created primarily for their use. The Charrette Process  Most participants who completed the online post-convening survey rated the charrette method as very or somewhat successful (64%). But, they indicated the panelists’ introductions to existing research/knowledge (71.4%), the presentation and feedback from YOUMedia teens (64.3%), and the break-out session format (57.1%) as the components that most often added to the success of the convening. Other components received much lower ratings. Fewer than half of respondents (42.9%) indicated that the overall facilitation and clarity of group tasks and final objective contributed to the convening’s success; and time allocated for the convening and Duane Bray’s introduction to human- based design were each selected by only 21.4% of respondents as contributing to the success. (See Appendix C: Post-Convening Survey & Question Responses.)  Some participants reported “the goals of the break-out sessions were not clear;” and “instructions to the break-out groups were unclear and the result …was confusion and lack of focus. I think this was in part a result of trying to cram too much activity in a limited amount of time.” Yet, they still “found the experience both frustrating and stimulating.”  Multiple participants also included very positive responses to the convening in the survey: “Fascinating work with an exceptional group in a beautiful setting. My eyes were certainly opened to the expanding role of museums in formal and informal learning as mediated by technology.” 6
  • The Wolfsonian–Florida International University Miami Beach “It was a great mixed group, which is always a delight since as usual I find I learn a lot more from going to meeting with folks from diverse fields than from ones within my field. I found it a very productive day.” “I love the participants, the organizers, the conversations and exchange of ideas (!!!), but, ultimately, I think the charrette/product-development methodology forced a narrowing of focus prematurely – just as the implications of new data and big ideas were becoming clear.” NEXT STEPS: As illustrated in the feedback from the attendees of the convening, cross-disciplinary think tanks that generate diverse solutions to specific problems are much needed as we transition into the rich, multi- nodal educational environment afforded by digital media. More such knowledge exchanges are vital to develop constructive partnerships between education providers, to nurture clear communication of the range of possible solutions and potential roadblocks or limitations, and to build a common understanding of digital media and learning in the museum setting whether on-line or in-person. 7
  • The Wolfsonian–Florida International University Miami Beach II. APPENDIX APPENDIX A: CONVENING ATTENDEES Amy Eshleman, Asst Commissioner, Strategic Planning and Partnerships, Chicago Public Library Arthur Levine, President, Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation Caroline Payson, Education Director, Smithsonian Institution’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum Cathy Leff, Director, The Wolfsonian–Florida International University Christo Sims, UC Berkeley, School of Information, Researcher, Digital Media & Learning Studio, UC Irvine and Social Science Research Council Claudia Sullivan, Manager of Youth & School Programs, The Wolfsonian–FIU Colleen Macklin, Assoc. Professor, Dept. Of Communication Design, and Technology & Director, PETLab, Parsons the New School for Design Diana Rhoten, Director, Knowledge Institutions and Project Director, Digital Media and Learning Social Science Research Council Drew Davidson, Director, Entertainment Technology Center, Carnegie Mellon University Duane Bray, facilitator, Partner, IDEO Elizabeth Babcock, Vice President of Education & Library Collections, The Field Museum Frank Lantz, Creative Director and Co-Founder, Area/code Jon Mogul, Mellon Coordinator, Academic Programs, The Wolfsonian–FIU Kate Rawlinson, Assistant Director for Education & Public Programs, The Wolfsonian–FIU Laurence Johnson, Chief Executive Officer, The New Media Consortium (Lissa) Elizabeth Soep, Senior Producer and Research Director, Youth Radio Mk Haley, Assoc Executive Producer Entertainment, Technology Center – Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon University Maria Lovett, Assistant Professor, Florida International University, College of Education Marianne Lamonaca, Assoc. Dir. for Curatorial Affairs & Education, The Wolfsonian–FIU Marie Bjerede, Vice President, Wireless Education Technology, QUALCOMM Incorporated Marsha L. Semmel, Deputy Director for Museums and Director for Strategic Partnerships, Institute of Museum and Library Services Morgan Arenson, Program Officer. Digital Media and Learning Initiative, Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation Michael Edson, Director of Web and New Media Strategy, The Smithsonian Institution Paul Marty, Assoc Professor, School of Library & Information Studies, College of Information, Florida State University Richard Miltner, Chief Designer, The Wolfsonian–FIU Rob Semper, Executive Associate Director and Director, The Center for Learning and Teaching, PI, Center for Informal Learning & Schools, Exploratorium 8
  • The Wolfsonian–Florida International University Miami Beach APPENDIX B: CONVENING DESCRIPTION  Advance Readings To build a common base of knowledge, we selected and distributed the following advance readings: 1. MacArthur Foundation Ethnographic Study: Living and Learning with New Media: Summary of Findings from the Digital Youth Project: http://www.macfound.org/atf/cf/%7BB0386CE3-8B29- 4162-8098-E466FB856794%7D/DML_ETHNOG_2PGR.PDF 2. Digital Media & Technology in Youth-Serving Organizations article – Not published online. 3. New Media Consortium’s Horizon Report 2009 K-12 Edition: http://www.nmc.org/pdf/2009- Horizon-Report-K12.pdf  Agenda: Thursday, October 22, 2010 – Dinner & Introductions A dinner for participants was held at the Alchemist and Barrister Restaurant during which participants had an opportunity to meet one another and begin talking about the topic of the convening. Duane Bray made a presentation about IDEO’s human-based design and introduced Friday’s agenda.  Agenda: Friday, October 23, 2010 - Charrette As participants arrived at Princeton University Campus, Wallace Building, Room 300, they were directed to one of four tables pre-assigned to insure diversity of expertise and institutional affiliation of each team (table) of participants. Welcoming Remarks The day began with a welcoming statement by Cathy Leff that explained The Wolfsonian’s lead role and interest in furthering the conversation about the future of museum education and digital media and learning. Arthur Levine, spoke to the changing image and role of museums and Diane Rhoten (speaking in place of Connie Yowell, director of education, MacArthur Foundation who could not attend) provided background information on the MacArthur Foundation’s Digital Learning Initiative and funding of research that produced the Living and Learning with New Media study. The Charrette Activities Duane Bray led the remainder of the day’s activities. In the following statement, he summarizes the goals of the charrette process: This workshop is intended to introduce participants to principles of “design thinking,” building off the momentum behind the concept of whole-brained thinking. Specifically, the workshop will focus on elements of design thinking, including empathy, synthesis, narrative and prototyping. Outcomes of the workshop are twofold: an understanding of the principles of “design thinking”, and tangible insights and ideas around the role of the museum as a place of learning. Opening Activity & Participant Introductions In advance of attending the convening, each participant was asked to think about a virtual space and a physical space that “inspired” them and to bring a visual image of those spaces to share. The activity worked well as an ice breaker and a way to focus participants’ thinking on the wide range of 9
  • The Wolfsonian–Florida International University Miami Beach knowledge, experiences, and social behaviors and desires that visitors to museum bring with them. The following spaces were shared by the participants: Physical spaces • Beach • Falling Water • Den • Aspirational green urban space • Youth Speaks space • Machu Pichu • Nature (sky, ceiling, walls) • Mahali monkeys • Roslyn Chapel in Scotland • Grand Central Station • Library in south Boston • Poem – HTML head head body body • Lincoln Center HTML • Times Square • Home office - hybrid space • Disneyland map and original layout encompassing multiple places • Spanish cathedral design by Gaudi • Steps of Lincoln Memorial in DC • Tent Rock – hiking experience • Nature – ocean (challenge/beauty relationship)  American Museum of Natural History – • Chapel near Mexico City Hall of Diversity • Union Square subway platform • Mom’s houseboat and morning image Virtual/digital Spaces • Pandora • Vogel 50/50 site (share learning space • Ning space of Wolfsonian education for 50 museums collaborating) department • Mini-Cooper website – ability to create • Google your own car • Mist Island • Kick-starter (funding platform for • Powerhouse Museum inventors/artists) • MIT home page • New York Times • Google Earth  Wikipedia page • Turtle Top with Crush at Universal • Poem – HTML head head body body Studio (autistic children puppet show) HTML • NMC Campus project in second life • Screen shot of fake Lascaux • Room from game Portal  Avatar on Plato system • YouTube – democratic, full-range of • Visual Thesaurus emotion  The Encyclopedia of Life • McSweeney iPhone application • Adobe Illustrator 10
  • The Wolfsonian–Florida International University Miami Beach Introduction to Existing Research/Knowledge This session provided brief inputs from the fields of learning, museums, and digital media. Each of the three topics was allocated 20 minutes to give a very quick immersion to stimulate the thinking of all the participants and “level” the knowledge somewhat. Duane Bray suggested participants keep the following in mind during the presentations and to take notes on post-its, etc.: 1. Things just to note:  Surprises – What’s new or surprising to you? Did you hear things you didn’t know about before?  Notable Quotes – Was there something provocative or something you found particularly important?  Controversies – Do you hear disagreements? Or do you hear things you personally disagree with?  Patterns & trends – Do you hear things that are repeating from one presentation to the next? 2. What is enabling some of the experiments going on today or the changes that we see?  Tools & Objects – Are there ones that are important?  Roles & Processes – Are they critically important to what’s happening?  Physical versus Virtual Spaces – Are there differences in how we think about physical and virtual or online spaces? 11
  • The Wolfsonian–Florida International University Miami Beach Panel #1: The Changing Learning Environment Diana Rhoten, director, Knowledge Institutions and project director, Digital Media and Learning Social Science Research Council and New York Networked Learning Project In her presentation Diana introduced the idea that as we talk about museums and learning, we must also look at our assumptions instead of our expectations. She pointed out that the concepts of “digital media” and “learning” are loaded words and interpreted differently by different people. Other terms and assumptions she has encountered that require discussion through her work in New York are:  Education versus learning – What’s the difference?  Infrastructure versus practice – Are you thinking about computers or the way you interact with media on computers?  Learning – What’s the slice that you are looking at? Slice of primary or secondary? Formal versus informal? Extended learning? Enriched learning? Intentional learning?  How you think about youth – Are they independent actors in charge of their learning or innocents in need of protection from info on the internet? Diana also reported on the New York Networked Learning Project, an experiment that is currently completing the planning phase, which moved from how youth are using digital practices to how institutions are responding in their programming. The process brought together 15-17 institutions. Duane Bray at IDEO led a design-based methodology during two charrettes, as professional- development program, to deal with these assumptions and try to get people on the same page. Make sure they understood that when using this terminology they might need to clarify what they meant. The process provided the opportunity for the group to think about: How would museums, libraries and after school programs in NY think about what is the commonality that they could start to match and incorporate in digital practices? What is the there there—whether physical, digital or virtual or both—that they could imagine incorporating in digital learning? What is the theme – not content or subject matter, but theme-- the action idea or complex opening statement that motivates all these organizations to start building this learning ecology? Purpose is not to build single institution programs, but to think about what motivates youth-centered learning and how to start to create a system between education systems to help youth move thru them in more deliberate and less random ways with the support and scaffolding of experts of these institutions. Group came up with idea of “local neighborhood as learning context”, which is pretty big theme. But it gets to the idea of blended learning spaces and they were empowered by idea of learning about the neighborhood and using that as a catalyst to think about space, place, social, physical, and natural, and also think about what can a person can learn about his/her space and how can s/he can act on the space. Engagement was a very important part of the learning practices they are trying to implement in NY. 12
  • The Wolfsonian–Florida International University Miami Beach Came out of planning phase with these ideas and are now entering development phase. Yesterday (October 22, 2009) was deadline for submission of concept papers. Diana and Colleen’s job is not to say this is what you are going to do, but must be a bottom-up process. It is a new approach to get institutions to work together, to think about the youth, and to experiment with modest funding, with low-cost and low-risk experimental opportunity. They will provide evaluation, technical, design, and logistical coordination support. Those institutions who are selected as activities to go forward will be first substantiation of learning network on the ground and will receive support to see if network will rise up with only distributed support services. Everything that gets cultivated in network must focus on the themes the group decided upon and must be created through collaborative relationships. We think this will be a long-term change process, but over the next three years we can demonstrate the notion that’s been floating around since the 1970s of “learning ecology”—libraries should connect to museums, should connect to schools, should connect to after school. We don’t believe that digital media technology and tools are the only thing that should happen, but we do believe like Packard that they are possibly the tools that can make this concept a practice. And we believe this could be the future. (Lissa) Elizabeth Soep, senior producer and research director, Youth Radio/Youth Media International Lissa began by stating that her organization differs from some of the participants’ institutions trying to draw youth into spaces; instead Youth Radio is a youth-driven production company where the daily work and production comes from young people working across various platforms and genres to tell their stories. Reflecting on what stands out from the daily work of Youth Radio and the larger research context, she first spoke about the changing learning environment and how the focus is on supporting the process of curating has been transformed by digital media. The conversations about “composition” have been transformed from that of literacy and rhetoric of the old days to that of a culture where young persons are finding, aggregating, filtering, presenting, sharing and trying to spread content through blogs, friendship networks, etc. Of course, there is a high premium on the best undiscovered talent, arcane knowledge, the material they identify with, and distinctive points of view. Museums may offer a real opportunity for youth to curate—a practice that museums are traditionally skilled in doing-- in an organic coming together of skills and practices that students possess and passionately want and need, by introducing students to the mechanics of the curatorial process. Second point she made is about youth/adult collaborations – How do they work together in these kinds of spaces? We need more experimentation on adult role and what it looks like when adults are not just observing, but are collaborating with students on producing work. Lissa has been working on a framework with her colleagues to explore the idea of collegial pedagogy: What does it mean when youth and adults produce original work together and disseminate to massive audiences where there is a mutual accountability to the work and the various publics and also a mutual vulnerability. This is work that couldn’t be completed by only youth or only adults, where there is a true interdependence. What is required is high stakes where the process cannot be controlled because ultimately the public will be the arbiter of the success of the work being carried out. What would it look for museums to organize themselves around the ideas of “collegial pedagogy” and who are the 13
  • The Wolfsonian–Florida International University Miami Beach colleagues in the museum context? And what are unexplored or untapped ways to expose those colleagues and put them face to face with young people in interesting ways? Networked publics is a very powerful finding out of MacArthur research and what strikes me is two things: the high stakes nature of learning these days by putting out finished products and artifacts of process has significant implications for young people. Youth might want to distance themselves from their work in the future, yet it is retrievable and searchable. Secondly, public learning environments are very overpopulated and pushes us way beyond valorization of youth voice, beyond romanticisation. In the process of producing and disseminating digital content students are learning about the voices of others, how the language they use to express themselves has social impact, how the authoritative voice changes in different contexts/discourses and with different publics in a digital dialogue. Youth who have been marginalized from digital privilege have access. What happens when we get to Web-too-much? What happens in the afterlife of youth production that they no longer have control over in terms of brutal, and often troubling and highly judgmental, criticism and discourse? Do we need some new tools to navigate within those afterlives? Laurence Johnson, chief executive officer, The New Media Consortium [send to Larry to add since his time was truncated?] NMC just released K-12 Horizon Report 2009 focused on schools and the implementation of technology in schools. A big take-away from that report was the idea of “Think before you ban.” Adults make decisions that may limit youth options. Asked to focus on experimentation and expectations and NMC has uncovered seven metatrends: • Tools/objects – 3-D visualization is a primary way of knowing; as computers become more adept there are new interfaces being developed  New interfaces—interactivity is about the use of gestures, social gathering, incorporating of sensors and other devices that you no longer think of as technology anymore • Roles/processes – serious gaming, we are now two full generations past when games came into common use. • User content – engaging students and collective intelligence • Physical spaces – expectation is that network is everywhere; cell networks are organizing principle of network is more about people • Learning about learning needs to be considered – advantages in cognitive sciences 14
  • The Wolfsonian–Florida International University Miami Beach Panel #2: The Changing Museum Agenda Marsha L. Semmel, deputy director for museums and director for strategic partnerships, IMLS Marsha spoke of three areas she wanted to briefly address: teens, museums, and trends/ issues. Museums: Comments added to those made by Arthur Levine about museums: 18,000 museums in U.S.; not self-described as a community of museums; range in disciplines and sizes, most small; a lot of work has been done on outreach and programs toward different targeted audiences. By and large, museums have been slower to adopt/adapt new technology because it is threatening. Museum notion of collection as paramount raises fear about thought of going outside and online. Different types of museums pick up of new technology depending on field, e.g., science museums are different from art museums that tend to emphasize digitizing collection. The ways museums pick-up digital technology stays within different types of museums and they don’t cross fertilize; online presence (website) is very divorced from physical space. Teens: Museums have been intentional in reaching out to teens. It is happening in pockets and shared authority or co-curatorial projects are happening in different places: e.g., Chicago History Museum did a WWII exhibition with teens working as curators working with staff. Many museums have teen advisory councils, which are used in different ways—designing own programs, web presence, etc. ICA Boston is doing interesting work with teen video production. Real progress, however, in designing core-learning spaces is taking place more in libraries than museums; that is, core central learning spaces designed for/by/with teens that allow of works of art to be integrated into and mashed up with parts of their learning experiences. Some museums employ teens to be staff members and mentors, especially in science/technology centers/zoos and aquariums. Trends: User-generated content is happening in places; mobile is happening; some gaming (maybe 5-6 games have been developed for museum settings); extension of museum as place linked to pre- and post- visits still largely disconnected; and physical spaces are not really being transformed into learning laboratories. IMLS has recently completed project called Museums Libraries and 21st Century Skill. It contains ideas regarding pushing museums to think differently about physical and e-learning spaces and to do a community learning scan to situate themselves in the learning needs of their community. Elizabeth Babcock, vice president of education & library collections, The Field Museum Goals & approach (Why use DML?): • Interested in increasing public’s understanding of science • extend museum experience (linking nodes of moments across a person’s day to extend museum into different moments in a person’s day) 15
  • The Wolfsonian–Florida International University Miami Beach • Increased extension of science to life • Increase understanding/access of Field collection through digital media if not physically present • How to extend and expand audiences (one of most important questions) Key challenges and decisions Field Museum is facing: • Do we design and implement immersive/intensive or brief introductory experiences using DML? What’s the right mix of those? Both operational questions and resource questions. • Is this asynchronist or synchronist, a live versus an archived kind of experience and how does one know when one kind of experience is better than the other?  Cost per person served. We have to look at return on investment and per capita costs. How much does each DML activity cost and how to evaluate business decision? • What kind of collection or asset is being leveraged for this project? Photos or scientists? • What subject area content focus and how is it matched to which media? • Audience type. The Field serves four audiences, so which kinds of digital projects go best with each audience and under what circumstances? • To what degree should the created digital experiences stand alone and not require interaction with physical presence? Which are mix and match between home, classroom, and in-museum experience? • Accurate versus representational. Important question for science museums (For example, if building a virtual reef, does it have to have the same number of species as a real reef?) • What type of digital media; what skills are being taught, for example, social networking or virtual world immersive experience? • What is duration of investment in the project? Indefinite use or three-year access? Michael Edson, director of web and new media strategy, The Smithsonian Institution Not a policy statement of SI. Launched SI – knowledge “Business is just a context for doing interesting things.” O’Reilly at web 2.0 Museums are just a context for doing interesting things. “There’s no such thing as social media. It’s just doing stuff with the computer. Everyone go to bed.” Elliott Harmon “You don’t walk into a room and say that this room is interesting because it is on electricity. You just walk in.” Issue of relevance as meta-theme of this convening and strategizing a plan for going forward (battlebrands or brandtags.net). Museums exist within ecology of everything else in the world. SI is 370th of almost 900 brands (above TGI Friday and below Taco Bell). Our institutions exist in an ecology of everything else in the world. “The SI is not an institution that understands me.” 16
  • The Wolfsonian–Florida International University Miami Beach No matter who you are or what business you are in, most of the smart people work for someone else. Smithsonian web strategy (Smithson-webstrategy-wikispace.com) – It’s our job in this epoch to help people with interesting challenges/problems, creators, innovators with long tail enthusiasts do the things they want to do outside the walls of the institution. That’s why it is worth the culture pumping $1.2 billion into the Smithsonian every year. Where do you get the return on your dollar? It’s outside the institution. Panel #3: YOUMedia at Chicago Public Library as a Case Study Amy Eshleman, asst commissioner, strategic planning and partnerships, Chicago Public Library Drew Davidson, director entertainment technology Center – Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon University, professor, producer, and player of interactive media Colleen Macklin, assoc. professor, Dept. Of Communication Design, and Technology & director, PETLab, Parsons the New School for Design Amy Eshleman gave an introduction to the YOUMedia space: It is comprised of two spaces or places in Chicago Public Library, including a 5,500 square feet physical space on the first floor of the Central Library. It is prime real estate with windows opening out to State Street and also located in the center of the Loop, which is home to about 60,000 college students and a college prep high school about two blocks away. An equally important place is the virtual space YOUMediaChicago.org which is where the high school students participate in YOUMedia post digital artifacts which they create either at home, at school, or in YOUMedia. They also critique each other’s work and comment on it and our mentor’s in YM have done amazing job in supporting how teens think about interacting with each other and their work. At the basis of this is a virtual currency that was developed by Nicole Pinkard and her team at DYN and their iRemix world site which is where a lot of this work is housed. This work was supported by MacArthur and the Pearson Foundation and support from Drew and his team at Carnegie Mellon. His graduate students designed. In Chicago we did it different from NY in that we created the space and are now creating the network, where in NY the network exist, but there isn’t that hub yet. YM three goals: • Innovative new entry point into library resources 17
  • The Wolfsonian–Florida International University Miami Beach  Notion of creating a learning network and providing a place for teens to do some project-based skill building • Place to foster civic engagement and give youth a voice The space was designed around MacArthur’s research and Mimi Ito’s findings regarding how youth interact with media and use different kinds of spaces. The terms hanging out, messing around, geeking out describe three different layers of teen experience and use. Drew further explained the terms: “Hanging out” is a very social space. Although parents and teachers thought what was happening was wasted time, Mimi Ito’s research found that a lot of learning and literacy was starting to develop in terms of how to use new media. “Messing around” is a space where students start using media more intentionally to create things they wanted like making a song. “Geeking out” is where youth are much more deeply involved with the media and forming strategies for specific personal goals--setting up a blog or doing a project with friends. Digital media provide lots of opportunities for collaboration and stakes are high because of sharing with friends/peers and matters to youth. Drew talked about the project from the perspective of the designer as opposed to the librarian. On the design level, these three terms provided categories for an approach to think about designing the space for teen in particular. Raised the question of how do we provide teens with layers of experiences in the space? Terms informed designers about how to shape the experience for the teens coming into it. Entrances are located in the initial “hanging out” space. Issue of food discussed as way to make more casual/friendly, but librarians balked at that. But it was important to design space as a place for students to do what they like to do, very casual with bean bags. Used colorscape to separate spaces and create atmosphere. The next space (in the middle) for “messing around” contains more desk top work stations, could check-out lap tops, and mentors could be actively engaged in showing students in casual way how to use digital media tools, music production area, etc. Books were a design constraint—tended to “kill” space – but needed to be spread throughout the space. Raised questions regarding number of books, how much of teen collection, etc. Also gathered input from Nicole Pinkard about use of space for workshops and other curriculum, and One Book One Chicago initiative. Was important to talk with librarians and students throughout process—which helped create successful space. Idea to get students interested in books was important. 18
  • The Wolfsonian–Florida International University Miami Beach “Geeking out” space set up for doing workshops where mentors would help students do projects. Called “honey-pot” for longer-ranging projects such as One Book One Chicago and now Centennial of Burnham Plan. Tied all together was public presentation--what happened in geeking out area is displayed in hanging out area. Tree developed that students can load their work onto and show work. Idea of getting everyone engaged. Nicole designed curriculum and mentoring system so students can level up as they get more engaged responding on website. They earn points and become mentors for new students as they move up. Amy stated that space is open 7 days a week, 1-9 pm. It’s really about engaging teens in a way that they become part of their community. Centennial of Burnham Plan engaged teens in reading of book and worked with Nicole to workshop for students to become digital city planners. About 60 teens in fall 2009 became part of a city-wide conversation in a way meaningful to them. They looked at their own neighborhoods for challenges to create a workable solution for. They created video, music, comic books, spoken word, etc. using resources in new media that they could check-out (Flip cameras, cell phones, recording equipment, etc.) from/in YOUMedia. Selected six projects combined in a video that became centerpiece for UN World Habitat Day in DC, an international gather around urban planning and cities of the future. Students travelled to DC event. Before screening the video, http://vimeo.com/7031843 Drew stated that YOUMedia space is core space in Central Library, right on the street with lots of traffic. The physical space has created a crown jewel for showing off digital media, which is difficult for some people to understand. Amy stated that two mornings a week teachers bring student in and they conduct teacher workshops to teach them digital media skills. The peak times are weekdays 3:00-6:00pm and very busy on Saturdays. 19
  • The Wolfsonian–Florida International University Miami Beach Introduction to the Challenge The challenge for the group was to re-imagine digital media and learning in the context of museums. In order to accomplish this goal, the process was to work as a group to gather insights. From this brainstorming of ideas/issues we were to look for patterns that were recurring in order to identify a possible direction to take in solving this problem. In order to facilitate the process, group members were asked to assign roles such as the time- keeper, and note-takers. We were instructed to tell stories and actively listen in order to look for patterns of similarities and differences. Breakout Discussions and Feedback from YOUMedia Teens GROUP #1 MEMBERS: Marie Bjerede, Drew Davidson, Richard Miltner, Caroline Payson, Lissa Soep, and Claudia Sullivan (as reported by Claudia Sullivan) Discussion Our group was comprised of three members, who work in museums, two in the capacity as educators and one as a designer; one member working with youth radio and specializing in youth, arts learning, and digital media; one member teaching, producing and playing with interactive media; and an executive from a company specializing in mobile and wireless technology applications. The group discussion touched on varied topics including the issue of curatorial voice and its impact on the use and presentation of objects in the museum, how to share media in a way that is interdisciplinary and meaningful, determining whether people really make use of the media offerings made available to them, and engaging youth in activities that are authentic. Other topics under review included questions of access and privilege, especially as it relates to youth who are able to use quality equipment to engage in multiple-media experiences and those that cannot; peer education and the role of mentors in facilitating quality programming for youth; the importance of process or “design” thinking to engage in activities that promotes critical inquiry, and promoting ownership of experiences as well as civic engagement. 20
  • The Wolfsonian–Florida International University Miami Beach After the group discussion, we were asked to think about grouping like-themes that came up during the discussion, and begin to prioritize in order of relevance to identify possible trends. After the brainstorm, we were asked to craft a question that embodied the issues we had been discussing. Our groups’ “essential” question was: How might we leverage digital media to organize museum participation around the principle of collegial pedagogy? Each group member had the opportunity to come up with 20 solutions; those solutions were again grouped in similar categories. Afterwards, the task was to use both—our answers to our group question as well as the broad question posed by the convening—to come up with a project that would address youth learning using multiple-media. The project was to be critiqued by a group of YOUMedia teens. Presentation to Teens Lissa Soep, Senior Producer and Research Director, Youth Radio, and Drew Davidson, the director of the Entertainment Technology Center at Carnegie Mellon University presented the teens with a project that put them in the role of “citizen curators”. The idea was to connect a piece of art (Georges Seurat’s “A Sunday on the Grande Jatte” at Chicago’s Art Institute) with an object in their personal collection, with six connections in between. So for example, it could be that Seurat’s painting would make them think of Millennium Park nearby, and that trigger an association with another cultural institution like Griffin Theater, which was running Little Brother, which made them think of Xbox, which connects to their favorite game in their video collection. Meanwhile, three museum curators would do the same. Then they would have competing exhibitions on-line. The winner would get to show his or her exhibit in a space at the museum. Feedback from Teens Lissa: What kinds of things do you collect? Teen responses: songs/music, pictures, games, cards. Lissa: How do you decide what to include? Teen response: Mainly depends on what projects I am working on in class. I group pictures that I buy or collect off the web as examples for class and then there are ones that just fascinate me or I relate to. Lissa: What you just described is the process of curation that happens in museums. It’s about picking the cool stuff and museums are full of stuff that curators treasure just like your bedrooms, music collections, iPods might be full of things you treasure. So, we came up with this idea as a way to engage youth in museums using digital media that we are calling “Collecting.” Has anyone heard of the game “Six Degrees of Separation”—the Kevin Bacon game? Teen response: Shaking of heads “no” Lissa: (Explained game principles and idea of all people being connected through six degrees of separation.) We want to play with that idea and say that your collections are connected to the collection in museums by six degrees of separation. We invite you to come to the museum – in- person or through digital space—and you pick an object in the museum that speaks to you and you pick an object in your own collection, a photo or song you love for instance. What we want you to 21
  • The Wolfsonian–Florida International University Miami Beach do is find six objects that connect the one from the museum and the one in your own collection and create an exhibition of those selections. We would also ask three curators from different museums across the city to do the same and load all that onto YOUMedia website and we have a kind of dueling exhibitions going on. You would also all have to talk about how you made your selections—a curatorial statement--and take part in a dialogue about the other exhibitions, look into the curatorial processes of the professionals, sign up to be mentors, and each activity is attached to points and your exhibition may move to front page of the site. As you level up, your exhibition might even be shown in the museum. Drew will show a mock-up of the experience. Drew: Showed image of Sunday Afternoon in LaGrande Jatte from the Art Institute of Chicago and asked students if they had seen it. Teen response: Most replied “yes.” Drew: Showing an image of the Art Institute located in Millenium Park, Drew stated “That’s in Millenium Park. Have you been to Millenium Park?” Teen response: Most did not know about Millenium Park or about Burnham Plan since they were not the same YM students who had taken part in that project. Drew: So that made us think about cultural institutions and “theater,” (showing image of Griffin Theater) and we picked Griffin Theater, which has recently hosted a show called about “Little Brother.” Has anyone seen the show? Teen response: Shaking of heads and one said, “I wanted to.” Drew: The main protagonist in the play is a ten and it’s about how after 9/11 they began putting teens in prison and they fight back by using their X-Box 360’s (showing image of one). They set up a secure network where they wouldn’t be watched. Which made us think about “Rock Band,” your favorite game (showing image of Rock Band). So, that would be an example of six degrees of separation from the museum object to your object. Duane: How do you respond to that? Is it interesting, not interesting? Would you try it out? What would you make it better? Teen response: It thinks it’s really interesting and there are an infinite number of things it would connect you to from just one piece. Teen response: I like the concept, but the example that you showed, maybe they’d think about their neighborhood park (not Millenium Park). Lissa: What you just did would be part of the process of curating and you would be talking with a curator. 22
  • The Wolfsonian–Florida International University Miami Beach GROUP #2 MEMBERS: Elizabeth Babcock, Frank Lanz, Cathy Leff, Colleen Macklin, Marsha Semmel, and Christo Sims, (as reported by Cathy Leff) Discussion The focus of discussion was about how can museums create a continuum from youth participation to the museum’s curatorial authority; between physical and digital space. Some of the brainstorming included:  Create spaces for lingering  Create pathways for youth participation  Studios—have places to do work in the museum  Think about where youth spaces are located relative to collections  Create spaces as a hook to interest in the object  Make curatorial process visible  Must be relevant to youth  Convey visual as a way of knowing Some of the ideas for implementation:  Showcase student work in a nighttime exhibit  Create multigenerational curatorial projects  Use games as a means of engagement—visit the museum as game; game within museum; digital games  Create digital spaces for youth to engage with curators  Create digital exhibition spaces for youth  Create curatorial apprenticeship program  Design some galleries as games  Create online review of exhibits by youth and post along side of adult reviews  Allow museum for nighttime proms or youth parties  Start with a label on the wall and have screen for youth to send in images that convey message label  Have pop up museums in various communities—access issue  Let a kid curate  Have DJ parties for young people  Come up with exhibit ideas and have audience vote on what gets curated. Presentation to Teens Two ideas we presented to YOUMedia: 1. Art on the Block—have kids identify objects on their block or places they visit daily ( ie, home to school) and create mobile guides to explain each object as if in a museum 23
  • The Wolfsonian–Florida International University Miami Beach 2. Select an object in the museum and along side, place a screen that allows kids to write the label that is texted to screen, with a continuous discussion thread online so they can learn from each other and continue to engage with the object after they leave museum. Encourage online discussions about objects/ Feedback from Teens Colleen: Our first project builds on the idea of “curating” like the last presentation, but ours is about curating art as well in an art museum, but our project takes art out of the museum and onto the blog. One of the biggest questions in the world of contemporary art is “What is art?” Famous projects like Andy Warhol’s Soup Can (showing image) is a painting of a Campbell’s soup can and one of the questions is “Is that art?” and that is where Pop Art really begins. Here we have someone looking at Andy Warhol’s Soup Can and they are listening to an audio tour. Have you guys ever experienced an audio tour? Teen response: Some say “yes.” Colleen: Great. So they are in a museum and listening to the audio tour saying, “Notice how the bold colors make the canvas vibrate.” That’s typical arty speak that a curator would be creating for an audio tour in a museum. But, this project gives you the ability to create your own art tour on your blog. The idea is that you take a mobile phone that knows its location and you go around the block and record your own audio tour. So you would be able to say (looking at the fire hydrant), “Notice how the green grass makes the fire hydrant’s red vibrate even more.” So that might be one example of a stop on your art tour on your blog. So ultimately there would be a bunch of art tours on different blogs and you could go and listen to them and the best art tour would be brought back to the museum. That’s the “Block Tour” project. Frank: The second idea we are calling “Threads” and basically the idea is to take some existing design practice used to create online message boards and form communities and redesign an art museum to implement these same kinds of structures and function. Message boards grow up around any topic—anime, digital cameras, or Nascar video games, movies or whatever and they can be an excellent place to learn about that topic. They can be a place to find out where this is a lot of consensus and where there’s a lot of debate. On a manga message board there might be a lot of consensus that everyone agrees that Grave of the Fireflies is a beautiful book and a classic. But Ron by One half (?), a lot of people like it or a lot of people dislike it. Message boards are very open, but there is a kind of social hierarchy—some people are newbies, some are experts, some are moderators. The way that you negotiate that hierarchy and gain respect and improve your status in that community is by contributing value to that community, by participating in conversations, by not being a jerk, by being polite and intelligent, by listening to other people and participating in the conversation in a good way. A really good message board can be a place where you learn just by lurking and overhearing others’ conversations or by participating and developing your own voice and opinion as a critic or as a creator of works in this field. (showing sketch) Our idea here is to take the kinds of interactive functionality that you expect to see on an online message board where you have “stuff” and around that “stuff” you have the comments and they are in the context of a community of a persistent identity--the people on this board have an avatar, a persistent identity, you can message them, and they have a kind of status and so forth. And apply that same idea to an art museum, so the “stuff” you build the community around is “art”, so next to the art you would have literally mounted on the wall, where you expect to see the experts 24
  • The Wolfsonian–Florida International University Miami Beach opinion, you would have a threaded discussion that people could contribute to and participate in. And you would have a rating system, so you can interact with the art by rating it and that might affect what is included in the exhibit on an ongoing basis. And you would have a persistent identity as a member of the museum’s community and a status within this community. You can contribute to the discussion in a more persistent way. So that if you’ve earned a higher status as a moderator you can help structure the conversation that is going and your voice can be heard in this more public way. Teen response: About your first idea, would it be just your neighborhood or just your block or could it extend to your way to the area your travel to your school? Colleen: I like that idea that it could be your “Art blog”—this is my commute from home to school and there are five things that you should look at more closely here. Teen response: I don’t really understand how you integrate that technology from your phone? Colleen: Basically, you could access these tours with a phone if you are in the location where the tour exists, but you could also upload onto the Web so someone who doesn’t live in your neighborhood could access your tour on the Web. The way the phone would work is it would upload this information—both your voice giving the audio tour and a picture of the thing you are talking about—on the web. It is easier enough to view in a web browser or pull down from a phone application. Teen response: I have a question about (question unclear from video). Frank: I think that it is a great idea that this is a blended space; that we would take stuff from message board community and bring it out into real world to be embodied in the physical space of the museum, but would also have a presence online. So you could log-in in the middle of the night when you think of something to say about a piece. Teen response: How would you continue a discussion about a work of art if you have to continue to go back to the museum to see it? Frank: It’s a good point and maybe what it means is that the physical space of the museum should be the tip of the iceberg and most of the activity would be taking place online. Teen response: There could be a few computers actually in each section of the museum where visitors could add on comments that could be uploaded to website. Teen response: [comments not audible on video] 25
  • The Wolfsonian–Florida International University Miami Beach GROUP #3 MEMBERS: Michael Edson, Amy Eshelman, Marianne Lamonaca, Paul Marty, Jonathan Mogul, and Diana Rhoten (as reported by Marianne Lamonaca and Jonathan Mogul) Discussion Participants spent the initial part of the breakout session considering the question, “How would you reinvent the museum?” Among the themes that surfaced in the course of discussion were the following: the idea of integrating museum resources into a “digital commons,” and the need to reconsider intellectual property policies in light of this goal; the question of whether the goal of museums with respect to digital media is to use these media to deliver museum content to young people, or to help young people learn to use these media as tools for producing and delivering their own content (along the lines of the YOUMedia model developed by the Chicago Public Library); and the challenges posed by the institutional “retooling” that is required if museums are to embrace the opportunities posed by digital media. At the conclusion of this discussion, as directed by the moderator, group participants identified as their overall goal for museum- reinvention the idea that museums should approach their digital resources in a manner that is different from how they have approached their physical collections -by offering greater public access to these resources and greater opportunities for public participation in the project of knowledge-creation, as captured by the slogan: “Free and open beats closed and proprietary.” During the second breakout session, the group was asked to re-frame the big idea into a question: “How we might enable youth to create interpretations and productions using museum resources?” The group agreed that in order to answer the question, the process should meet three key goals: 1. mission driven 2. extend into the life of the visitor (visitor-centered) 3. no distinction between physical / virtual space The group identified five key issues/ideas that need to be addressed BEFORE developing a “the project.” 1. POLICY: Institutional Policies, Digitize Everything, User-Generated Content on the site, Open Content, Change Collection Policies, Incentivize Museum Visits, Reward Systems (Incentivize Participation), Candy (?) 2. IT TOOLS / RESOURCES: Digital Media Tools, Mobile Friendly, Data Mining, Mashups, Provide Tools for DM, DM Skill Instruction, APIs, Programmable Web, Leverage Resources, Create Physical Space for Collaborative Work, Easily Accessible and Searchable Object Info & 26
  • The Wolfsonian–Florida International University Miami Beach Images, Design Lab and Fabrication Workshop, Generous Staff Time, Provide Lo-Tech and Hi- Tech Resources, Great Physical Spaces. 3. COMMUNITY: Social Relevance 4. MENTORING: Work on Real Problems, Suggest Different Outputs and Examples / Let Youth find Own Solutions, Inspire with Experts/Mentoring Workshops with designers, architects, musicians, curators, etc., Peer Mentoring/Teen Advisory Groups, Internships, Youth-to- Youth critique, Skills Forums 5. PROGRAMS: Provide Forums for Youth Outputs (Publication, Broadcast, and Exhibition), Produce Youth-Designed Object Prototypes, Meet-Ups, ARGs. Presentation to Teens Group Three presented two project ideas to the Youth Review Panel. The projects differed in that the Smithsonian Music Project was designed to be entirely “do-it-yourself” in the sense that the SI would provide open access to the collection and anyone could work with it in any way that the choose to do. The Wolfsonian-FIU project is a more structured program with the goal of teaching digital media literacy and design-thinking strategies and skills. 1. Smithsonian Music Project Open Access to Collection, Using Available Tools (APIs). The goal is to “help others do the things they want to do ‘outside’ of the institutional structure.” 2. Wolfsonian Collection / Design as Social Activism Provide tools and the forum for youth to develop their own design solutions to socially- significant problems  A physical space would be created for teens to use “design strategies” to solve socially- significant problems.  Tools / resources provided: Collection Access, APIs, Equipment  DM skills taught  Mentoring provided: Expert and Peer-to-Peer  Outputs Created  Forum for “Dissemination” of Youth Outputs (exhibition, publication, etc). Feedback from Teens Paul: Our idea is that we have a really cool museum with about 200 million things—the world’s largest diamond, the ruby slippers that Judy Garland wore in the Wizard of Oz, 3 million ticks or 20,000 beetles, and the space shuttle. Here’s the catch: But you can only see these about 1,000 of these things, in the way we want you to see them, in the order that we want you to see them, and 27
  • The Wolfsonian–Florida International University Miami Beach you can only learn what we want you to learn about them. And if you don’t like that, we won’t let you come back. How’s that sound? Teen response: Not good. Paul: What do you mean? Don’t you like museums? That’s how most museums organize things. Teen response: When I went to Museum of Contemporary Photography you can go in the order you want to go. I didn’t’ like the way the curator presented five different shots of the same thing from different angles, so I looked at them from a different way and developed a different understanding of them, so I think you can choose the path you want to go. Paul: Well, we were exaggerating for effect here, but what we want to get at is the process of creating an exhibit. So, if you look at the process of creating an exhibit as a marathon, the first 25 miles is a bit of a slog: you have to do all the research, put it all together, figure out the connections, how this relates to that, etc., but the last mile is a lot of fun. But why should the museums have all the fun? What if we give you access to the information we have about these objects—200 or 300 million-- and we give you the chance to pull out the stuff that interests you, so you build the connections you want around your collection. You guys like garage band, do you mix music? Imagine a garage band application for the nations’ museum artifacts. What could you do with something like that? Teen response: Anything you wanted to. Paul: Absolutely! So we have a couple examples for you. Michael: I’m an old boring guy and I’m interested in certain things and that’s going to be very different than what you are interested in. My business proposition to you is what if I you have access to all 200 million things in my museum to do whatever you want. There’s no DRM on it, there’s no prohibition to burn your own copy, make your own DVD’s, turn the stuff into t-shirts, games, nothing. I can’t predict what you’re interested in. I know with 200 million objects there’s probably something you are interested in and I just want to make it available to you all day, every day, for free. And I did some math--if I put one of those objects online for you to take a look at every day, it would take 375,000 years to get through them all. Paul: Does that float your boats? Teen response: I like the concept of it, but for you guys, organizing it is going to be really, really hard. It’s a lot of work, so maybe you could have two different perspectives on each work – like an old person would want to read about the historical information and a young person might want to know how it relates to something they are doing now or how it is affecting what their friends are doing. Paul: Very good. Marianne: I work in a museum of design, so I’m curious if you’re curious about how stuff is made and why it looks the way it does and that kind of thing. Teen response: (Nodding teens) Yes, I am. Marianne: Let me ask because I heard from some of the staff that some of you worked with the Chicago Public Library project on the development of the design of the space. Were any of you involved in that? Teen response: No. 28
  • The Wolfsonian–Florida International University Miami Beach Marianne: Do you see any differences in the space that was created for the teens and the spaces in the rest of the library. Teen response: Yes, (Teen laughing and nodding) Marianne: And what are the kinds of differences that you see? What makes it different? Teen response: I’ve seen upstairs there are a lot of people on computers, but they don’t have headphones or new technology and there’s no way to express yourself. When you come down here you have imagination and can do more stuff. Marianne: So you have more tools I guess: computers… Teen response: This space is much more open and much more colorful than the old part of the library. It is a place we can come and have our little space, our open space where we can sit with our friends or we can sit apart from our friends and do what we would like to do on the computers. That’s the difference. It’s not focused around books and the conventional part of a library. It’s focused around media and being a teen. Teen response: It’s not just for teens. Adults can come here and read and stuff. The library had a lot of meat and no juice. This space has a lot more juice to it. If I want to do research I can go to the reference library and looks through all the books and stuff. Here you are able to read books that aren’t about research, they are stories and stuff like that. You can come here and one person can go play the piano and the other can play games while someone else is having a study group. In the reference library you can have a study group, but you have to be really quiet about it, but here you can talk out load. Marianne: So, let me tell you what our proposal is for a design-based museum. The idea that you recognize that there are differences in how spaces are created—different tools, different colors, different materials. I’m sure you have different chairs in the regular library; all of those things that contribute to your enjoyment and engagement in that space. So we want to provide some of the tools in an open, accessible way for you to become designers yourselves and to think about any kind of product—t-shirts or mug. I was thinking about with the Burnham Plan project that, for example, in Chicago you ride the El or a bus. So, for you to contribute to the transit plan, how to make the buses or train cars more comfortable—should they have wi-fi or different kinds of seats that would be more about you sharing with your friends on the train. Is that something that would be of interest to you, to be engaged in that kind of community of designers? Teen response: Yes. Definitely. Marianne: Okay, that is what we want to propose for all of you. That we would give you the tools and create a forum for you to explore our collection and your community, to design something yourself, to show it online or in a museum, to get feedback from your peers and professionals, and, hopefully, to get that product actually made and introduced into the real world. Sounds like a good idea? Teen response: Yes. 29
  • The Wolfsonian–Florida International University Miami Beach GROUP #4 MEMBERS: Morgan Arenson, Mk Haley, Larry Johnson, Maria Lovett, Kate Rawlinson, and Rob Semper (as reported by Kate Rawlinson) Discussion Participants spent the initial part of the break-out discussion reviewing certain trends and assumptions revealed through the expert panels. Some are listed below:  Trends: 1. What’s happening around the country:  Varied use of spaces by teens (hanging out, messing around, and geeking out)  Web too much (overwhelming teen users)  A desire to connect online on-site  Mentoring by peers  Fear of change in institutions  Use of wide-range of handheld devices  Network is anywhere and everywhere  Tools and objects are changing; new interfaces are developing constantly  Acceptance of idea that museums are just spaces for doing interesting things  “Open” education through movies, music, e-learning, etc.  De-institutionalization and great use of informal learning  “The world is flat”; everyone has a voice; things are distributable 2. Accessibility – both physical and psychological:  Museums perceived as elitist and hard to get to  Perceived as “safe” space  Digital allows distribution  Requires commitment of human capital  Assumptions: 1. Collections/assets are gems to be expanded:  Perception is an issue. Need to look at stereotypes of museums  Serve vital function, but need to expand their role and improve standing  Need to address known problems or identify opportunities to explore  Need new entry points to resources like libraries are doing 30
  • The Wolfsonian–Florida International University Miami Beach  Issue of touching versus seeing needs to be addressed 2. ROI – revenue streams are critical to possibilities  Need to address constraints – museums and libraries are different and ROI difference needs to be explored  How to make everything available for free?  How to connect to demographics of appeal (maker fairs, singles night or date night) 3. Who is the “boss”? – youth versus experts – issues of ownership  “Think before you ban.” Larry Johnson  Need better understanding of why are teens are a voice to be heard?  More facilitation than direction  Restructure organizations into teams who own and operate to encourage collaboration  Teens start the conversation rather than respond to it  “The Smithsonian is not an institution that understands me.” Gen Y perception (from M. Edson)  Explore what is the measurable value of some youth driven programs beyond perhaps short-term project creation? The second part of the discussion narrowed down the question to focus on, “How might we integrate social media into physical spaces both formally and informally?” Some of the answers/suggestions were: 1. Provide tools  “Think before you ban.” Larry Johnson  computers in galleries linked to social networks  mobile devices in museum (rentable or free)  social media space set aside in lobby or central space  visitors leave behind audio recordings to picked up by others  youth advisory board  ability for teens to post visuals of themselves in museum) 2. Bring outside stuff in  projection of media from social site in museum space such as screen for twitter fall or projected Flickr report from schools  comments on twitter or Facebook picked up and pushed out on museum’s page 3. Provide sense of ownership through membership/community (create permanent ID for users) 4. Geotag or geocache  post geo-location data at various points in the building  geotag works in exhibit 5. Provide launch points (2-D barcode, cell phone) 6. Create enticing bread crumbs 31
  • The Wolfsonian–Florida International University Miami Beach  E-mailable tours to track what visitor liked  barcode/FID tags on location for objects  “photo” + “text” breadcrumbs of visit, like Origami project 7. Actual objects integrated into online social space  Create object-centered communities by posting official object “hash tags” on gallery wall label. Allows people to attach tweets, pics, blogs, etc. to object.  Use object hash tags as a way to search audience reactions in real-time  All photo based scavenger hunt in museums for teens  Stream live lecture series online and allow audience Q&A  Include a page for an object moderated by curators/experts  Provide click & grab to re-purpose objects in new virtual space (game)  Youth create i-phone app  Use mobile devices to allow visitor to post stories object might be telling (personal response or oral history)  Post objects with “What is it?” questions on twitter or FB  Create hunts such as “Where’s Waldo?” to find detail of work on display on mobile device 8. Make/Share/Remix/Post/For the User By the User/Document  Two-person conversation about object and how it might have been used  Youth-produced video response to collection posted to website  Provide expertise for visitors to make on video about collection-related topic to post on YouTube and vote on best video  Youth-created podcasts  Create new version of object (individual or group DM process)  Remix posters  Take pic of artifact and find contemporary equivalent and share (past/present)  Youth identify experiences/issues related to objects, create videos, which become part of exhibition (online or onsite)  Use collection images or remixes to print t-shirts, etc.  Users design products for sale in gift shop, which are voted on, and best gets produced to sell (designer gets percentage of profit)  Highlight work of amateurs by re-blogging blog posts, tweets, etc. using their photos  Identify youth to be “guest” tour guide and post tour via social media (audio, video, text)  Student observations/reflections posted on class blog/Ning  Conduct tagging project and gather info on objects and about users  Gather reflections on content delivered through wall texts/criticism, user friendliness, etc.  Have users write own labels and post 9. Facebook/Flickr Fan Pages  Youth as FB fan page administrator/reporter for month 32
  • The Wolfsonian–Florida International University Miami Beach  Facebook Fan pages created by youth per object/artist  Create fan page for exhibit and post updates (# visitors, news coverage, back story, etc.)  Create a Flickr group for museum of “best” pics of spaces and/or collection 10. Pandora told me…  Create Pandora-like application for collection images 11. Behind the Scenes/Talk to the Experts  Museum staff blog/tweet or create Facebook page about their work  Youth learn about various museum roles and do exhibition project with students taking on various roles (curator, registrar, exhibition designer, educator, preparatory, tour guide, photographer, marketing, etc.)  Museum staff members create video podcasts of stages of organizing/installing an exhibition (selecting, conserving, framing, crating/uncrating, installing work/labels, lighting, etc.) 12. Outreach  Beam special events into Second life as a way to reach out to global audience  Create a Linked-In group and post job announcements and news there Presentation to Teens The group selected three possible activities to present under the theme of “Search, Show, Share.” Students were told: We want to connect the tools, interests, and experiences that you already use and have with the collection in our museum. It might look like this: 1. Pandora Told Me: If you provide us with some simple data related to your personal interests, we can provide you with a personalized tour through our museum that specifically hits items you may find most appealing. This tour can be delivered to your own mobile device, we can loan you a device with the tour on it, or you can even have a paper version. You can do this from home or school to get a sneak peek if you like. 2. Digital Scrapbook: As you enjoy your tour, you can trigger photos of yourself in the space, photos of the objects, or video bits. At the end of your visit, we will give you a disc or a URL that includes all of your pictures, as well as professional bits of each object you visited for a complete package that documents your day. The file is, of course, editable. You can upload your own pictures or any other content for your tour. 3. Shout-out!: Now that you have some great stuff, perhaps you want to share. We have even more content available on line for you to upload mix and match, and then use to share your experiences and educate the masses, etc. It can be an opinion piece, teaching, highlight reel, or whatever. The community will vote on the best “shout-outs” and they will be featured on our website. 33
  • The Wolfsonian–Florida International University Miami Beach Feedback from Teens Mk: Our challenge for you is to think about ways we can use social media tools to get you to have a different type of experience in our museum. We have a couple examples to show you. We also want you to use tools you already have access to. So, do you use internet, email, belong to Facebook, MySpace, or Ning? Teen response: Yes. Mk: We tried to pick a representative day in our museum. The first is a personalized experience. Do most of you know what Pandora is? Teen response: Yes. Mk: Excellent. In our Pandora you just enter one term and it gives you music that it presumes you’ll like because it’s the same type of music. We’re going to give you the same option in our museum. In our “Pandora” you give us some information about something you like and we’ll give you a personalized tour through our museum of things you might like because this first term. You can enter any term you want. You can enter “elephants” and we’ll personalize a tour for you of our museum of all our works related to elephants, all our works by elephants, about elephants. Or you can choose something from our museum collection. (Rob is setting up laptop presentation of idea to be screened to teens.) So, if you select one item that we have in our collection, we can personalize a tour for you for the rest of your day there. Let’s pretend you like Joe Lewis. (While showing an image of a sculpture of Joe Lewis...) Based on that one piece of data you gave, we’ll plan your entire day. We’ll give you a map of other pieces of artwork you might like. Rob: So, from the Joe Lewis sculpture it might take you to another painting that relates to that, and then it might tell you to go to another painting. But, then let’s say you are interested in something else. Instead of Joe Lewis, you might have entered a term about a certain period in history, so it would take you to another painting and give you a different tour. Mk: So the idea is that the tour will take you to things we are pretty sure you will like because you told us what you are interested in, but we’ll also expose you to new things that you didn’t even 34
  • The Wolfsonian–Florida International University Miami Beach know you liked. How many of you have found new artists that you have never heard of on Pandora because of that path? Teen response: (some raised hands) Yes. Mk: I didn’t even know that I liked Elvis Presley because I entered “Dean Martin” and it told me I might like Elvis, and I do. So that’s just the first part of your visit. So you can start this at home and see what your day might look like before you even leave home. You can have a nice print-out of that we can give you at the museum so you have a hard paper map. You can download onto a mobile device or we can give you a mobile device at the museum to use. So whichever way you are most interested in using to take your tour, we can provide that to you. So, now you’ve gone through the tour and seen the things you love, but now we’re going to solidify that tour for you with a “digital scrapbook.” As you visit the museum, you are going to trigger the taking of a photo or video, whichever you like. We can either do that with a remote control or with a RFID tag you can just hold it up to something and it will automatically take your picture. So you choose where you want your picture taking and what you are doing in it. At the end of the trip we are going to hand you a DVD or a website that has your entire day on it. So, it’s going to a picture of you interacting with the Joe Lewis sculpture, for example, and right after that on the DVD we’re going to give you the information on Joe Lewis, a pretty picture, all sorts of information, archive assets, so it’s a combination of your scrapbook, pictures you took yourself, as well information we want you to have. So you leave the museum with a nice little scrapbook/photoblog you can show your parents of “how I spent my day at the museum.” And then if you want to take that one step further and share with people, that DVD/or website is completely editable. You can upload pictures your friends took that day or anything else you want. In the event that you thought it was so good, you want to share it, we will let you do that as well. Much like the Smithsonian team mentioned, we’re going to give you access to large amounts of data and you can do an educational piece--that is educate other people on how you spent your day. So, we’re going to call that “Shout-Outs” because you can shout-out on a certain topic, mix and match the data as you see fit and then composes that back online. Then the community, which is you, folks you visit the museum, can vote on which pieces they like best and you can keep rising to the top. Pieces that get the most votes will get featured and prominently displayed on our website. We may have some sort of reward program or recognition program. So there are three different levels of activity with your social media here:  Plan your day with our Pandora-like interface  Take my picture and document my day and  Share that information with either my classmates or the rest of the world Hopefully, these are tools that you already know how to use—Facebook, video playback, you know how to take a picture. And then you choose how far you want to take them. Would you do that? Teen response: Some said “Yes.” Teen response: Kind of. I have friends who don’t have computers or only one or adults who don’t know how to use them. So maybe in about 10 years those activities would be good, but maybe you need to print out a thumbnail. Mk: Oh we could easily print out a book, not just a thumbnail. 35
  • The Wolfsonian–Florida International University Miami Beach Teen response: I think that would be great for little kids under 13 or even adults who don’t use technology. Mk: That could work for even the educational piece. You could print out a book and call it “My Own Textbook” or something. Teen response: I would like that option. Teen response: I have a concern about how you would reach more people. This idea is only for people who actually decide to come to the museum. (audience clapping) What about the people who wouldn’t have the money to buy the CD or book? Mk: We would give you the CD for free. We all have that question about how you would drive people to the museum in the first place. Hopefully, because the work that you do is so interesting, other people want to go to the museum, but this is a huge problem and everyone in this room is trying to solve that problem. If you have any ideas, shoot them on over. Teen response: Well, one idea is [response inaudible] Mk: There are lots of opportunities with your local news and other program. We could put this on TV as well. Teen response: In terms of getting the word out, maybe you could work schools to give out information about the museum or assign art or history teachers to give information to students about the museum for extra credit if they go to the museum or bring their family. Mk: We could tie it to a field trip as well. If your whole class took a field trip, this is one way you could do your trip report. You all have to do trip reports, right? Teen response: No, not any more. Teen response: I have a question. What if someone types in “3D virtual art”? How would you incorporate that into your museum? Mk: Into the tour that you take? Every exhibit in the museum has a tag that contains some data about it and it would include it if there were any virtual 3D content in the museum or it could give you info about content in other museums that are related to 3D. Teen response: Good. Teen response: I think you should give the student that’s there and activity to do. Mk: One of the other ideas was to give students a scavenger hunt so that you had to go to specific things. Teen response: (Multiple students were very enthusiastic!) I love that idea. Duane: Before we let you go, I have one question: did any of these ideas stand out more than another? Teen response: I liked the last idea of a scavenger hunt to give students an activity to do while in the museum to not be bored. Teen response: Two ideas were similar—the six degrees of separation and the other one with the customizable tour through the museum. Those were very similar and I like those because they are really personal. You get to customize what you are doing for yourself. I think all these ideas, if you were to put them together, would be one super museum. 36
  • The Wolfsonian–Florida International University Miami Beach Duane: That’s super. What about for the rest of you, what stood out? Teen response: What did group two have? Morgan: Art on the Block and Threads. Teen response: I like the concept and I think you could add that to the six degree activity and have six different things in your neighborhood and six different things in the museum. 37
  • The Wolfsonian–Florida International University Miami Beach CLOSING DISCUSSION Duane: I thought it was interesting the way the teens were making connections between the different concepts. What about for the rest of you, what stood out? Lissa: I think it is such an obvious thing, but they made it clear that young people thrive with structure. Sometimes we set ourselves the task of opening up an experience that isn’t youth- centered—eliminate rules, take down the limits. But they picked up on the “scavenger hunt” idea as being very cool and that’s a reminder that sometimes being given a task that is really clear and has a familiar reference to them and is totally youth-centered. Paul: It was also applies to the six degrees of separation idea as well. It didn’t start with something they had already known like a scavenger hunt. They had to remember the Kevin Bacon game and it’s hard for us to remember that they might not. It wasn’t the case. Drew: It also speaks about how games work as well. They have a goal and that’s how they… Frank: I love games, but games are often directly pleasurable the way a trip to the museum is not. Sometimes it’s like “what do you want—a delicious three course meal or a brownie?” “I’d love a 38
  • The Wolfsonian–Florida International University Miami Beach brownie.” So, I also caution us a little, although I think there are opportunities to include games in these settings in a number of ways--as works of culture themselves or as structured experiences that are illuminating an idea or providing information about something or communicating some part of understanding the larger system. I think there are a lot of places, but to make the process of going through the museum inherently more enjoyable. I think our job is to somehow to make the role of the museums—whatever it is that we decide is the important thing that they do—what is its responsibility? What does do? What value does it provide? To make it do that job better, as opposed to have it do a different job. Christo – Yesterday Quest to Learn actually went to the Napa Ridge Museum and did a scavenger hunt. The kids had a great time, it was super fun. The whole point was that to just find the fact that you were supposed to write down and then move on. So they were running really fast, never really actually looked at the neighboring...it changes the museum experience. You are not spending a lot of time in the “whatever hall”, you are just actually trying to get the facts and move on. So, this is furthering your point that it totally changes what you are doing with the kids. Larry – I think this thread of conversation is really important, and I made this point also in our group – that as we re-image the museum, let’s not lose the museum in the process. I think it’s really important to start from the place of why we have museums; and what value they have. I mean some of the ideas that I heard, I don’t want to single any out because I don’t want to be critical, but some of them really were replacing the museum with something else that was not the museum any more. I think that we just need to know when we are doing that. I think it’s really important not to lose the value of the institution as we make it to be more relevant. Michael – What is that core value? Larry – I can tell you my perspective on it. I think, we probably all have one, but it’s a question that each institution really should be able to articulate from their own perspective, each museum has a unique mission. If I were thinking of it from the Smithsonian’s perspective, I would say that it’s really important to be the institution that has this six-hundred million item collection, I mean there is no other institution in the planet that has the similar mission, and that mission is comprehensive encyclopedic and profound. Whether that means that you should be to give it away all because it’s a public good. I don’t know if that is part of the conversation that is important, but it’s a part that each museum needs to understand well before they take down this road. Maria – I was surprised they weren’t more interested in the “Art on the Block”, and that is the kinda stuff that I do. I was thinking maybe one of the reasons, is that the language they are not familiar with; museum, understanding art in a different way. Even though that sounds like an idea that is changing it actually brings them back to being like, wow, the museum is a place for me. I didn’t really think of that. I think too that they like the scavenger hunt because they have a goal they are used to knowing how to do that, I can complete the task and then I leave. Whereas I thought that that idea that they suddenly saw art as something that is a part of their life and then they go into the museum and they see that space, which you are afraid of them losing. Does that make sense? 39
  • The Wolfsonian–Florida International University Miami Beach Marsha – To build on that, I really like the idea of Marianne’s idea around The Wolfsonian’s focus on design and good design, and their interest in coming to the museum and really helping to use good design principles and resources of The Wolfsonian to solve a community problem. Even though that is an idea among many, it was interesting they seemed to be very responsive. Duane – Upon reflection, are there other ideas that are posted notes in your individual groups that you are maybe re-thinking might have been great things to suggest. Are there other things that were left behind that struck you based on what people were saying? Did anything stand out? Drew – I think the idea of giving them structured tasks that can actually answer Larry’s ideas as well. If it fits within the mission and it is a structured task, doesn’t have to be game-like. Game is not the solution to everything, if you help contextualize it for them, they won’t run through the museum. Probably soak up the museum, if the task is structured correctly. Caroline – I would also add to that the task can be process oriented, about, because of the things the museum does rather than just finding things too. That idea that instead of looking they are connecting to the process of design, the process of curation, the process of collection, it could even be conservation for those who are interested in that; but that it be process oriented in addition to a very specific task. Marie – One of the things that I got from them was that their comments were very grounding. What they talked about was very grounded in the families they know, their neighborhoods that they are in, the things they actually do. So when we talk about goals, I think the notion of doing is very, very important. When we talk about games, I am afraid I am going to reveal my naiveté here because I don’t speak the language of gaming very well. One of the things I would like to draw a distinction between is the board games which are boring and trivial and the kinds of games that are deeply engaging for their own sake; they are not just an excuse for social interaction, they are engaging for their own sake. What you take out of it is something that transfers into real life. For me that is the difference between, playing video poker on the computer and playing world of war craft on the computer. And, in one case, you are playing the game and killing time and there is enough of real life, and real world context, and interpretation, and complexity that what you get out of that experience transfers into other areas in real life, in real world. So when we talk about games in the setting of the museum, if the games are of sufficient...that have enough elements of reality that what you take away is an understanding of what a museum does and what you do with what you get from the museum; even though it’s not like play the game to get to the end where you can now articulate that; that you have that experience based in doing that this is pretty meaningful and that resonates with the comments that I just heard from the kids. Kate – I just noticed that there was something we lost from the morning to afternoon a little bit, this idea of formal versus or the continuum of formal to informal. We ended up talking a lot about social networking activities that were not structured in a formal curriculum. I think that sometimes they are not so meaningful and the kids don’t understand how they connect. All the jokes aside and everything, they are a bunch of teenagers and they didn’t get most of our jokes; references to Kevin 40
  • The Wolfsonian–Florida International University Miami Beach Bacon or whatever. They are at a very different stage in life, and their focus is in school still. It is also out of school doing all kinds of after-school activities where YouMedia is working really well – a place where they can go. But it’s not totally disconnected. It’s a safe place; it’s still more like school than not in some ways. It’s structured. I think we forget that they do like that a lot, you can’t just throw them out there. Nina Simon says we do a lot of great things in museums and we shouldn’t stop doing that, but we could use social media to record some of it and to give them some new skills that they take back to their schools where they are not getting some of that. There are a lot of kids that are not getting taught how to use the internet or on-line tools. So, I think there is a continuum there and we have to think about keeping that sort of grounded in their education as people. Whether it’s toward civic action or community roles and such, but keep them grounded in who they are coming to be at that age especially. Colleen – I am really interested in formal and informal game comments and they inspired me to think about what I would take away from this day. Thinking is maybe not necessarily continuum but the fact that the formal/informal can only exist with each other. That like a game, the formal structures of rules, they are very formal. Games are very formal designs actually facilitate or make possible play, which is an informal mode/way of being. It’s a way of finding play in a more rigid structure. So I keep thinking that maybe that is something we are trying to figure out here, participation vs. authority, etc., etc. Where is the play? Where are the play opportunities in these contexts, in these settings? And how can we, with the formal structures of game in place generate more opportunities and more hooks for play. You asked about some of our other ideas, one of the ideas was, “Museum Karaoke”; which was like the slideshow Karaoke or the power point events that you have, to actually pretend you are presenting slides that you haven’t seen before. So the idea was that you would have to go up in front of the art and be the tour guide and say this piece comes from this historical period, etc., etc. So there would be an idea of play with expertise, with play with the language of art, history, and art criticism. So, I think that is one example that begins to think about play a little bit. Paul – This talk about process and structure reminds me of a project I did ten years ago with a group of middle school students across several schools and we were studying Egyptian history. What we did at the museum was we created a replica piece of Egyptian pectoral piece that goes over the chest of the mummy – very authentic. We used this as the center point for a two week long unit – the study of ancient Egyptian antiquities and artifacts and the whole question was this authentic or not and how would you determine it? What research would you do? What resources do you have available to you? We looked at a lot of other museum artifacts in person and on-line. They did a tremendous amount of research. And what we were trying to get them to see was that the process of determining whether or not something was authentic was as important as finding the actual answer in the end. They really enjoyed it. It was a very involved project. Every school where we did it, the students loved it. But in every school, it was more important in the end for the students to know that they were right than whether or not they had done a good job in doing the research. It may speak to the age level, these were all sixth graders. But it was such an interesting project to be involved with because they all jumped at the idea of conducting the research but they still wanted 41
  • The Wolfsonian–Florida International University Miami Beach the authority of the museum come in at the end let them know whether or not their research ideas were correct in the end. Duane – Here is a question for the group: What are your take-aways? What are you going to be thinking about when you get to work on Monday? What are you taking from today? Drew – I am thinking similar to Colleen. We do so much work with students and kids in that age range. The clients often ask it to be fun but, it’s interesting to think about, I said it before…it’s the tasks. I think thinking more about giving them a structure. I was struck too when we presented, and that one girl, Millennium Park, that didn’t ring a bell. I was like, Chicago Millennium Park doesn’t ring a bell for you guys? I was a bit shocked, but my local park…I was like, great point. Marianne – I guess for me, there was this six degrees of separation thing, their response to it. That we can do a better job having people connect to what we do, in a sense that people already collect, right? People collect all kinds of things. So to make out, why in our case; why one man, for the most part Mr. Wolfson collected the stuff he collected. No, again, is how does one do that in a meaningful way. But a way to take the idea that there is some basic information that people can connect to. Again, my question about design, I mean everybody knows what design is. They are never asked to engage in it in a professional structured way, but of course everybody does it. They arrange their bedrooms, people engage in design but they don’t call it that. So how do we make these things that seem abstract, difficult and professional resonate more with the general public? Duane – What about things you took away? One of the things that was interesting about this group was that it was people from different backgrounds with lots of different areas of emphasis. So what were some of the things that struck you from the morning session from the panels? Something that you discussed in your groups that really bubbled up for you as new or different that you hadn’t thought about before? Marie – I was really impressed with the notion of collegial pedagogy and it ended up being the center of our discussion, and the whole notion that it is pedagogy because there are adults involved. There has to be structure, but at the same time the students are able to interact and have a non- passive role and what are the tensions between those. And then taking about, how do you take that to into social media; and how do you take it beyond people that maybe you interact face to face with? I think that is an extremely that it is an extremely interesting concept and it’s an interesting structure metaphor to explore further. Jon – I was struck by the importance of partnerships among a local network of institutions. For instance what Diana was speaking about in New York or the Chicago partnerships with the Chicago’s Public Library and transferring those thoughts to our situation in Miami and wondering how to go about forming such partnerships there. Caroline – On a couple of things: one is that in all of our versions of stuff how little--and our group did it a tiny bit--how little of bringing all, this whole thing was about collaboration, and then when we gave our presentations we were all about one place again for the most part, so it tells you how 42
  • The Wolfsonian–Florida International University Miami Beach hard collaboration really is, that we couldn’t even sustain it from 2:30 to 3:30. You know, even though it was so much the nature of it. And the other thing that I have been thinking about and I guess I am focusing on is the contradictions because it’s late on a Friday afternoon--is that as someone who is always, at least in my own museum, seen as someone focusing on the web, perhaps too much and about getting stuff out there; the really interesting thing about the Chicago project is that notion of physical space and the residence and safety and the place for that. And finding that balance in a place that we are closing because we are rebuilding and I never, I am not going to have a space for years. So it’s that a thing that I can collaborate with other places on. But that is really interesting to me, how much a new physical space is working. Name - I guess, I had not thought of…I am not in a museum space, so I hadn’t thought a lot about how kids engage with museums. I think part of it is that I don’t go that often, but one thing that I took away especially in contrast with YouMedia is that there is something that you can continue to go back to and progress in; and we were talking about e are trajectories, leveling up, these pathways to get more involved instead of having these “one- of “experiences. So it made me think of ways museums could work in building more of that; so maybe not every kid gets into your museum but there are ways for those that are into it to progress through and become more part of who they are. Marsha – And the things that really resonated with me, is the core competency of all types of museums, is what Larry was talking about – visual as a primary way of knowing. We all have been in our museums, we engage multiple senses, but the powers of observing, and knowing through looking and seeing in different ways is something that museums can offer in a way that is different from but complimentary to these learning organizations. So really this is something we really should trumpet, think about, and exploit as much as we can in our real spaces. Paul – One of the things we that we talked about here at this table, that didn’t make it near to the final presentation was the idea of the museum as closed. It grew out of a lot of discussions that we had of the library as place and what museums can learn about research that has been going on library science. I kept talking about the transitions that were happening in the 70’s, about moving from looking at the user to; so moving from looking at the library, the library from the user, to the user in the library; talking about how museums are still having troublemaking that shift. And one of the reasons when I walk around and I look at museums, I still have museums directors asking me, still it’s 2009, if we put image of our collections on-line will people stop coming to our museum? And the reason they still ask that question, is that it’s very hard to make that shift from thinking that this is the person in my institution and thinking about the institution and the life of that person and it’s important for us to keep in mind as we try to reach to those students like that. Larry – It reminds me of a story that I want to share, I will just take a second to do it; but when first created the museum that have in Second Life, we had an arrangement with SF MOMA where they gave us permission to use every one of their images in Second Life. Which we thought was remarkable, we were going to build this museum it was going to be…it was going to have Picasso’s and Monet’s. All this incredible art, but when we built it and we put all those images in there the art got lost. It wasn’t art anymore, a postage stamp sized Picasso on a virtual wall in Second Life was not 43
  • The Wolfsonian–Florida International University Miami Beach a Picasso anymore, and it was a profound revelation for us in that as we think about how to reach out to people and help them with visual arts education, help them to understand culture and all the richness that they are in, that we keep in mind that representation is not art. It is representation and it can only go so far. So we re-did the museum and now it has three-D virtual art. And the kid asked three-D virtual art, which I thought that is awesome because I have a whole museum with nothing but three-D virtual art and it’s fantastic but it makes sense whereas the other did not. Drew – That reminds me we had a client that wanted a virtual shopping experience, it’s going to be a store that you walk in to and you shop. And I was thinking, “why in the heck would I do that?” You know, virtually, because... We pushed back really hard and said Amazon works so well for shopping, take advantage of the medium you are in. Because, I am going to walk around a fake store and try to find stuff on the shelves. Lissa – One of the things that I will take back that I am still puzzling over is how can museums organize themselves in relationship to youth around real questions that they have answers to, and not just the question of do “I make this museum more relevant to you?,” but “how can make my engagement with you help me do my primary job better?” Not my social mission job better, but how I am going to define the primary curatorial, whatever function. And the example I will use from my friend Nicole Fleetwood, who is a wonderful scholar and professor at Rutgers who is working on a book that happens to have a chapter that is so relevant to this about artist, Charles Teeny Harris, who is a photographer in Pittsburg and what happened with the Carnegie museum in Pittsburg that has his collection and they didn’t know many, many of the people who are captured in his photographs. He is a photojournalist. So they had to go out into the community, they asked members of the community does anybody know who any o f these people are? And somebody would go, “That is my great aunt’s friend who lived next door.” So there is this oral history project that is enabling that museum do a better job curating their content. Not like, I get more kids into the museum; it’s like a real problem. I wonder what it would mean for every museum to be able to identify a question like that; that is going to be so particular to that museum, so that it’s a real question, that they need people to answer that are not the puzzle of making them relevant to this generation. 44
  • The Wolfsonian–Florida International University Miami Beach APPENDIX C: POST-CONVENING SURVEY CONDUCTED ONLINE USING SURVEY MONKEY The 26 participants in the convening were asked via email to complete an online survey about the convening. 14 did so and below are the responses SURVEY Question #1: 45
  • The Wolfsonian–Florida International University Miami Beach SURVEY Question #2: 46
  • The Wolfsonian–Florida International University Miami Beach SURVEY Question #3: 47
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  • The Wolfsonian–Florida International University Miami Beach SURVEY Question #4: 49
  • The Wolfsonian–Florida International University Miami Beach SURVEY Question #5: 50
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  • The Wolfsonian–Florida International University Miami Beach APPENDIX D: REPORT RESOURCES  Individual notes  WWNFF videos  FLIP videos and video recordings  Break-out notes from each table  Pre-planning documents  Feedback from attendees through Survey Monkey http://spotlight.macfound.org/btr/entry/selling_museums_to_tough_audience_teens/ 53