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Makoto Manabe Choosing Platforms

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Keynote presentation of mobile interpretation projects at the National Museum of Nature and Science, Tokyo, Japan by Makoto Manabe at Tate's Conference 'From Audio Tours to iPhones', 5 September 2008, …

Keynote presentation of mobile interpretation projects at the National Museum of Nature and Science, Tokyo, Japan by Makoto Manabe at Tate's Conference 'From Audio Tours to iPhones', 5 September 2008, London.

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  • 1. National Museum of Nature and Science, Tokyo, Japan A 131 years old Natural History Museum…
  • 2. We currently rent an audio guide tour on a PDA with infraRed sensor. You listen to conversation between curators and radio show host. We plan to renew our audio guide system in a few years. We have been experimenting with Cell phones, iPods, PlayStations and Nintendos to find out which is the right one for us.
  • 3. Learning about whale stranding with PlayStation Portable PSP has a relatively large screen suitable for group activities.
  • 4. PlayStations & Nintendos
    • Pros:
    • Game machines have easy to use design.
    • People like the idea of using a game machine for education.
    • Cons:
    • Once the answer is found, one tends to stop looking at the exhibits. Are we just creating answer-seeking activities (not really learning)?
  • 5. We produced an English audio guide tour on iPod for a temporary dinosaur exhibition where all the panels are in Japanese. For a survey, we invited about 70 Japanese high school students to use it. Nearly all were interested in the activity as an English learning opportunity. Fossil Nearly fossil?
  • 6. English as the second language can be a good marketing opportunity even in UK and US. Next time you are producing an audio guide for native speakers of English, have a teaching English expert read through the text and rate it. Girls tend to flock together. Boys are solitary.
  • 7. Use of the cell phones beyond making calls and sending text: Information retrieval through 2D bar-code has become common practice.
  • 8.  
  • 9. Cell phones
    • Pros:
    • Most of us carry them.
    • It can be an instant feedback tool through text messages and/or online questionnaires.
    • It is suitable device connecting two venues like the zoo and the museum.
    • Cons:
    • People worry about the costs and battery life , the most.
    • Difficult to produce a program that works on every model (in Japan).
  • 10. We have been trying to make comparison among various digital devices based upon a method developed by Sekiguchi and Yoshimura published on Journal of Museum Education vol. 32, no.1, 2007. They aimed to find out important factors for users , not the service providers, through statistical analyses based on more than 200 comments given from the general public. YOSHIMURA, Hirokazu SEKIGUCHI, Hiromi
  • 11. There is not just the right one. Choosing a device is choosing the target and the purpose . Build the contents suitable for multiple platforms, but do not use the same content on different types of devices.

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