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Developing Electronic Educational Programming for Museums

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Presented at the 2010 American Association of Museums conference.

Presented at the 2010 American Association of Museums conference.

Published in: Technology
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  • 2-min elevator speech:
    MFA Educators Online is a web-based resource drawing on the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston’s extensive online collection. Developed with and for teachers, the site allows both Museum staff and classroom educators to create and share custom art galleries online. Teachers can browse our collection, choose artwork, and add their own materials such as lesson plans or multimedia presentations, to create unique learning objects that are directly relevant their curriculum needs. Teachers can share their galleries with colleagues and students online, or in the classroom.
    Since the site’s original launch about 4 years ago, we have seen usership steadily increase. At present, our stats show over 32,000 unique visitors to the site, and among those who opted to fill in their demographic information, we are thrilled to see registered users from all 50 states in this country, as well as 44 other countries, including France, Spain, China, and Japan--not too surprising, but also some of the more unlikely places like Argentina, Cyprus, Egypt, and Indonesia. These users have created over 3,000 different Online Galleries, though only 421 have been made public -- an interesting window into the psychology of people’s comfort level with sharing their educational materials.
    With the launch of our Phase II of the project last fall, we have developed several new features, including social tagging and Online Classrooms. In terms of the new tagging function, 2,053 different art objects have so far been tagged with 12,176 different tag instances. Our biggest new arena—still in beta-testing—is that of the online/virtual classrooms, which are meant to encourage student engagement with the online galleries their teachers have created. I’ll be talking more about this later.
    MFA Educators Online is enabling us to achieve our goal to support art-based activities and experiences for students and teachers, particularly in the classroom, and before or after a Museum visit.
  • Breaking barriers:
    Obviously, by making the MFA’s collection of over 300,000 artwork images accessible on the web, people do not have to be in Boston to teach and learn from our collection.
    As I mentioned earlier, we have registered users on MFA Educators Online from literally all over the world.
    A recent example I’ll just quickly share, is the “inadvertent international exchange” that has taken place around the MFA’s famous pair of six-paneled Japanese screens, Dragon and Tiger, by Hasegawa Tohaku (1539-1610), who is celebrated as one of the greatest painters in Japan.
  • 2010 marks the 400th anniversary of the artist’s death, and Nanao City (Ishikawa prefecture), where he was born, planned major celebrations. Originally, they inquired about borrowing our pair of screens… and our curatorial department was not able to grant that request. However, through our online resources, elementary school students in Nanao City were able to access the images, and make monochromatic sumi-e ink paintings in response.
  • This is a screen shot of the Online Gallery that shows the Hasegawa Tohaku screens from our collection, and a selection of some of the children’s artwork. (I encourage you to check it out more closely on your own, later.)
  • The other point I would like to make in response to this question is that when designed well, a single online learning platform can support a variety of learning styles.
    I would like to highlight the new “Activities” in the “Virtual Classroom” feature that we’re currently beta-testing.
  • This new Virtual Classroom feature is one that teachers asked for. They—especially secondary school teachers—are eager to have their students go online and interact directly with the artworks pulled together in an Online Gallery.
    So we’ve designed templates to allow for students’ written response, image response, and audio/narration response.
    But first, a teacher must create the Virtual Classroom: again, a helpful 3-step wizard…
    Step 1: Classroom Name and brief Description
    Step 2: Which is OPTIONAL: adding co-teachers. (In our work with schools and teachers in recent years, we’ve learned about the growing trend of team-teaching, or collaborative teaching. So adding co-teachers will set them up as co-administrators for the Virtual Classroom, allowing them to edit/add activities, review student responses, etc.)
    Allows for adding up to 5 co-teachers.
    If user who has been added is not an existing Ed Online user, then an email will be sent prompting them to register.
    This process ends with an email being sent to the co-teachers who have been set up as administrators in this way.
    Step 3: Student Settings
    Third step in the wizard lets teacher specify how student names will be displayed on screen, and set a classroom code for student access.
    Options are First Name and Last Initial, or Student ID.
    We had heard concern from teachers, and their schools’ varying policies re: student identities online. This allows them that choice.
    Then the teacher sets the Classroom Password, and is ready to then build Activities!...
  • First screen: find a gallery or an artwork to create an activity from.
    User can select something from their favorites, or search for a gallery or artwork.
  • In step 2, user chooses what activity type it is: Text, Image, or Audio/Narration. Type is required.
    These types define how the students will respond when completing an activity. In text, they will write a short or long text response to the assignment. In image activities, they will post an image in response. In audio/narration, an audio file will be posted.
    Supported image formats: JPEG, GIF, PNG
    Supported audio formats: WAV, MP3, M4A
    Also in this step, teacher also provides a title/name for the activity, describes the assignment (short text paragraph with instructions), and enters a due date.
    The last screen previews the activity in brief.
  • For example, one teacher that we’ve been working with…
    A high school English teacher created an Online Gallery around Dorothy Krause’s Vietnam Journal prints. She developed a series of Activities for her students…
  • … who would click on View Activity, and see this: the Activity instructions; then view the Slideshow; then post their response in the space below.
  • Ms. Murphy created several Activities, all related to this one Online Gallery. The first was a basic essay response to looking closely at one image of the students’ choice.
    For the second Activity, she’s having them find a photograph that was taken on a memorable day in their own lives. They’re to upload it with a caption. This is an Image-based Activity.
    After that, they are to narrate the story of their memorable day, making reference to the photograph they’ve uploaded. This is an Audio Activity. The students are to upload their narration as a WAV, MP3, M4A file.
    Finally, the culminating essay is for the students to turn this into a compelling personal narrative story, capturing the most significant emotional truth of that story. “How can you add details to your story that will allow your readers to feel like they are there with you?…”
    The variety of Activities that Ms. Murphy has developed allow the students to express themselves in different ways.
  • Our philosophy in MFA School Programs is “for teachers with teachers.” We work closely with an Educator Advisory Board, not only to stay up-to-date on current classroom needs and issues, not only to make sure our programs are as relevant to those needs and issues as possible, but also to harness the direct experience and expertise of teachers themselves.
    Interestingly/ironically, when it came to developing online resources, we quickly found that there was a significant lack of experience and expertise among teachers. I don’t mean to make a sweeping generalization about teachers lagging behind in the arena of technology --though it has been our experience that the majority still are-- but even those superstar, innovative educators are often constrained by a lack of basic technology infrastructure at their schools.
    Some of you may have heard the talk I gave last year, detailing our experience of working with teachers to develop MFA Educators Online. I used the analogy of a piece of technology that we’re all familiar with…
  • [BICYCLE], when we found ourselves in the fortunate-and-unusual position [BOW] of having money and a mandate from our administration to develop online teacher resources. When we went to our Educ Adv Board and said, “come play! What shall we do?” …
  • … we quickly learned that the teachers didn’t know how to ride it. We had to back way up…
  • … and ended up, during the first 18-months, having to conduct major Teacher Professional Development around online teaching and learning, before we were able to develop a site that they could use.
    The lesson learned here is that there is a delicate balance that’s needed -- a constant negotiation to match expectations from both directions, the Museum and the teacher audience.
  • I really referenced this first point already -- even though it’s one of the serious challenges, it is well worth the investment to collaborate with your target audience from the get-go.
    The second point is really what we see as our growth area.
  • I really referenced this first point already -- even though it’s one of the serious challenges, it is well worth the investment to collaborate with your target audience from the get-go.
    The second point is really what we see as our growth area.
  • Beyond the “Help” page; beyond the short video testimonials by teachers who use the site…
    We see an opportunity/need to create a set of guidelines, tips, forums for sharing ideas -- again, ideally co-created with teacher users. Those teachers with whom we have been working very closely during the past year, are now asking for this kind of idea-sharing space, particularly around the Online Classroom and Activities features. We have really come a long way! And it will be exciting to see where we go with this, as we continue to evolve the resource in the coming years.
  • Transcript

    • 1. 06:48 PM 06:48 PMAAM 2010 Slide 1 Developing Electronic Educational Content for Museums Developing Electronic Educational Content for Museums
    • 2. 06:48 PM 06:48 PM AAM 2010 Slide 2Developing Electronic Educational Content for Museums 2010 Educational Technology Think Tank
    • 3. 06:48 PM 06:48 PM AAM 2010 Slide 3Developing Electronic Educational Content for Museums Think Tank Participants Willamarie Moore MFA Boston Tina Olson Portland Museum of Art Tim Svenonious SFMOMA Marc Mayer Art21 Sarah Schultz Susan Rotilie Robin Dowden Abby Anderson Walker Art Center Sheila McGuire Treden Wagoner Minneapolis Institute of Art Kris Wetterlund Scott Sayre Sandbox Studios
    • 4. 06:48 PM 06:48 PMAAM 2010 Slide 4 Developing Electronic Educational Content for Museums Full Think Tank Recommendations http://bit.ly/attA9h
    • 5. 06:48 PM 06:48 PM AAM 2010 Slide 5Developing Electronic Educational Content for Museums
    • 6. 06:48 PM 06:48 PM AAM 2010 Slide 6Developing Electronic Educational Content for Museums 06:48 PMAAM 2010 Slide 6 Willamarie Moore - MFA Boston
    • 7. 06:48 PM 06:48 PM AAM 2010 Slide 7Developing Electronic Educational Content for Museums 06:48 PMAAM 2010 Slide 7 Art21 EducatorsArt21 Educators Marc Mayer - Art21
    • 8. 06:48 PM 06:48 PMAAM 2010 Slide 8 Developing Electronic Educational Content for Museums Susan Rotilie - Walker Art Center
    • 9. 06:48 PM 06:48 PM AAM 2010 Slide 9Developing Electronic Educational Content for Museums Art Finder Art Collector Susan Rotilie - Walker Art Center
    • 10. 06:48 PM 06:48 PMAAM 2010 Slide 10 Developing Electronic Educational Content for Museums What can museum-based educational technology do well?
    • 11. 06:48 PM 06:48 PM AAM 2010 Slide 11Developing Electronic Educational Content for Museums Slide 11 What can museum-based educational technology do well? > Break down physical and geographic barriers. Willamarie Moore - MFA Boston
    • 12. 06:48 PM 06:48 PM AAM 2010 Slide 12Developing Electronic Educational Content for Museums 06:48 PMAAM 2010 Slide 12 Willamarie Moore - MFA Boston
    • 13. 06:48 PM 06:48 PM AAM 2010 Slide 13Developing Electronic Educational Content for Museums 06:48 PMAAM 2010 Slide 13 Willamarie Moore - MFA Boston
    • 14. 06:48 PM 06:48 PM AAM 2010 Slide 14Developing Electronic Educational Content for Museums 06:48 PMAAM 2010 Slide 14 Willamarie Moore - MFA Boston
    • 15. 06:48 PM 06:48 PM AAM 2010 Slide 15Developing Electronic Educational Content for Museums 06:48 PMAAM 2010 Slide 15 Willamarie Moore - MFA Boston
    • 16. 06:48 PM 06:48 PM AAM 2010 Slide 16Developing Electronic Educational Content for Museums 06:48 PMAAM 2010 Slide 16 Willamarie Moore - MFA Boston
    • 17. 06:48 PM 06:48 PM AAM 2010 Slide 17Developing Electronic Educational Content for Museums Slide 17 What can museum-based educational technology do well? > A single product can support the learning styles and interests of multiple audiences. Willamarie Moore - MFA Boston
    • 18. 06:48 PM 06:48 PM AAM 2010 Slide 18Developing Electronic Educational Content for Museums 06:48 PMAAM 2010 Slide 18 Willamarie Moore - MFA Boston
    • 19. 06:48 PM 06:48 PM AAM 2010 Slide 19Developing Electronic Educational Content for Museums 06:48 PMAAM 2010 Slide 19 Willamarie Moore - MFA Boston
    • 20. 06:48 PM 06:48 PM AAM 2010 Slide 20Developing Electronic Educational Content for Museums 06:48 PMAAM 2010 Slide 20 Willamarie Moore - MFA Boston
    • 21. 06:48 PM 06:48 PM AAM 2010 Slide 21Developing Electronic Educational Content for Museums 06:48 PMAAM 2010 Slide 21 Willamarie Moore - MFA Boston
    • 22. 06:48 PM 06:48 PM AAM 2010 Slide 22Developing Electronic Educational Content for Museums 06:48 PMAAM 2010 Slide 22 Willamarie Moore - MFA Boston
    • 23. 06:48 PM 06:48 PM AAM 2010 Slide 23Developing Electronic Educational Content for Museums 06:48 PMAAM 2010 Slide 23 Willamarie Moore - MFA Boston
    • 24. 06:48 PM 06:48 PM AAM 2010 Slide 24Developing Electronic Educational Content for Museums 06:48 PMAAM 2010 Slide 24 Willamarie Moore - MFA Boston
    • 25. 06:48 PM 06:48 PM AAM 2010 Slide 25Developing Electronic Educational Content for Museums 06:48 PMAAM 2010 Slide 25 What can technology do well? > Sharing process, product and revision while integrating community feedback. > Captures content (people, processes and events) with unscripted spontaneity. Marc Mayer - Art21
    • 26. 06:48 PM 06:48 PM AAM 2010 Slide 26Developing Electronic Educational Content for Museums 06:48 PMAAM 2010 Slide 26 Marc Mayer - Art21
    • 27. 06:48 PM 06:48 PM AAM 2010 Slide 27Developing Electronic Educational Content for Museums 06:48 PMAAM 2010 Slide 27 Marc Mayer - Art21
    • 28. 06:48 PM 06:48 PM AAM 2010 Slide 28Developing Electronic Educational Content for Museums 06:48 PMAAM 2010 Slide 28 Marc Mayer - Art21
    • 29. 06:48 PM 06:48 PM AAM 2010 Slide 29Developing Electronic Educational Content for Museums 06:48 PMAAM 2010 Slide 29 Marc Mayer - Art21
    • 30. 06:48 PM 06:48 PM AAM 2010 Slide 30Developing Electronic Educational Content for Museums QuickTime™ and a decompressor are needed to see this picture.
    • 31. 06:48 PM 06:48 PM AAM 2010 Slide 31Developing Electronic Educational Content for Museums
    • 32. 06:48 PM 06:48 PM AAM 2010 Slide 32Developing Electronic Educational Content for Museums What can museum-based educational technology do well? > Web Interactivity provides models that can be customized and dynamic. Susan Rotilie - Walker Art Center
    • 33. 06:48 PM 06:48 PM AAM 2010 Slide 33Developing Electronic Educational Content for Museums Susan Rotilie - Walker Art Center
    • 34. 06:48 PM 06:48 PM AAM 2010 Slide 34Developing Electronic Educational Content for Museums Susan Rotilie - Walker Art Center
    • 35. 06:48 PM 06:48 PM AAM 2010 Slide 35Developing Electronic Educational Content for Museums Susan Rotilie - Walker Art Center
    • 36. 06:48 PM 06:48 PM AAM 2010 Slide 36Developing Electronic Educational Content for Museums Susan Rotilie - Walker Art Center
    • 37. 06:48 PM 06:48 PM AAM 2010 Slide 37Developing Electronic Educational Content for Museums Susan Rotilie - Walker Art Center
    • 38. 06:48 PM 06:48 PMAAM 2010 Slide 38 Developing Electronic Educational Content for Museums What are some of the greatest challenges in working with educational technology?
    • 39. 06:48 PM 06:48 PM AAM 2010 Slide 39Developing Electronic Educational Content for Museums 06:48 PMAAM 2010 Slide 39 Greatest challenges > Engaging educators in iterative, technology-based work processes. > User expectations that content creators use state-of-the-art, intuitive methods and technologies. Willamarie Moore - MFA Boston
    • 40. 06:48 PM 06:48 PM AAM 2010 Slide 40Developing Electronic Educational Content for Museums 06:48 PMAAM 2010 Slide 40 Willamarie Moore - MFA Boston
    • 41. 06:48 PM 06:48 PM AAM 2010 Slide 41Developing Electronic Educational Content for Museums 06:48 PMAAM 2010 Slide 41 Willamarie Moore - MFA Boston
    • 42. 06:48 PM 06:48 PM AAM 2010 Slide 42Developing Electronic Educational Content for Museums 06:48 PMAAM 2010 Slide 42 Willamarie Moore - MFA Boston
    • 43. 06:48 PM 06:48 PM AAM 2010 Slide 43Developing Electronic Educational Content for Museums 06:48 PMAAM 2010 Slide 43 Greatest challenges > Hard to manage massive amounts of fragmented static content Marc Mayer - Art21
    • 44. 06:48 PM 06:48 PM AAM 2010 Slide 44Developing Electronic Educational Content for Museums 06:48 PMAAM 2010 Slide 44 Greatest challenges > Hard to manage massive amounts of fragmented static content > Sustainability of technological platforms, resources and hardware Marc Mayer - Art21
    • 45. 06:48 PM 06:48 PM AAM 2010 Slide 45Developing Electronic Educational Content for Museums Challenges A dynamic online environment needs to be attended to Susan Rotilie - Walker Art Center
    • 46. 06:48 PM 06:48 PM AAM 2010 Slide 46Developing Electronic Educational Content for Museums Challenges A dynamic online environment needs to be attended to > Communities of users need cultivating and tending Susan Rotilie - Walker Art Center
    • 47. 06:48 PM 06:48 PM AAM 2010 Slide 47Developing Electronic Educational Content for Museums Challenges A dynamic online environment needs to be attended to > Communities of users need cultivating and tending > No content is ever “set in stone” Susan Rotilie - Walker Art Center
    • 48. 06:48 PM 06:48 PM AAM 2010 Slide 48Developing Electronic Educational Content for Museums Challenges A dynamic online environment needs to be attended to > Communities of users need cultivating and tending > No content is ever “set in stone” > Technology is ever changing Susan Rotilie - Walker Art Center
    • 49. 06:48 PM 06:48 PM AAM 2010 Slide 49Developing Electronic Educational Content for Museums Challenges A dynamic online environment needs to be attended to > Communities of users need cultivating and tending > No content is ever “set in stone” > Technology is ever changing > Conclusion: Dynamic technology projects need to become part of the work flow for staff going forward Susan Rotilie - Walker Art Center
    • 50. 06:48 PM 06:48 PMAAM 2010 Slide 50 Developing Electronic Educational Content for Museums Recommendations for developing electronic educational content for museums.
    • 51. 06:48 PM 06:48 PM AAM 2010 Slide 51Developing Electronic Educational Content for Museums 06:48 PMAAM 2010 Slide 51 Recommendations > Involve multiple stakeholders in the beginning – Collaboration and buy-in from target audience Willamarie Moore - MFA Boston
    • 52. 06:48 PM 06:48 PM AAM 2010 Slide 52Developing Electronic Educational Content for Museums 06:48 PMAAM 2010 Slide 52 Recommendations > Involve multiple stakeholders in the beginning – Collaboration and buy-in from target audience > Provide context for how material is designed to be used (learning, audience, timeliness) Willamarie Moore - MFA Boston
    • 53. 06:48 PM 06:48 PM AAM 2010 Slide 53Developing Electronic Educational Content for Museums 06:48 PMAAM 2010 Slide 53 Willamarie Moore - MFA Boston
    • 54. 06:48 PM 06:48 PM AAM 2010 Slide 54Developing Electronic Educational Content for Museums 06:48 PMAAM 2010 Slide 54 Recommendations > Develop trust and respect users as producers - foster and invest in crowd- sourcing. Marc Mayer - Art21
    • 55. 06:48 PM 06:48 PM AAM 2010 Slide 55Developing Electronic Educational Content for Museums 06:48 PMAAM 2010 Slide 55 Recommendations > Develop trust and respect users as producers - foster and invest in crowd- sourcing. > Cultivate community of learners. Marc Mayer - Art21
    • 56. 06:48 PM 06:48 PM AAM 2010 Slide 56Developing Electronic Educational Content for Museums 06:48 PMAAM 2010 Slide 56 Recommendations > Develop trust and respect users as producers - foster and invest in crowd- sourcing. > Cultivate community of learners. > Strengthen bonds and relationships that are made in person. Marc Mayer - Art21
    • 57. 06:48 PM 06:48 PM AAM 2010 Slide 57Developing Electronic Educational Content for Museums Recommendations > If you decide to develop an interactive web site with user-created content, consider developing a “soft criteria” (guidelines and models) for user submitted content. Susan Rotilie - Walker Art Center
    • 58. 06:48 PM 06:48 PM AAM 2010 Slide 58Developing Electronic Educational Content for Museums When you submit a Set you are sharing it with everyone who uses ArtsConnectEd. Please consider the following before you choose to submit a Set: * Write a Description for your set that includes the main idea your set illustrates and how you would use the resource in the classroom * Use Spell Check and write clearly throughout * If you quote someone else’s words, name the source * For each slide, consider what you will include in the Annotation box. You may use museum label information to identify images, include existing texts or links, write your own questions/comments, or leave it blank to just show the image. Susan Rotilie - Walker Art Center
    • 59. 06:48 PM 06:48 PM AAM 2010 Slide 59Developing Electronic Educational Content for Museums What roles can museums play in supporting the development of educational content?
    • 60. 06:48 PM 06:48 PM AAM 2010 Slide 60Developing Electronic Educational Content for Museums What roles can museums play in supporting the development of educational content? > Adopt a broader definition of what our content is, including the embracing of a more informal voice
    • 61. 06:48 PM 06:48 PM AAM 2010 Slide 61Developing Electronic Educational Content for Museums What roles can museums play in supporting the development of educational content? > Adopt a broader definition of what our content is, including the embracing of a more informal voice > Recognize and value their role as a public content provider
    • 62. 06:48 PM 06:48 PM AAM 2010 Slide 62Developing Electronic Educational Content for Museums What roles can museums play in supporting the development of educational content? > Adopt a broader definition of what our content is, including the embracing of a more informal voice > Recognize and value their role as a public content provider > Provide a system for rapidly responding to opportunities to capture media (documentation)
    • 63. 06:48 PM 06:48 PM AAM 2010 Slide 63Developing Electronic Educational Content for Museums What roles can museums play in supporting the development of educational content? > Adopt a broader definition of what our content is, including the embracing of a more informal voice > Recognize and value their role as a public content provider > Provide a system for rapidly responding to opportunities to capture media (documentation) > Develop standards for the craft of capturing content - interview processes, content and production standards
    • 64. 06:48 PM 06:48 PM AAM 2010 Slide 64Developing Electronic Educational Content for Museums What roles can museums play in supporting the development of educational content? > Develop systems and processes for facilitating production, work flow, integration and access
    • 65. 06:48 PM 06:48 PM AAM 2010 Slide 65Developing Electronic Educational Content for Museums What roles can museums play in supporting the development of educational content? > Develop systems and processes for facilitating production, work flow, integration and access > Develop technical knowledge within in-house staff to guide development, even if it is performed by external contractors
    • 66. 06:48 PM 06:48 PM AAM 2010 Slide 66Developing Electronic Educational Content for Museums What roles can museums play in supporting the development of educational content? > Develop systems and processes for facilitating production, work flow, integration and access > Develop technical knowledge within in-house staff to guide development, even if it is performed by external contractors > Value the importance of collecting and archiving electronic media and documentation as much as accessioned items
    • 67. 06:48 PM 06:48 PM AAM 2010 Slide 67Developing Electronic Educational Content for Museums What roles can museums play in supporting the development of educational content? > Develop systems and processes for facilitating production, work flow, integration and access > Develop technical knowledge within in-house staff to guide development, even if it is performed by external contractors > Value the importance of collecting and archiving electronic media and documentation as much as accessioned items > Build knowledge of best practices and uses of educational technology through staff, director, and Board training
    • 68. 06:48 PM 06:48 PMAAM 2010 Slide 68 Developing Electronic Educational Content for Museums Questions, Questions, Questions Twitter #aam2010

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