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Inclusive Learning through Technology in Art Museums and Classrooms


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Presented at the 2014 National Art Educators' Association.

Abstract: This session explores current practices and future possibilities in technology applications that include museum visitors and students with disabilities in art education. We present case studies that harness existing and emerging technologies and demonstrate the potential for equal and timely learning opportunities for all learners. These examples provide solutions to accessibility challenges, and inherently offer wider applications to better engage all users. Case studies include a collaboration between The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Parsons The New School for Design and Technology. This partnership invites graduate students to create tools for engagement in the museum for visitors with disabilities. Other case studies include innovations that facilitate crowd sourcing and other methods of multimedia accessibility such as video and image description for people who are blind or partially sighted. Participants will learn about key factors to consider when implementing technologies to enhance accessibility and usability.

Published in: Technology
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Inclusive Learning through Technology in Art Museums and Classrooms

  1. 1. Inclusive Learning through Technology in Art Museums and Classrooms #NAEA14 Rebecca McGinnis, Museum Educator, Access and Community Programs, The Metropolitan Museum of Art @RebeccaMcGNYC Yue-Ting Siu, Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments (TVI), UC Berkeley & San Francisco State University @TVI_ting Steven Landau, President, Touch Graphics, Inc. @TouchGraphicsUS
  2. 2. Multimedia #a11y ●  Accessibility Usability! ●  Usability = User Experience Focus on the learner ●  Universal learning environments ●  Multimodalities GOAL: Inclusive spaces for independent and equal participation @TVI_ting
  3. 3. Tools Visual access: Magnification, Contrast, Font, Desktop Tactile representation: Tactile graphics, 3D printing ●  Braille Authority of North America (BANA) - Guidelines & Standards for Tactile Graphics ●  3D printing for Accessible Materials in Schools Image and video description (alt text): ●  Image description guidelines educational_media/stemdx/guidelines ●  Video description guidelines @TVI_ting
  4. 4.
  5. 5. The Met + Parsons Museums, Accessibility, Technology Collab Workshop @RebeccaMcGNYC
  6. 6. The Met + Parsons Museum Accessibility Collab Workshop ● Collaboration ● Model for design education - awareness-raising, UD ●  Share process and prototypes ●  Some results and next steps @RebeccaMcGNYC
  7. 7. The Met + Parsons Museum Accessibility Collab: Advisors @RebeccaMcGNYC
  8. 8. The Met + Parsons Museum Accessibility Collab: Technology Experts @RebeccaMcGNYC
  9. 9. Eye Tracking Project @RebeccaMcGNYC
  10. 10. Website Group @RebeccaMcGNYC
  11. 11. Wayfinding App @RebeccaMcGNYC
  12. 12. Raised Painting @RebeccaMcGNYC
  13. 13. Met + Parsons Expo @RebeccaMcGNYC
  14. 14. @RebeccaMcGNYC
  15. 15. Final thoughts... ● None of the students had heard of Universal Design before the class ● This collaboration between Education and Digital Media departments has raised awareness and interest in accessibility issues in Digital Media ● 3 former students now intern in MediaLab ● Stronger connections with advisors and experts, ongoing relationship between students and museum - community @RebeccaMcGNYC
  16. 16. Case study San Diego Museum of Art’s Audio-tactile exhibit panel based on Sanchez Cotan’s masterpiece, “Quince, Cabbage, Melon and Cucumber”, painted in Toledo, Spain in 1602. @TouchGraphicsUS
  17. 17. SDMA has: - Committed to improving access to their collections for visitors with disabilities. - Commissioned TouchGraphics to produce a number of tactile projects to help vision impaired visitors. Main entrance, San Diego Museum of Art @TouchGraphicsUS
  18. 18. The exhibit panel includes a bas relief version of the original painting. This was created using hand-sculpted forms for each fruit (left image). The forms were pressed into printed vinyl sheet to create the tactile surface (right image). @TouchGraphicsUS
  19. 19. The resulting touchable surface combines visual clarity with tactile shapes and textures. Visitors can use vision, touch and listening or any combination of these, as they explore the image. @TouchGraphicsUS
  20. 20. Spoken descriptions of the overall work of art and of each element of the picture were written by curators at the museum. All content was loaded into an online spreadsheet for easy collaboration, and voice recordings were produced and saved as digital sound files. @TouchGraphicsUS
  21. 21. The exhibit is intended for use by all visitors to the museum. While audio-tactile interactivity makes the exhibit accessible to blind or low vision visitors, it is also fun for children who love to touch and interact. This is the main goal of universal design, and it is the key to convincing organizations to add access features. @TouchGraphicsUS
  22. 22. For more information, please contact us! Rebecca McGinnis…… Yue-Ting (Ting) Siu… Steven Landau……