What are the pros and cons
     of an educator leading a project team
       to develop an interactive exhibit?




Auréli...
The National Postal Museum?
                   Smithsonian Institution
                      Washington, DC
            Pr...
NPM Organizational Chart
Director’s suite


 Curatorial &                                  Collection &     External
                      Educatio...
Director’s suite


 Curatorial &                                  Collection &    External
                      Education...
Cross departmental collaboration
• Museum-wide project teams for major
  projects
  – Exhibit creation
  – Technology base...
Postal Museum organizational
        strengths and challenges
• IT handled outside of museum
  – Challenge: Projects don’t...
Educator and project manager
•   Educator
•   User-centric approach
•   Generation Y
•   Technology enthusiast
    but no ...
My role as an educator
    Assist with public interpretation
•

      • School tours
      • Highlight tours
• Public Prog...
My experience as an educator
    and project manager
The Ford Education Center’s goals
             • Five interactive touch
               screens

             • Fun and eng...
Project management by an educator

             • Target audience: families
             • Based on observed visitor
     ...
Project management by an educator
Evaluate       Design




  Test           Build



                  • Spiral project p...
All Aboard to Sort the Mail!
All Aboard to Sort the Mail!
What are the pros and cons
          of an educator leading a project team
            to develop an interactive exhibit?
...
New Media, Technology, and Museums: Who’s in Charge? - Aurelie Henry
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New Media, Technology, and Museums: Who’s in Charge? - Aurelie Henry

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Many museums struggle with where to put Web and New Media on the organizational chart and the decision can have far-reaching consequences for visitors and staff alike. Are they part of Information Technology? Education? The Director’s suite? Or all of the above? This session uses case studies and insight from small, medium, and large museums to help attendees identify the best organizational home for Web and New Media activities in their museums.

Aurelie Henry is the Education Technology Projects Coordinator for the National Postal Museum’s Education Department. Her background in history and cultural tourism is completed by an extensive training in website and interactive development within the realm of museums and practical interpretive and exhibit development experience. She is the project manager in charge of the enhancement of interactive kiosks located on the museum floor. She also brings her education background and expert knowledge of museum visitors’ use and needs for New Media and Technology to exhibits’ website creation and website’s redesign.

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New Media, Technology, and Museums: Who’s in Charge? - Aurelie Henry

  1. 1. What are the pros and cons of an educator leading a project team to develop an interactive exhibit? Aurélie Henry Education Technology Projects Coordinator National Postal Museum
  2. 2. The National Postal Museum? Smithsonian Institution Washington, DC Presents the history of the nation’s mail service and the largest collection of stamps in the world About 40 full-time staff Visitation in 2008: On-site: 300,000 Online: 2, 500, 000 (2 websites)
  3. 3. NPM Organizational Chart
  4. 4. Director’s suite Curatorial & Collection & External Education Exhibits research Preservation Affairs Main website Arago postalmuseum.si.edu Arago.si.edu
  5. 5. Director’s suite Curatorial & Collection & External Education Exhibits Research Preservation Affairs Main Internet Affairs Arago website March 2009 Arago.si.edu postalmuseum.si.edu
  6. 6. Cross departmental collaboration • Museum-wide project teams for major projects – Exhibit creation – Technology based projects • Museum wide committees – Exhibit committee – Web strategy meetings
  7. 7. Postal Museum organizational strengths and challenges • IT handled outside of museum – Challenge: Projects don’t get direct input and support • Museum-wide project teams: – Strength: Collaboration – Challenge: How can our processes mature? • Top down structure: – Strength: Strong project support from the director – Challenge: Need a long term strategy
  8. 8. Educator and project manager • Educator • User-centric approach • Generation Y • Technology enthusiast but no technical skills
  9. 9. My role as an educator Assist with public interpretation • • School tours • Highlight tours • Public Program development • Education’s representative on exhibit teams • Website product development / Web material review
  10. 10. My experience as an educator and project manager
  11. 11. The Ford Education Center’s goals • Five interactive touch screens • Fun and engaging • Merging museum’s themes • Link on-site & on-line experiences
  12. 12. Project management by an educator • Target audience: families • Based on observed visitor needs • Focus on usability and ergonomic design • Spiral project planning
  13. 13. Project management by an educator Evaluate Design Test Build • Spiral project planning
  14. 14. All Aboard to Sort the Mail!
  15. 15. All Aboard to Sort the Mail!
  16. 16. What are the pros and cons of an educator leading a project team to develop an interactive exhibit? • Pros: – Focus on users and their learning – Emphasize evaluation • Cons: – No in-depth understanding of IT • Recommendations: – Gather a reliable team of experts – Make the project management the priority

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