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Beyond the Selfie: Connecting Teens and Art through Social Media (NAEA 2014)


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Tweeting, Tumbling, snapping photos--how can we turn typical teen behaviors into meaningful learning experiences? Share ideas with educators from the National Gallery of Art (Dana Allen-Greil) and the North Carolina Museum of Art (Michelle Harrell).

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Beyond the Selfie: Connecting Teens and Art through Social Media (NAEA 2014)

  1. 1. Beyond the #selfie Connecting teens and art through social media Dana Allen-Greil National Gallery of Art @danamuses Michelle Harrell North Carolina Museum of Art @harrell_art
  2. 2. Please tweet us during the session ■  Use the conference hashtag: #NAEA14 ■  And the session hashtag: #socialteens How can we better engage teens with art using social media?
  3. 3. How can we leverage this behavior for deeper interaction with the museum? Solution: Invite participation and help guide interactions with art
  4. 4. Each year thousands of teens visit the National Gallery of Art ▪  Not pre-registered ▪  Not on a school tour ▪  Set loose on their own Image: OZinOH
  5. 5. An opportunity to acknowledge and welcome social behaviors ▪  Taking photos ▪  Checking in ▪  Tweeting ▪  Talking with friends
  6. 6. Approach: Start with something we already know how to do well Printed self-guides to the permanent collection  Image: Carlos Oliviera Reis
  7. 7. 3 WAYS TO ENGAGE
  9. 9. Teens (13-18) Who are visiting the Gallery, particularly those visiting in un- guided groups 1
  10. 10. Young adults (18+) Who are visiting the Gallery and are interested in engaging via social media 2
  11. 11. Image: Carlos Oliviera Reis
  12. 12. Teachers, parents, chaperones of the primary audience (teens) 3
  14. 14. are mobile and social. is designed to be easy to use with a smartphone and common social media apps. is also appropriate for those who want to just have a conversation with their group, rather than use technology. Teens… Our guide…
  15. 15. share photos on Instagram (one of the most popular activities for teens using mobile devices). (80% of teens who use social networks post photos/ videos.) makes it clear that this activity is welcomed and encouraged behavior. Teens… Our guide…
  16. 16. visiting in un-guided groups sometimes need encouragement and some structure to help them focus on works of art. provides multiple hooks for looking at, thinking about and responding to art. Teens… Our guide…
  17. 17. are interested in viewing the Gallery’s “must-see” works of art. highlights a small selection of key works in the permanent collection. Visitors… Our guide…
  18. 18. Lowering barriers We selected works of art that are more accessible to the target audience: they feature young people, tell a story, are figurative, and/or are by famous artists.
  19. 19. Asking instead of telling The guide probes readers to consider their own opinions, interpretations, and reflections on the works of art We avoided art historical language in favor of an informal tone encouraging personal reflection
  20. 20. Encouraging discussion with friends By prompting teens to share their thoughts and photos with friends on social networks, the guide encourages teens to consider how works of art are relevant to their lives.
  22. 22. Visitors are actively engaged with works of art ▪  Careful looking ▪  Making connections between art and life ▪  Reflecting on the creative spirit ▪  Having fun
  23. 23. Teens feel more comfortable looking at and expressing their thoughts about art
  24. 24. Teens are inspired to return to the Gallery or visit another art museum
  25. 25. Teens develop long- term relationships with the Gallery ▪  Follow on Twitter ▪  Subscribe for newsletter ▪  Attend a program
  26. 26. EVALUATION
  27. 27. Evaluation Formative Prototype testing and interviews with a group of teens on a school visit during content development Context Talked with information desk volunteers about when/who/why they distribute the guide Survey Only 6 responses since July 2013 (~19,000 print guides distributed since April 2013). All over 30, none chaperones. Observations & Interviews (in progress) Discuss the format, content, distribution, and other ideas for improving the experience.
  28. 28. What about responses like this?
  29. 29. Results [~19,000 printed guides distributed since April 2013] Total = 260 1.4% response rate ●  Instagram: 229 ●  Tweets*: 31 ○  19 ○  10 text only ○  1 Vine (video) ○  1 yfrog photo*not including tweets with links to Instagram Responses Platforms
  30. 30. Distribution 1.  Information desks ■  Must be handed out by volunteers 2.  Website ■  PDF download ■  Buried under Visit > Tours & Guides > Self-Guides 3.  Email newsletters ■  Targeted to teens, educators
  31. 31. Hunches & Ideas ■  Not clear that this is a guide primarily for teens ■  Prompts need to be more compelling (and simpler in some cases) ■  Gallery needs to be actively responding and promoting on Instagram and Twitter ■  Prompts that are integrated into the experience (e.g., on the wall labels or on the app) would get more traction ■  Need to improve distribution and awareness ■  Optimize for discovery and use on a mobile device
  32. 32. YOUR IDEAS?
  33. 33. TheDentist,JanMienseMolenaer Dutch,1610/11-1668
  34. 34. WHO? Teens across the state who participate as a class project, in our online course, or independently. Station (577-2), Gerhard Richter German, born 1932
  35. 35. WHY? Part of a larger state-wide mandate to provide MULTIPLE ENTRY POINTS for teens to engage in art regardless of geographic location. Mercury Lulling Argus to Sleep, Ubaldo Gandolfi, Italian, 1728-1781
  36. 36. Learning Outcomes Emotional Connections. Students develop emotional connections to art, create art inspired by the artists/works of art, and are encouraged to connect with art in the future. Self-directed Learning. Students become self-directed learners, going beyond basic mastery of skills and/or curriculum to explore their own learning opportunities and develop a personal response to a work of art.
  37. 37. Cost Popularity Transparency Blogs Why turn to Tumblr?
  38. 38. Surprises 1. Curating other student entries into personal blogs. 2. Interest in sharing their own work with everyone on the blog and in digital image slam.
  39. 39. Challenges 1. Encouraging original work and avoiding derivative copies. ●  Choice-based approach ●  Independent work 2. Current approach focuses on the finished work- considering a proposal statement and preliminary statements for next year. 3. Tumblr blocked in some schools requiring an e-mail option which makes it more complicated.
  40. 40. YOUR IDEAS?
  41. 41. THANKS! Dana Allen-Greil e. t. @danamuses b. Michelle Harrell e. t. @harrell_art Photo Credits: