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Growing Your Audience: Reaching Kids Online with Digital Museum Educational Resources


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Museums’ traditional education outreach philosophies center on direct contact with teachers: one teacher will impact many students. The success of this model, however, relies heavily on the teachers' discovery of your content and their ability to manipulate it into their district or state-controlled curricula. As technology lowers the barriers to direct outreach, the opportunity exists for museums to transform their formal educational resources into informal digital educational experiences for kids directly, in the school or at home.

Smithsonian in Your Classroom (SIYC), reaches more than 80,000 schools twice a year. The session presents a case study illustrating a kid-centric reinvention of the SIYC publication. The process of creating both print and interactive game/simulation will be discussed. Participants will see that the challenge is not one of digitization of the existing lesson plans, but the transformation of the educational content from a teacher-led classroom group activity to a more personalized self-directed online.

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Growing Your Audience: Reaching Kids Online with Digital Museum Educational Resources

  1. 1. Growing Your Audience: Reaching Kids Online with Museum Educational Resources Darren Milligan Smithsonian Center for Education and Museum Studies MCN2010 October 29, 2010
  2. 2. Knowledge Begins in Wonder
  3. 3. Part 1 – Smithsonian in Your Classroom Magazine
  4. 4. “WHAT IS THE INTERNET? Today's Internet, in a physical sense, is a collection of sixty thousand linked computer networks that connect more than thirty million people. This system provides a platform for people worldwide to share information. When you connect to the Internet, you become part of a diverse electronic community rich in educational resources.”
  5. 5. Part 2 – Smithsonian IdeaLab
  6. 6. Let’s Check It Out!
  7. 7. Part 3 – Opportunities, Challenges, Mistakes (your choice)
  8. 8. Image by Flickr user eurleif, used under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic License
  9. 9. Image by Flickr user Extra Ketchup, used under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic License
  10. 10. Knowledge Begins in Wonder
  11. 11. Portrait of Samuel Pierpont Langley Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 95, Box 15, Folder 8, 2002-12174.jpg
  12. 12. Children's Room in the South Tower of the Smithsonian Institution. Smithsonian Institution Archives Record Unit 95 Box 41 Folder 8
  13. 13. “We have ambitious plans to use new technologies to reach new audiences. … We have much to offer students and teachers in art, science, history, education, and culture. We want to give learners of all ages access to America’s treasures and our creative experts who bring them to life” –G. Wayne Clough
  14. 14. Photograph by Eric Long, Smithsonian Institution
  15. 15. Richard Nixon Library, Nixon White House Photographs, compiled 01/20/1969 - 08/09/1974. National Archives and Records Administration, Local Identifier NLRN-WHPO-C5385- 12A The Creation of Sesame Street: “There are pivotal moments in history when technology, national challenges and educational opportunities come together and something amazing happens.” -Claudine Brown, Director of Education, Smithsonian Institution
  16. 16. Thank you. Darren Milligan @darrenmilligan @smithsonianedu