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Makoto Manabe Choosing Platforms


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Keynote presentation of mobile interpretation projects at the National Museum of Nature and Science, Tokyo, Japan by Makoto Manabe at Tate's Conference 'From Audio Tours to iPhones', 5 September 2008, London.

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Makoto Manabe Choosing Platforms

  1. 1. National Museum of Nature and Science, Tokyo, Japan A 131 years old Natural History Museum…
  2. 2. We currently rent an audio guide tour on a PDA with infraRed sensor. You listen to conversation between curators and radio show host. We plan to renew our audio guide system in a few years. We have been experimenting with Cell phones, iPods, PlayStations and Nintendos to find out which is the right one for us.
  3. 3. Learning about whale stranding with PlayStation Portable PSP has a relatively large screen suitable for group activities.
  4. 4. PlayStations & Nintendos <ul><li>Pros: </li></ul><ul><li>Game machines have easy to use design. </li></ul><ul><li>People like the idea of using a game machine for education. </li></ul><ul><li>Cons: </li></ul><ul><li>Once the answer is found, one tends to stop looking at the exhibits. Are we just creating answer-seeking activities (not really learning)? </li></ul>
  5. 5. We produced an English audio guide tour on iPod for a temporary dinosaur exhibition where all the panels are in Japanese. For a survey, we invited about 70 Japanese high school students to use it. Nearly all were interested in the activity as an English learning opportunity. Fossil Nearly fossil?
  6. 6. English as the second language can be a good marketing opportunity even in UK and US. Next time you are producing an audio guide for native speakers of English, have a teaching English expert read through the text and rate it. Girls tend to flock together. Boys are solitary.
  7. 7. Use of the cell phones beyond making calls and sending text: Information retrieval through 2D bar-code has become common practice.
  8. 9. Cell phones <ul><li>Pros: </li></ul><ul><li>Most of us carry them. </li></ul><ul><li>It can be an instant feedback tool through text messages and/or online questionnaires. </li></ul><ul><li>It is suitable device connecting two venues like the zoo and the museum. </li></ul><ul><li>Cons: </li></ul><ul><li>People worry about the costs and battery life , the most. </li></ul><ul><li>Difficult to produce a program that works on every model (in Japan). </li></ul>
  9. 10. We have been trying to make comparison among various digital devices based upon a method developed by Sekiguchi and Yoshimura published on Journal of Museum Education vol. 32, no.1, 2007. They aimed to find out important factors for users , not the service providers, through statistical analyses based on more than 200 comments given from the general public. YOSHIMURA, Hirokazu SEKIGUCHI, Hiromi
  10. 11. There is not just the right one. Choosing a device is choosing the target and the purpose . Build the contents suitable for multiple platforms, but do not use the same content on different types of devices.