1CALRG 201312 June 2013Of serendipity, improvisation and mobile technologiesin museumsKoula Charitonosk.charitonos@open.ac...
2
3Lindsay, G. Engineering Serendipity. New York Times Published April 5, 2013Available: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/07/o...
4Silverman, R. E., Office Trends from SXSW: Serendipity is the new Synergy. Wall Street Journal. Published March 13, 2013A...
5• fortunate accidental discovery• a ‘happy accident’• pleasant surprise• the importance of unexpected connectionsSerendip...
9Study:’Fight and Protest for your rights’• Museum of London• Year 9 History class (n=29)• KS3 Scheme of Work ‘Equality an...
7Research QuestionHow does the use of social and mobile technologies by youngpeople before, during and after a school visi...
8Design: Trajectory of class activitiesACTIVITYSETTINGCLASSROOM/ICT SUITEMUSEUME-LEARNINGSTUDIO/MUSEUMBUSCLASSROOM/ICT SUI...
9Visit: Museum of London• Visit Logistics–8 groups in threes/fours–worksheet–recorder with a microphone–iPhones (3G/3GS)–T...
12Data collectedPre - visit Visit Post - visitpre-test questionnaireentry meaning maponline posts on Twitterobservation (n...
11Analysis of video data• Focus is to document and track the meanings madeacross events and the role of technologies in me...
12• a camera/bluetooth following the group• one iPhone• Visit’s agenda: 1. People’s City Gallery 2. Expanding CityGallery ...
13Episode 1: Unpredictability• Exhibit: two glass floor displays– They didn’t put it on the floor for nothing, would they?...
14Episode 2:Significant Event: ‘Heather’s found new love’Significant Event: ‘Heather’s found new love’
15Episode 2: Significant EventSignificant Event: Second tweet Segment 2H. Take a picture of me, I’m inlove with him!A. OK(...
16AdeleHeather’s
17Episode 3Significant Event: “Heather should know, I don’t know’Significant Event: “Heather should know, I don’t know’
18Episode 3:Significant Event: ‘Heather should know, I don’t know’Significant Event: ‘Heather should know, I don’t know’Si...
19Episode 4Significant Event: ‘Mayor’s CarriageSignificant Event: ‘Mayor’s Carriage
20
21
22• Q. “Looking back at the tweets, do you see any value havingthem?• “Yeah, you see a lot of people what they thought abo...
23Interview Data“I remember we split into groups of three and we were going aroundand we were looking at different artefac...
24• Q. ‘Has the use of technologies made you feel any differently orstrongly about looking at objects?’• “Yes, it’s made m...
25Interview Data• Do you think you behaved differently during this visit than younormally behave in school visits?• “I thi...
26Findings• No stops to objects related to women’s movement or black civilrights (apart from one) = interrupted trajectory...
27• Perceived aim of visit: finding objects that are interesting andappealing to other students - attentive in observing a...
28Thoughts• Established practices associated to use of new media haveshaped this visit and transformed expectations• Stude...
29Thank you!Thank you!Thank you!koula.charitonos@open.ac.uk@ch_koula
30PhD Comics. Available at: http://www.phdcomics.com/comics/archive_list.php
31Why ?• most popular micro-blogging service• research has shown that it can be used as an educationaltool (Elavsky et al....
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Of serendipity, improvisation and mobile technologies in museums

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This presentation will contribute to the discussion about the role of social and mobile technologies in museum learning. It draws on a research project, which explores the use of social and mobile technologies in school trips to museums. It is concerned with meanings made during a history class’ (29 students, 13-14 years old) visit to the Museum of London and how these are communicated both face-to-face and online. The focus of the presentation is on data collected from a group of students; content generated online (i.e. photos and comments posted on Twitter), video data and interview data are presented with an aim to provide descriptions and interpretations of things experienced during the visit.

It was found that, no matter how well structured a visit design is, a visit entails ‘unpredictability’. We will argue that this effect was ‘enhanced’ in this particular visit partly due to the nature of the visit (i.e. self-regulated and use of technologies) and partly due to online posts on Twitter, with implications on how participants’ meaning-making trajectories were developed. Analysis highlights the value of recognising and valuing the “situated and improvisatory nature” (Kerawalla et al. 2012, p. 10) of a museum visit and therefore, an argument put forward is that there is a scope to celebrate ‘serendipity’ when designing and organising school visits to a museum.

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  • So, to kick off, some people here are aware that my PhD research concerns use of social and mobile technologies as means to enhance learning in museums. Specifically the aim of my PhD research is to gain an understanding on how best to support aspects of the visiting experience such as meaning making via social media tools among school groups?
  • The main RQ for my study are:
  • no signs of them being engaged in discussions other than related to objects and their visit; they had been to all three galleries and selected to focus on a few objects in each gallery; they contributed to the online discourse; and did not seem to be wasting time
  • This tension might have been the result of students misinterpreting their task due to some established practices they employ in social network sites, as well as to the value and perceived potential use of the various tools that were given to them. It might have also been the result of the researcher/teacher not framing or communicating well the objectives of the visit and students not understanding the process and various sub-goals.
  • Twitter was selected as the social networking tool to be used to complement the interactions among the participants during the visit. For the people who are not familiar with Twitter, Twitter is primarily a microblogging platform, where every user can publish short messages up to 140 characters, so-called ‘tweets’. There are some leaflets that I will pass around - trying to recruit some more Twitterers here! There are quite a few reasons why I opted for Twitter: first, it has both synchronous and asynchronous characteristics. It would allow the researchers to collect participants’ reactions to what they experience at the MoL but also enable communication beyond the visit. There is a growing body of research on Twitter and discourse on its effectiveness as an educational tool. The advantages of microblogging, according to Ebner et al. (2010) consist mainly in the possibility of giving immediate feedback and in documenting processes (p. 94). It is quite simple to use. Also, in UK updates can be carried out using SMS, and this means that it could be used even without a network in the museum during the visit ( I was lucky enough that MoL had infrastructure, but not all the museums do). It has been embraced with enthusiasm among museums worldwide, and as I already said,
  • Of serendipity, improvisation and mobile technologies in museums

    1. 1. 1CALRG 201312 June 2013Of serendipity, improvisation and mobile technologiesin museumsKoula Charitonosk.charitonos@open.ac.uk
    2. 2. 2
    3. 3. 3Lindsay, G. Engineering Serendipity. New York Times Published April 5, 2013Available: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/07/opinion/sunday/engineering-serendipity.html?_r=0
    4. 4. 4Silverman, R. E., Office Trends from SXSW: Serendipity is the new Synergy. Wall Street Journal. Published March 13, 2013Available: http://blogs.wsj.com/atwork/2013/03/13/sxsw-austin-workplace-trends-serendipity-is-the-new-synergy/
    5. 5. 5• fortunate accidental discovery• a ‘happy accident’• pleasant surprise• the importance of unexpected connectionsSerendipity
    6. 6. 9Study:’Fight and Protest for your rights’• Museum of London• Year 9 History class (n=29)• KS3 Scheme of Work ‘Equality and Beliefs’ (‘Civil Rights’)• Pre- and Post-visit Classroom activities© Museum of London
    7. 7. 7Research QuestionHow does the use of social and mobile technologies by youngpeople before, during and after a school visit to a museumcontribute to a student’s learning trajectory and facilitate meaningmaking processes?
    8. 8. 8Design: Trajectory of class activitiesACTIVITYSETTINGCLASSROOM/ICT SUITEMUSEUME-LEARNINGSTUDIO/MUSEUMBUSCLASSROOM/ICT SUITEINTERVIEWROOMOBJECTCommunication within,between and beyondinstitutions (face-to-face and online)Communicationwithin theinstitution(face-to-face andonline)upload picturesstart presentationCreate ashort clip toreflect ontheexperienceCommunication withinthe institution (face-to-face and online)Reflect on theactivities and theoverall experienceTOOLS/RESOURCESpen/paperPCsonline platformsiPhonesMoL websitetextbooksimagesexhibitslabelsTwitter/tweetsiPhones/camerapen/pencilrecorderbookletmuseum mapiPhonesPCsimagesonline platforms(Twitter/Vuvox)flip cameraonline platforms(Twitter/Vuvox)images (from museum)tweetspaperpost-itsiPhonespen/paperrecorderTwitter-streampen/papermeaning mapsPEOPLE individual/in groupsin groups in groups individualindividual/in groupsindividualtime(diagram adopted by Steier & Pierroux, 2011)
    9. 9. 9Visit: Museum of London• Visit Logistics–8 groups in threes/fours–worksheet–recorder with a microphone–iPhones (3G/3GS)–Twitter/TweetDeck and specifichashtags• Learning Objectives:–Investigate an inquiry–Select and interpret objects–Communicate knowledge and understanding to an audience
    10. 10. 12Data collectedPre - visit Visit Post - visitpre-test questionnaireentry meaning maponline posts on Twitterobservation (notes,video)pictures/video byparticipantsgroup audio filesworksheetspost-test questionnaireexit meaning mapindividual videos (bus)online posts on Twitterclassroom observationvideo collages on Vuvoxonline posts on Twitterobservation (notes,pictures, video)interviews
    11. 11. 11Analysis of video data• Focus is to document and track the meanings madeacross events and the role of technologies in mediatingthis• Three levels of analysis:– Flow Charts– Significant Events– Dialogic Analysis• Ash, D. (2007): Using Video Data to capture Discontinuous Science Meaning Making inNonschool settings three levels analysis In. Goldman, R., Pea, R., Barron, B., and Derry,J. S. (eds) Video Research in the Learning Sciences LEA: Mahwah, NJ
    12. 12. 12• a camera/bluetooth following the group• one iPhone• Visit’s agenda: 1. People’s City Gallery 2. Expanding CityGallery - World City Gallery• Inquiry: ‘Which methods do people use to removeinequalities in society?’KevinAdeleHeather
    13. 13. 13Episode 1: Unpredictability• Exhibit: two glass floor displays– They didn’t put it on the floor for nothing, would they?– They would have had barriers around it, would they?– Does it feel it’s gonna break?– Who would cross it?– Initially small steps on it to check, then all crossed it twice.
    14. 14. 14Episode 2:Significant Event: ‘Heather’s found new love’Significant Event: ‘Heather’s found new love’
    15. 15. 15Episode 2: Significant EventSignificant Event: Second tweet Segment 2H. Take a picture of me, I’m inlove with him!A. OK(Heather poses. Adele takes apicture, Kevin observes)K. There you go!H.Tweet that!(Heather laughs)K. Oh, Heather’s found newlove!H. Yeah...K. (laughs)A: (laughs)
    16. 16. 16AdeleHeather’s
    17. 17. 17Episode 3Significant Event: “Heather should know, I don’t know’Significant Event: “Heather should know, I don’t know’
    18. 18. 18Episode 3:Significant Event: ‘Heather should know, I don’t know’Significant Event: ‘Heather should know, I don’t know’Significant Event: Photo AlbumK. This is like, like…Wait, what’s this?A. We are supposed to touch this?K. Yeah …..(both of them turn the pages of the album)Is this like the…Black…Civil rightsor something?(Heather & Rebecca join – all look at thedisplay in front of them)H. This is about Black people (…?)K. Like you…(Heather looks at him)I mean into our country.H. Black people like meeee, you know! Acouple from knowing you…(H. & R. look at the album, K. moves in theback)K. oh, ok, alright! So this is when…their rightsstarted coming in, like muslims?(A and K. head into the Changing London)K. Heather should know this. I, I don’t know…
    19. 19. 19Episode 4Significant Event: ‘Mayor’s CarriageSignificant Event: ‘Mayor’s Carriage
    20. 20. 20
    21. 21. 21
    22. 22. 22• Q. “Looking back at the tweets, do you see any value havingthem?• “Yeah, you see a lot of people what they thought aboutdifferent things and some bits are just comments onwhat other people have put, but a lot of (name of astudent) were very detailed as well, and it really, I thinkthat helped me to go and find the places [...] I think atone point the people were just saying, like, especiallywith the carriage, they didn’t really READ [emphasizes]the information that was on the [part of it, label?] theywere just putting “Oh, look there’s a carriage”.But I think,like, other people were like “Oh, no, no, no, actually ifyou read it it says this and then “Oh, then I’ll go and lookat that again [...]” 22Interview Data
    23. 23. 23Interview Data“I remember we split into groups of three and we were going aroundand we were looking at different artefacts in the museum...andputting on twitter about what we thought and where it would be forother people to (comment and come and look), what we thought itwould be interesting and emmm...what we thought other peoplewould be interested in”[Interview, Kevin asked to recall the visit ]
    24. 24. 24• Q. ‘Has the use of technologies made you feel any differently orstrongly about looking at objects?’• “Yes, it’s made me a look at something a lot differently. I think itmade me read more of the [labels] that go with it and more ofwhat was around [...] You see something else in the corner of youreye and it will make you go ‘Oh, I could see something good outthere and I could put it on twitter and then it will (out of sudden)make you read more around the museum...”Interview Data
    25. 25. 25Interview Data• Do you think you behaved differently during this visit than younormally behave in school visits?• “I think we did, because we were trying to think of things we couldput up on Twitter [...] we were trying to think of what we could puton and we couldn’t think of what we wanted to say [...]”
    26. 26. 26Findings• No stops to objects related to women’s movement or black civilrights (apart from one) = interrupted trajectory• BUT• positive experience• showed commitment in exploring the galleries• popular activity: Posing by exhibits and taking pictures• selections: personal interests; prior-knowledge; serendipitousbrowsing; the social environment; distributing content• Interpretation of their environment through the use of tools andresources, through their dialogue with others, through theircomments, gestures and by improvising• informal experience, open to what the museum had to offer =Floating Visit26
    27. 27. 27• Perceived aim of visit: finding objects that are interesting andappealing to other students - attentive in observing anddiscovering exciting objects and evaluating information -acknowledge of an audience• Use tweets and pictures to resource and communicate theirmeaning making in this trip - ‘Improvisatoryperformance?’(Kerawalla et al. 2012)• Kerawalla, L., et al., Doing Geography: A multimodal analysis of students situated improvisational interpretationduring fieldtrips, Learning, Culture and Social Interaction (2012), doi:10.1016/j.lcsi.2012.05.00127Findings
    28. 28. 28Thoughts• Established practices associated to use of new media haveshaped this visit and transformed expectations• Students used a range of resources and dialogue to resourcemeaning making.• Recognise the ‘unpredictable’ and value the “situated andimprovisatory nature” (Kerawalla et al. 2012) of a museum visit• Scope to celebrate ‘serendipity’ when designing and organisingschool visits to a museum.• Yet, this group’s serendipitous browsing resulted in interruptedtrajectory. How we shape serendipity for learning andcontinuous meaning making? 28
    29. 29. 29Thank you!Thank you!Thank you!koula.charitonos@open.ac.uk@ch_koula
    30. 30. 30PhD Comics. Available at: http://www.phdcomics.com/comics/archive_list.php
    31. 31. 31Why ?• most popular micro-blogging service• research has shown that it can be used as an educationaltool (Elavsky et al. 2011, Junco et al. 2010)• synchronous and asynchronous attributes• simple interface (web and iPhone application)• updates in users’ status in UK can be carried out usingSMS• not a ‘distractive’ technology (?)• popular among museums

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