Using video and social networks to improve the access of daycare centers to museums: one case study


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This is a short paper that was presented together with a poster in the European Conference of Interactive TV and Video EuroTV2010.

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Using video and social networks to improve the access of daycare centers to museums: one case study

  1. 1. Using video and social networks to improve the access of daycare centers to museums: one case study Diana de Sousa Mariana Salgado Media Lab, Aalto University School Media Lab, Aalto University School of Art and Design of Art and Design Hämeentie 135C Hämeentie 135C 00560 Helsinki Finland 00560 Helsinki Finland +358 45 275 2677 +358 40 585 7727 mariana.salgado@gmail.comABSTRACT entities: Design Museum, Media Lab Helsinki, Zipipop and ConnectedDay. At present the project is in the prototype stage. AIn this paper we address how social media tools can improve the team of museum docents have been creating content for the webaccess of daycares to museums. Our proposal is based on ongoing service and a team of developers have been building the study started at the Design Museum Helsinki in 2007. This A round of tests at daycares is scheduled for March study is Oswald and the Objects. It aims at making themuseum collection accessible to daycares that are located far The service targets daycare educators and children from 3 tofrom the museum. We describe the case study and reflect on the 6 years old. It provides guidelines for the educators on how topossibilities of social media tools that can be used by a young organize activities at daycares related to the museum’s collection.audience to make the museum more accessible and engaging. It also offers some of the necessary educational resources,Using and designing the implementation of social media tools like videos and printable presentations to conduct autonomoushas made us aware of the need to plan particularly carefully due activities related to the museum collection. Our aim is to improveto sensitive privacy concerns and technical reliability issues. We the engagement of daycare educators and children with theseexplain our reasoning behind the selection of services for sharing activities by using social media tools to share materials (photosphotos, documents and videos. We try to show how the specific and videos of the children’s works) among the daycares and theneeds of the project have guided our choice of one service over museum. In particular, we discuss video sharing as an opportunityanother. In parallel to this discussion we try to analyze the to start a museum Web TV directed at daycares.possibilities of using video for the creation of interactive Web In this paper, we analyze the case study Oswald and the ObjectsTV in the context of museums. to explore answers to our research questions: how to design and implement social media tools in the context of museums? HowCategories and Subject Descriptors can shared video content be reinterpreted as a museum Web TV channel?J.5 [Arts and Humanities]: Fine Arts 2. THE SERVICE IN BRIEFGeneral Terms Back in 2007 the workshops were led by the members of theDesign, Experimentation. museum’s education team and included a live puppet show performance using the puppet Oswald, who introduced the children to a different design object in each workshop. A dialogueKeywords engaged the puppet and the children.Design education, informal learning, video, digital media, social With the online version of Oswald and the Objects [3] we trymedia, social networks, user-generated content, internet, daycare, to offer children an experience similar to the one they wouldmuseum, accessibility. have if the puppet Oswald and the museum docents could visit them in person. Our purpose was not to simply translate the1. INTRODUCTION Oswald and the Objects workshops to an online environment, rather enhance it with the possibilities of the online media andDesign Museum Helsinki [1] currently offers activities for tools. This “blended” approach aims towards blurring the on-children but they happen mostly at the museum’s premises. This site activities with the online interaction by using social mediais a major restriction for daycares located far from the museum, tools for sharing materials (photos, videos, audio and texts). Insince it’s difficult to take small children on long distance this informal learning environment children are learning bothjourneys. As an attempt to address this problem five workshops from the resources offered by the museum and from their peers,were organized at a daycare in Helsinki in 2007. They were the with the materials shared by other daycares. The process ofOswald and the Objects workshops (Oswald is the name of a contributing materials, together with commenting and repliespuppet), part of the project The Secret Life of Objects [2]. from all parties, should create an open dialogue between theOur current project, also named Oswald and the Objects (in daycares and the museum.Finnish: Esa ja Esineet) consists of developing an online service Before starting the activities, the children watch a video of theand a web platform for improving the access of Finnish daycare puppet Oswald from the Oswald and the Objects’s website. Thiscenters to educational activities offered by the Design Museum in replaces the live puppet show. Afterwards follows a discussionHelsinki. The project involves collaborators from four different about the design object in the context of the children’s daily
  2. 2. experiences, moderated by the daycare educators (instead of the threads visible in several places on the website to increase themuseum docents). Subsequently, the daycare educators lead the probability of people contributing to them. In this way we givechildren through a series of creative activities where they draw, more visibility to the threads and encourage active participationmodel or design new objects or new contexts for the objects. from the audience.We encourage daycare educators and children to take pictures Another approach to encourage contributions is to pre-populateor make short videos of the works and processes to later share the discussion threads with comments, questions and answersonline. They can write comments to those images and videos. before launching the website. This initial content has the purposeFor example, the children can tell short stories about their own of breaking the ice and giving leads concerning what kind ofwork. If the child cannot read or write the educators can help out. feedback the Design Museum would like to receive.The comments are a conversation starting point between the Lowering the barriers to people’s interaction is also important,parties. The museum docents send a reply to the children or the as we learned from a case study about visitor participation atdaycare by also adding the puppet Oswald’s comments to the the Delaware Art Museum [5]. Thus in Oswald and the Objectsphotos or by publishing a short video where Oswald addresses there is no need to register or log-in in order to comment in theand thanks the children for their works. It’s also possible for discussion forums. They are public and everyone is welcomedifferent daycares to share materials and let the children have to contribute or send feedback. We are aware that this may alsodiscussions about them. allow for a number of unwanted or inappropriate comments, but the website administrator will get an email notification for each new post, which will help with the monitoring of the forums.3. IT IS ALL ABOUT SHARING AND This post moderation of the comments after online publishingDISCUSSING has already proved successful in other museum projects [6]The online version of Oswald and the Objects combines twodifferent web services: the public website Oswald and the Objects 3.2 Sharing documents[3], owned by Design Museum, and the online communitywebsite of ConnectedDay [4]. The main language is Finnish. Design Museum needed to share PDF and Powerpoint files with the daycare educators in order to offer them more specific information about design history and point out the most important themes to be discussed during the educational activities. We decided that the simplest way to share these documents would be to use an external service for document sharing that was reliable, free of charge and which gave a possibility to embed the documents in Oswald and the Objects website. We considered the embedding option to be the decisive factor for choosing to use such a service, since this allows the visitors to browse inside the document directly from the website, without needing to download it beforehand. We looked at the two main options among online document sharing services: Scribd [7] and Slideshare [8]. They both offered very similar features, so we chose the one that had the most visitors’ traffic — in the assumption that the more traffic a service has the more established it is and the less likely it is to be discontinued in the near future. Figure 1. The Oswald and the Objects website. However, when we tried to embed the document in our website we found that the Scribd player hides the control tools from immediate view. Slideshare was different. Their player showsThe Oswald and the Objects website is used for delivering the the most important control tools at the bottom, like most videonecessary information, documentation and materials about the players. There is a moving arrow floating on top that invites userseducational activities from the museum to daycare educators. to click for the next page. Additionally, it allows direct sharingThe materials include videos, photos, guidelines in Powerpoint, of documents to Facebook, and a number of otherPDF or slideshow formats. There is also a small discussion popular social networks. One can also send the document byforum for enabling communication between daycare educators email to a friend directly from Oswald and the Objects websiteand the docents in Design Museum. The forum is equally open to just by using the Slideshare tools. Slideshare has also a morethe public for collection of comments, questions and suggestions. appealing visual interface. Because of all these reasons we finally decided to choose Slideshare to share documents.3.1 DiscussingWe planned to enable discussion forum features in some of the 3.3 Sharing materials from daycarespages of Oswald and the Objects website. The main purpose We needed a channel with restricted access where daycares couldof these forums is to collect the experiences, concerns and share photos, videos, stories and comments from children aboutsuggestions of the educators about the educational activities. their works and receive feedback, comments and replies fromThe discussion forums are addressed to a set of activities and the docents in the museum. We initially planned to use Flickrthe themes of these activities. Each set of activities has its own [9], since it can handle both photos and videos and it has privacywebpage and its own discussion thread. We made the discussion options.
  3. 3. We changed opinion when we learned that ConnectedDay parallel also brings the benefit of increasing the possibility ofalready had its own secure system of photo and video sharing people finding and sharing the videos, giving more visibility toespecially aimed at daycares. ConnectedDay is a community the whole aimed at professional daycare providers, with the goal of The reason to use ConnectedDay had mainly to do with logistics.increasing parental involvement. It provides a secure picture and ConnectedDay provides daycares with camera phones andvideo sharing service from daycares to parents. ConnectedDay training in using those camera phones to collect photos andhad around 150 daycare and preschools using their service in videos (which are directly uploaded to the web from the phones).Finland as of mid 2008 when we asked them to collaborate in They also train educators to upload and share the contents inour project. They agreed to participate by providing one camera ConnectedDay’s secure web environment. They have a structuredphone and one account in their service for the Design Museum, service already in place, which otherwise would have to be builtfree of charge for one year. by the museum.When the daycare educators upload the children’s photos, videosor stories to ConnectedDay they can share them with the museum.The museum can then access the images and comment on them 3.5 The purpose of video contentsas well; through ConnectedDay the museum can also send a short Video is being used in several ways and for different purposesvideo of the puppet Oswald thanking children for sharing their at different stages of the activities proposed in Oswald and theworks. In addition, the museum can act as a dialogue moderator putting different daycares in contact with each other, sharingimages from one daycare to another; the children will be ableto see what kind of works and ideas came from their peers in 3.5.1 Video-samples of the activitiesdifferent cities and send their comments to them. These are These videos show the work-flow and outcomes of the workshopspossibilities that we plan to test in the future. done in 2007. They were filmed during the events at the pilotThe idea of using other photo and video sharing services for daycare. The purpose of these videos is to instruct and encouragematerials shared by the daycares was not completely been the educators to use the service. As we have learned from theput aside, since ConnectedDay is a paid service and many series Design Squad [12] and DragonflyTV [13], the videos showdaycares are yet not using it. The museum docents wish to make a step-by-step sequence of the activities and exemplify the resultsOswald and the Objects accessible to the largest number of achieved by the children. These videos also show how much fundaycares, therefore a solution for the ones which are left out of the children and educators can have while doing the proposedConnectedDay’s network will be prepared in the future. But for tasks. Their role is to stimulate educators to engage with Oswaldthe moment our prototype uses this service only. and the Objects. They are an important activating factor.3.4 Sharing video from Design Museum 3.5.2 Videos of puppet Oswald and the theme objectThe videos provided by the Design Museum are currently being These are videos of the puppet Oswald and his stories about theshared through three different platforms: Vimeo [10], YouTube themed design object for each set of activities. They are viewed[11] and ConnectedDay [4]. Cost efficiency was the principal by the children before they start each activity. They introducereason for choosing Vimeo and YouTube video sharing services. the activity’s theme (as for example the Aalto vase, Teema mug).They are both ready to use and available for free. This way The videos stimulate the children’s analytical point of view byour scarce resources could be directed to producing the actual presenting the object out of its usual everyday context.contents instead of buying media space. Also most video sharingservices already include several social interaction tools which 3.5.3 Videos made by the daycarescan benefit our project. For example: These videos document the works and processes developed by 1. Commenting and rating options, which can be used as an the children during the Oswald and the Objects activities and extra tool to collect feedback from a wider audience than they are made by the daycare educators. just daycare educators. They are located at ConnectedDay’s website and can only be viewed by people authorized by the daycare educators. These 2. Tagging options, which improve the chances of videos videos allow docents in the Design Museum to follow the results being found by people searching for related topics or achieved by the children during the activities and give feedback keywords, and thus help spread awareness of the project. to children about their works. If they wish daycare educators can share the videos with other daycares to compare experiences. 3. Direct sharing connections to other social networks, allowing everyone to share the videos and publicize the project easily. 3.5.4 Videos of Oswald’s replies These are videos of the puppet Oswald addressing the children 4. Statistics and view counters, which can give us a good about their work. When the daycare educators share images of idea of how popular the videos are, where our audience is the children’s works with the museum, the museum docents send located and where the website is getting traffic from. a video of the puppet Oswald back to the daycare thanking the children for sharing their works. This video is pre-recorded andWe decided to use Vimeo and YouTube simultaneously for the museum shares it with each daycare individually throughprecaution. The services may suddenly cease to exist and there ConnectedDay’s website. At the moment the video is the same foris no guarantee that they will be free of charge forever. Thus, all daycares but in the future it may include personal messages,if one service becomes unavailable we can alternatively use for example by mentioning the names of the addressed childrenthe videos hosted in the other service. Using several services in
  4. 4. and making specific comments on their work. AVEK’s Digidemo grant. Special thanks to Andrea Botero for encouraging us to write this paper, Hanna Kapanen for valuable comments and Richard von Kaufmann for final revisions.4. CONCLUSIONSIn this case study, we encourage daycares to connect with themuseum collection, the museum docents and with other daycares 6. REFERENCESby using video, photo and document sharing services, and online [1] Design Museum (2007). Design Museum website.discussion forums. The conversation is nurtured and guided Retrieved February 2, 2010, from the museum through the suggested themes, activities and Daycare educators are also encouraged to tell about theirexperiences, obstacles and suggestions for improvement. [2] The Secret Life of Objects (2007). Blog of the project. Retrieved July 12, 2009, from http://thesecretlifeofobjects.Social media tools, as for example the services for sharing video, be used in parallel and in this way ensure reliability andenhanced multi-platform exposure; for example the previously [3] Oswald and the Objects (2009) Website of the project.mentioned benefits of publishing content both to Vimeo, Retrieved January 25, 2010, from http://www.esajaesineet.YouTube and ConnectedDay as simultaneous strategy to ensure com/the availability of our materials and to reach a broader audience.In order to get the most out of the implementation of social [4] ConnectedDay (2009). Website of a daycare servicemedia tools they need to be merged into the daycare and provider. Retrieved January 9, 2010, from ecology. It has proved beneficial to plan and design implementation of these social media tools in collaborationwith the museum and the daycare personnel. The tools must [5] Fisher, M., et al., The Art of Storytelling: Enrichingbe integrated with the existing know-how of museum docents Art Museum Exhibits and Education through Visitorand daycare educators. Content planning should also be a group Narratives, in J. Trant and D. Bearman (eds.). Museumseffort. Through active collaboration these services could be a and the Web 2008: Proceedings, Toronto: Archivespowerful means of promoting cultural education among younger & Museum Informatics. Published March 31, 2008.audiences. They could also promote more opportunities for Consulted September 28, 2009. between daycares and museums. mw2008/papers/fisher/fisher.htmlIn this paper we described how the needs of the project guided [6] Salgado, M., Jauhiainen, T., and Díaz, L., 2009. Re-the choice of the services selected for sharing photos, documents thinking an Annotation Tool for Museum Community-and videos. Choosing the right social media services is part of the Created Content. Nordic Design Research process as they will lend their identity to the final project. Nordes, August 30- September 1, Oslo.Our experiments with using video as a communication toolbetween daycares and the museum have led us to formulate [7] Scribd (2010). Website for document sharing. Retrievedthe hypothesis of creating a museum Web TV channel directed July 9, 2008, from schools. There is inexpensive technology available to makethis possible. Digital video is becoming an extremely popular [8] SlideShare (2010). Website for document sharing.medium. A wide range of photo cameras and most mobile phones Retrieved January 21, 2010, from http://www.slideshare.netalready provide very reasonable video recording capabilities; andmost laptop computers now come with an integrated webcam. [9] Flickr (2010). Website for photo sharing. Retrieved JanuaryIn addition internet is quickly penetrating classrooms. This 25, 2010 from points out the need for further research on theseissues. [10] Vimeo (2010). Website for video sharing. Retrieved July 9, 2008, from contents of a museum’s Web TV channel are mostly video-on-demand that educators and children browse according to their [11] YouTube (2010). Website for video sharing. Retrieved Julyneeds. Video content focuses on presenting certain topics and 9, 2008, from a series of activities and tasks, as in the case of Oswaldand the Objects. Video contributions from the children and a set of [12] Design Squad (2008). Website of the project Design interaction tools, such as commenting, tagging and rating Retrieved January 30, 2010, from and rapidly sharing links to other social networks are designsquad/used to improve audience engagement and content distribution.Although we acknowledge that more work needs to be done [13] DragonflyTV (2008). Website of the project DragonFlyTV.for developing the concept of a Web TV channel for museums Retrieved January 30, 2010, from daycares, our project explores some of the possibilities and dragonflytv/obstacles that this type of channel could provide.5. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTSWe thank the daycares and children who participated in theworkshops. We are grateful to Ilpo Kari and all colleagues inMedia Lab, Design Museum and Zipipop for their collaborationand assistance. Oswald and the Objects was supported by