Learning and Technology sitting in a Museum Shaped tree…EngageM Take Aways

For the past while, the Digital Learning Network and Museums Computer Group have been toying with the idea of holding a joint event.  An event which combines two areas very close to my heart, learning and technology in museums.  Why? Well… we all know that museums are finding more and more ways to use digital technologies to enhance visitor experience; and this has a big impact on museum learning and public engagement programmes. But really how often to these two sections of the museum world really get to talk to each other?  Surprising little, because in many museums the work of learning departments and technology teams is still quite separate.

We wanted to change that so, we held Engaging digital audiences in museums this week.  It’s the first event that MCG and DLNet have organised together, and it’s been great working with everyone.  A big shout out to Rhiannon, Juno, and Mia, who did most of the organising and programme decisions.  I hold my hands up and say that I didn’t do very much of the work, apart from turn up and jump over tables, but I am very proud of how the event went.

The aim was to bring together the two worlds of museum technology and museum learning and encourage them to talk and learn from each others’ skills and experience.  I hope we managed to do that is some form or another.

We had some official bloggers on the day (posts will be up on the DLNet and MCG sites shortly), and there have been a couple of posts up already by Juno and Ben from Thought Den (including not one but two awesome Twitter posters).  So I won’t waffle on but here are my take aways:

  • Nick Winterbotham  is particularly good at soundbites.  I love his enthusiasm for all things learning. From encouraging us all to make this conference the most important day of our lives so far,to, Have you heard about the Big Society version of Cluedo? It’s got no library in it
  • There’s still a lot of questions about mobile use in museum. “Is using mobiles in museums a sign of Super modernity of a sign of flawed concentration and disengagement?”  Matthew Cock asking How does audience motivation fit into the use of mobiles? Can you match mobile functionality with motivation types?  Quite a lot of the discussions reminded me of Kevin Slavin‘s keyonte at MCN2011: “The job of technology is not to give us new things to look at, but new ways to see”
  • Lucinda Blaser encouraging us to all think creatively and not let the technology guide us. “if there was magic in the world what would you want to do in the museum?”
  • Wonderment is the ultimate key performance Indicator
  • I miss Newcastle more than I thought I did.  Thanks to John Coburn’s presentation on Hidden Newcastle.  And the eccentric brilliance of a lying egomaniac.
  • Generic Learning Outcomes. They. Are. A. Good. Thing. But there is more work to do to embed them into digital projects.  See Rhiannon’s post about that.

Short and sweet. ish.

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