Research Question 4: Key Trends

What trends do you expect to have a significant impact on the ways in which museums use technologies to service mission mandated goals related to education and interpretation?

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Compose your entries like this:
  • Trend Name. Add your ideas here with a few sentences of description, including full URLs for references (e.g. And do not forget to sign your contribution with 4 ~ (tilde) characters!

  • The abundance of resources and relationships induced by open resources and social networks is increasingly challenging us to revisit our roles as educators in sense-making, coaching and credentialing. Access to educational materials of all kinds has never been so easy or so open as it is today, and this trend is only increasing. The sage-on-the-stage model of teaching, where the instructor holds all the information and all the cards, is simply not applicable in this world of instant access. Educators must respond by changing their roles to reflect the new need to guide and coach students in finding, interpreting, and building an understanding from multiple sources of information. [From 2010 Horizon Report] - Larry Larry Apr 28, 2010
  • Agreed, the battle to get our content and data out there is being won and perhaps the penudulum will swing back towards interpreting again - it's one thing to say, ours is not the only interpretation, but it's another to abrogate the responsibility to provide any interpretation or sense whatsoever, so I expect new ways of doing this (perhaps in social contexts) to develop.- jeremy.ottevanger jeremy.ottevanger May 3, 2010
  • I also believe this will continue to grow as a challenge. - scott.sayre scott.sayre May 3, 2010 The locus of this issue is on the curator; over and over again we hear about the "changing" role of the curator in this new ecosystem. I'm not sure that the curator's role really changes that much--the curator is still selecting what to present and what not to present--it just means that user-generated (read: 'non-professional') content is now included in that mix. - Koven Koven May 3, 2010
  • I haven't been sure just where to put this thought, but I do think that making use of social networks in a meaningful, real way remains a challenge for museums. I have looked in on various attempts to make blogs, facebook, and related efforts work, and they always feel like prototypes for efforts that may or may not really take root. Ditto x 20 for twitter, which museums are using in the most brain deadening and spammish way as far as I can tell (and I'm following about 10 museums right now but considering tossing in the towel on that). We know that social networks are powerful, and we know that people like socializing in museums; but what's the best way to join those two realities? I'm personally not sure, but open to any successful case studies and lessons learned. - May 4, 2010
  • Engaged citizenship is increasingly enabled by technology, political awareness, engagement and just-in-time learning. Mobile technologies and new media show strong promise to improve civic participation and social inclusion for youth. Further, the growing trend of embedding media and connectivity into the urban fabric is opening up new forms of social and civic engagement. Students are able to be more connected with the world than previously, leading to increased levels of participation in social and civic activities.[From 2010 Horizon Report] - Larry Larry Apr 28, 2010 Except they are more interested in being engaged when they are voting for their favorite in American Idol or some reality show rather than actual civic participation - susan.hazan susan.hazan May 4, 2010
  • Increasingly, we expect to be connected wherever we go. Wireless network access, mobile networks, and personal portable networks have made it easy to remain connected almost anywhere. We are increasingly impatient of places where it is not possible, or where it is prohibitively expensive, to be connected, such as airplanes in flight and countries outside our own mobile networks. The places where we cannot connect are shrinking—some flights provide wireless access, for instance—and our expectations of immediate access to our personal information, multi-level communication, and interaction with the world are more frequently met.[From 2010 Horizon Report] - Larry Larry Apr 28, 2010 +1- Koven Koven May 3, 2010
  • More and more, people expect to be able to work, learn, study, and connect with their social networks wherever and whenever they want to. We are not tied to desks anymore when we wish to use computers. Workers increasingly expect to be able to work from home or from the road, and most everyone expects to be able to get information, addresses, directions, reviews, and answers whenever they want. Mobile access to information is changing the way we plan everything from outings to errands. A corollary of this trend is the expectation that people will be available and online, anywhere and anytime.[From 2010 Horizon Report] - Larry Larry Apr 28, 2010 - susan.chun susan.chun May 4, 2010
  • Indeed, we learned this through working with teachers during MET's Summer Teacher Institute. They loved to do their homeoworks, including joining a chat room session, doing a research online or writing a blog, on the beach while they are vacationing with their families. I am not kidding as they had showed us picture somewhere in Mexico. - herminia.din herminia.din May 3, 2010
  • Open Brand I think we are still at the beginning of the articulation of the "open brand" at museums where the visitors are the educators, they are the curators and shape their learning experience. At Museums and the web 2010, I saw examples from the Powerhouse, Smithsonian, & SFMOMA, where visitors needs shape the web project, strategy, or party. I only see this going from an isolated group of key leaders to a hemispheric shift in thinking everywhere. christina.depaolo christina.depaolo May 2, 2010
  • creating community learning networks in which a variety of different institutions (museums of different types and sizes, schools, libraries, youth organizations) are linked in common community learning efforts.- marsha marsha May 2, 2010
  • Cross-institution collaboration is another way to share resources. Many roadblocks along the way, but it is something to consider, repurpose and reuse digital content. - herminia.din herminia.din May 3, 2010 I agree here, but I think we might also want to focus on the changing nature of that collaboration. The days of gigantic, multi-year, foundation-funded collaborative projects are probably on the wane. Increasingly, multi-institutional collaboration will probably occur more at the data level (think APIs, Linked Data, etc.), with institutions being collaborative partners only in a passive sense, and the real work of pulling multiple resources together being accomplished downstream, possibly by third-party orgs.- Koven Koven May 3, 2010 Yes. (Or, put as simply as possible for the report's executive audience, we need to be aware of the ways in which our content--including, but not limited to unmediated collections data--may be seen and used in the broader networked environment.) - susan.chun susan.chun May 4, 2010 A good example is Artbabble - how can an single museum put out such rich resources? - these days it take a substantial partnership to deliver quality - susan.hazan susan.hazan May 4, 2010
  • Cross-institution collaborations and sharing of resources (staff, tools, content, training) will be key to survival of some small museums - phyllis.hecht phyllis.hecht May 3, 2010 I so agree - susan.hazan susan.hazan May 4, 2010
  • I care more about you say then what the expert says Thanks to Twitter I now learn more about my industry from the novice than from the expert, or if the expert is sharing it is because of my connection with them as an individual who has a real personality than as an "icon" of industry.- christina.depaolo christina.depaolo May 2, 2010 I think this is true, but we also hear from students that they want to know what the experts think since they already hear a lot of what their friends think.- scott.sayre scott.sayre May 3, 2010 I think we might want to fold these two points into the "...abundance of resources and relationships..." point; the issue here is how (as opposed to whether) museums are going to incorporate user-generated-content into their interpretive strategies.- Koven Koven May 3, 2010 Right, and I think it's awfully important to remember that the expert/public dichotomy can be a false one. There are exceptionally interesting opportunities for museums to recognize and promote user-generated content from experts outside of our own domain, not just in our educational and interpretive strategies, but also in our research and scholarship.- susan.chun susan.chun May 4, 2010
  • Online play as well as work. Increasingly we expect to have access to online gaming. The gaming industry projects revenues from online gaming to reach $24 billion in 2013. Play time must chunk into smaller fragments reflecting available time slots, yet present a continuous persuasive narrative. - mike.kelly mike.kelly May 2, 2010
  • How can museum create an online game that is not boring? How long would take you to finish a museum game, 1, 2 3 minutes? Do you know in some online games, it will take you several months or longer to be "good" at it? - herminia.din herminia.din May 3, 2010
  • Schools will increasingly look to digital learning technologies as a way to quickly improve student achievement. However, these technologies may not substantively improve students' abilities to drive their own learning. Museums will become increasingly relevant as hubs where interest-driven, authentic experiences are provide. School districts will increasingly contract museums to provide these experiences, though scaling up will remain a challenge for museums. - elizabeth.babcock elizabeth.babcock May 2, 2010
  • Can we create a game like Webkinz or Club Penguin, even Lego Universe that kids will spend hours in there and "figure out" how to win a trophy in an arcade game, get a rare item in the "trading room", or strategize how to make virtual dollars to satisfy their consuming needs? - herminia.din herminia.din May 3, 2010 I don't think we can (or should) compete against corporate, for-profit platforms - we have to find our own voice in the gaming sector - we need to do do what we are good at, NOT penguin-paid-for-trifles and NOT toy animals that parents have to buy when their children demand - susan.hazan susan.hazan May 4, 2010
  • Cell phone coverage and smart phone technology will improve to the point that mobile apps in museums are the norm--not a novelty.- elizabeth.babcock elizabeth.babcock May 2, 2010
  • Museum education projects go increasingly international as museums become more sophisticated about integrating learners abroad through massive multiplayer games, citizen science project, and social justice programs. This will challenge existing museum notions about cultivating audiences that can visit the museum. - elizabeth.babcock elizabeth.babcock May 2, 2010
  • Object-based learning practices developing in schools, which can obviously be facilitated by the online and offline museum- jeremy.ottevanger jeremy.ottevanger May 3, 2010
  • The Value of Rich Media - Collection related rich media are becoming increasingly valuable assets in digital interpretation.. Museums are beginning to see the value in developing formal strategies capturing quality media documentation at every opportunity.- scott.sayre scott.sayre May 3, 2010 Agreed!!! My teaching of contemporary art has been dramatically enhanced by YouTube alone, and by much of the great video that is now available of artists discussing their work. Just yesterday in my installations and site-specific art class we were looking at Cai Guo Qiang's explosion pieces in a student's report, an experience that far outweighs and out-teaches seeing still photos of them. It is a simple thing, but truly meaningful in the educational domain. When I teach the "Bean" in Chicago, I'm mostly using images pilfered from Flickr. We have moved from an economy of image scarcity to image superabundance, and that includes the moving image now. - May 4, 2010 Absolutely. But I see this as aspirational--a challenge as much as a trend, since despite our general agreement as a community about the ubiquity and importance of short video as a tool for teaching and learning, the museum community hasn't really (with some notable exceptions, and some key non-museum players such as Art21 and Smarthistory) figured out how to create and distribute quality video as a regular product. - susan.chun susan.chun May 4, 2010 Agreed - ninmah ninmah May 5, 2010
  • Cross-curricular learning has long been important in primary education but seems to be increasingly so, in the UK at least. It's also likely, I believe, to take root more within secondary education.- jeremy.ottevanger jeremy.ottevanger May 3, 2010
  • Networked learning – collaborations across counties, countries, continents - jeremy.ottevanger jeremy.ottevanger May 3, 2010
  • LAM convergence. Cross-organisational collaboration (as Gunter Waibel of the OCLC has talked extensively about) as well as inter-organisational collaboration in projects like Europeana.- jeremy.ottevanger jeremy.ottevanger May 3, 2010
  • Linked data/semantic web and open data. No getting away from the steady spread of ideas and practice here, and I expect to see vendors starting to build capability into collections management systems, as well as governments, agencies and funders beginning to mandate the release of more data, hopefully to agreed standards. It won't happen overnight but there's an understanding of the pinch points (for example, pay-walled vocabularies) and I think momentum building to overcome them- jeremy.ottevanger jeremy.ottevanger May 3, 2010 Yes, yes! - Koven Koven May 3, 2010 - susan.chun susan.chun May 4, 2010 yes - susan.hazan susan.hazan May 4, 2010
  • Finding things to do with the linked data. The use-cases and examples for linked data (or API) usage have been limited whilst suitable data sources have been lacking, but one will encourage the other as the data starts to appear. More critical than museum data, I think, is the matrix of contextual data in which it sits and which can then inspire people to think of new things to do with cultural heritage info. With lots of non-CH data appearing from governments, new agencies, scientists etc, many more uses of CH data become possible.- jeremy.ottevanger jeremy.ottevanger May 3, 2010 +1- Koven Koven May 3, 2010 yes - susan.hazan susan.hazan May 4, 2010
  • Multi-linguality. It's already been pointed out that translation tools are getting pretty good, and that we will be addressing educational audiences across the globe. There are also projects (some of them aligned with Europeana) to bring machine translation and vocabulary alignment into massive harvested datasets and make discovery truly multilingual.- jeremy.ottevanger jeremy.ottevanger May 3, 2010 +1- Koven Koven May 3, 2010 - susan.chun susan.chun May 4, 2010 +1 - allegra.burnette allegra.burnette May 4, 2010 bring in SKOS - not everyone speaks English - susan.hazan susan.hazan May 4, 2010
  • VLEs come of age? Cultural heritage content chanelled into virtual learning environments either directly or through third parties like CHIN, Collections Autralia, Europeana or Magic Studio. I think this will require a push from strategic bodies like, in the UK, the Collections Trust or perhaps BECTA.- jeremy.ottevanger jeremy.ottevanger May 3, 2010
  • Seamless experience across devices. People expect an experience to be different on different devices, but they will expect it to be possible to do their thing on whatever they have to hand, and I think that after the current experimental phase of building apps etc for all sorts of different platforms we'll see a retrenchment and efforts to ensure that we offer consistent experiences where it matters. This may well mean going back to standards! So perhaps the trend here is, HTML5 adoption (and the lingering death of Flash?)- jeremy.ottevanger jeremy.ottevanger May 3, 2010
  • I would push this a bit further and say there are some efforts towards using technology to make more of a seamless experience between institutions as well.- scott.sayre scott.sayre May 3, 2010 +1- allegra.burnette allegra.burnette May 4, 2010
  • Strengthening of digital identity. I expect the idea of using a core identity (or more than one) to access many services to take root in the public mind, to become a norm, and i expect to see more museums gain the skills and confidence to offer user-tied experiences using these identities.- jeremy.ottevanger jeremy.ottevanger May 3, 2010 Are we loosing or gaining with our distributed identities? I cant even remember all those passwords that lock me in/out of myself any more ... what do museums have to say about this? Is the museum just another login/password stop-over or is something truly meaningful happening in our sector? - susan.hazan susan.hazan May 4, 2010
  • Development of digital expertise in more parts of the organisation, digital departments as facilitators and commissioners. Many museums have poor organisational structures with regard to digital media, but the fact is that it’s a multi-facetted thing which requires knowledge and agendas that relate to learning, scholarship, information management, design, marketing, media creation, rights etc. It’s hard for many museums to encapsulate all of these within a single department. I expect that as understanding of the digital aspects of these issues develops within the relevant specialised parts of museums, digital media departments will focus more on co-ordinating and facilitating cross-departmental projects and supply a more tightly-bound set of expertise and skills, possibly out-source more non-core work but (hopefully) focus on developing and managing core systems that tie all the bits together. - jeremy.ottevanger jeremy.ottevanger May 3, 2010 +1- allegra.burnette allegra.burnette May 4, 2010
  • On Demand everything. Equipped with smart handhelds, we need to be able to provide useful information parsed in meaningful and relevant segments when and where our visitors might 'demand' it. - liz.neely liz.neely May 3, 2010 I'd like to widen the scope of this trend to incorporate location more generally. The ability for users to access museum content anywhere significantly alters the landscape of what's possible--it puts museum content into users' lives without them necessarily having made a deliberate decision to access museum content at all. - Koven Koven May 3, 2010Agreed! - scott.sayre scott.sayre May 3, 2010
  • Hosted resources - From cell phone tour authoring tools to Pachyderm, many museum educational programs are beginning to rely on technology services maintained outside of the museum walls. Some of these decisions are made for the sake of efficiency, other are made to skirt internal rules and political barriers. I personally believe this is part of the reason Web 2.0 technologies have been so widely adopted.- scott.sayre scott.sayre May 3, 2010
  • Metrics and measurement - increasingly sophisticated tools for data analysis and visualization will encourage museums and funders to consider performance metrics in planning and funding programs and initiatives. - susan.chun susan.chun May 4, 2010
  • Digitization efforts - though not new, digitization and cataloguing projects continue to require a significant share of museum resources. What is new is the scale and sophistication these efforts, and the interest that museums and funders are showing in building genuine strategic positions around them. - susan.chun susan.chun May 4, 2010
  • The diversified work portfolio: Just as we'd be crazy to put all of our retirement funds into a single investment, it's not very safe for any of us, museum professionals included, to rely on a single job - as so many have found out in the recent economic downturn. But putting all of our eggs into a single job basket has been hard to avoid until recently. Now, one of the arguably positive outcomes of constrained resources on museums and academic institutions alike has been their willingness - even need - to encourage part-time working, which allows museum professionals to have multiple revenue streams. While this is easier in countries with socialized medicine, it is a double-edged sword that culture workers may be able to turn to their favor. Although managing many part-time jobs is a challenge, it also means that losing one doesn't cut off all income. Also on the up-side are possibilities to work simultaneously in more than one discipline, creating a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts in terms of professional skills and experiences. I don't want to celebrate our economic disadvantages or encourage museums not to compensate their workers properly, but it is interesting to see how some lemonade can be made from our current crop of economic lemons. Just as young people are no longer entering the workforce expecting a lifetime career with the same organization (and generally do not want that), maybe we're now heading to a cultural economy in which we'll manage a portfolio of jobs and simultaneous incomes for our careers as well. - nancy.proctor nancy.proctor May 4, 2010nancy.proctor
  • Group-based Learning via Mobile Devices: The emergence of tablet-based computing opens new opportunity for museums to support new forms of social interaction around shared devices. Most museum visitors come in groups and tablet-based computing offers a variety of new options to support group-based computing and richer media driven experiences.- scott.sayre scott.sayre May 4, 2010