Notes from Our Digital Future event (part 3)

In the final part of my notes from the Our Digital Future event, my notes from Mark Stevenson’s session on planning digital projects for learning outcomes are below the cut. (incidentally, I did attend the other sessions listed on the programme but didn’t make very substantial notes – do get in touch if you’d like to discuss them though!)

Planning digital projects for learning outcomes: Mark Stevenson, Flow Associates

  • Flow is a two-year-old company which promotes learning. Helps with strategy and delivery. e.g. National Collections online feasibility study; digital strategy for MLA sector; also worked with BFI and English Heritage.
  • Our organisations’ assets:
    • Collections
    • Brand
    • Collaborative relationships
    • Knowledge
    • Technical infrastructure
  • MLAs (Museums, Libraries, Archives) have some expertise in mediated learning. Need to support real-world learning, not simply putting collections online for the sake of it. More funding is available for projects supporting learning!
  • Where to put collections? Three choices:
    • Your own site (“it’s my party”)
    • A ‘walled garden’ aimed at target audience e.g. Magic Studio, used by teachers (“it’s their party”)
    • ‘feral’ e.g. on an open, external website e.g. National Maritime Museum on Flickr (“where’s the party?”)
  • How can learners interact with collections?
    • ‘Discovery’ model. Traditional library, hands-off approach – let people come and look.
    • ‘Didactic’ model. Traditional museum/broadcaster approach – package together bits of collections, e.g. exhibitions, lectures.
    • ‘Don’t worry, we’ve made it easy!’ e.g. kids’ zones
    • ‘Dialogic’ model – interactive, conversational – where the web comes in useful.
      • conversations about collections
      • asking and answering questions
      • research inspired
      • interpretation, putting things in new contexts, making creative responses
      • shared authority
  • Cheap way to be dialogic: give teachers tools to use this approach offline (e.g. printable sheets)
  • Expensive way: set up facilities for online interactivity, e.g. website for making stories using artifacts, e.g. National Museums Online Learning Project 2006-9 – WebQuests for children – http://www.vam.ac.uk/about_va/online_learning/index.html
  • Cheap but scary way: make content available/have a presence on Facebook, flickr, Blogger, Bebo, myspace etc.
  • One of the biggest challenges is getting web staff and learning/teaching staff together! Pool expertise and do it early. Focus on users – look at different learning groups. Explore new ways to interact with resources.
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