Archive for #mw2009

e-learning worries

Posted in meet the geevor staff with tags on April 23, 2009 by geevor

claire r

One of the  key things I took from the mw2009 conference was the notion that museums on the web should do one thing and do one thing well.

I am now poised with the idea that I may have bitten off more then I can chew. The initial concept for the e-learning (e-xplore- name still needs work) website at Geevor was primarily for teacher use. However when I arrived with my big size 7’s and was left pretty much to my own devices, I extended the potential audience.  I being a firm believer in Inspiring Learning For All (IFLA) -not just the scheme, but the basic fact that museums are not just an extension of a school, they are available for the enjoyment of everyone and should be treated as such.  Many learning departments in museums, still focus on formal learning, and I think that is such a shame!  Anyway, I thought that the history of Geevor has a wider appeal then just teachers alone and that it should be open to all.  Everyone should be able to engage and be inspired by Geevor’s varied history.

So I had the best intentions.

However…

Now the e-learning website is trying to cater for every available audience who wants to learn, or even users who don’t want to learn (and we can try and sneak learning upon them, when they’re not looking).  Additionally, the idea of user generated content is something I get really excited about.  I am not trying to turn the e-learning site into a wiki (wiki’s actually terrify me but that’s a personal aside), but I want users to have the opportunity to contribute thoughts, comments, ideas, memories etc on what at the end of the day is a strong history and cultural identity of a large section of the community.  Geevor is run by a local community charity and therefore community involvement is encouraged at all times.

Because of this all singing and all dancing development, has the e-learning lost its initial purpose? Has it spread itself to thin?  By trying to be all inclusive have I actually excluded what could be argued to be the key audience? Teachers.

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small institutions…big dreams

Posted in meet the geevor staff with tags on April 17, 2009 by geevor

claire rThe museums and the web conference that I’m at (apologies for hogging blog space) is making me think about some interesting stuff. Yesterday as part of an ‘un conference’ session I met some other people from small museums and art galleries around the world who are trying to engage with social media/web 2.0 stuff.  It was really great to meet people in a similar situation and discuss what tools and techniques they are using, and what works and what doesn’t.  The major problem all small institutions seem to be facing is the fact that yes, we want to reach out to new audiences, and we want everyone to enjoy what our museums have to offer, but its really hard to do that when you dont have the staff, the money or the time to do it.  And even when we do go about interacting, will anybody want to listen to what we have to say?

but its not all doom and gloom! one of the things that we didnt really talk about and should of really, was how to engage visitors and potential visitors… Maybe we should just ask them! (we want to do visitor focus groups and evaluation but we never quite get round to it) instead of creating new mediums of interaction and hoping that people will join; facebook, twitter, flickr, read and respond to blogs… so here’s my question:

What do you

guys think?

how would you like to interact with us? what can we offer you that we don’t already? big things? little things? any things??we dont bite, and we, well me anyway, would love to know what you want us to do for you to make your experience brilliant.

Geevor goes abroad…

Posted in meet the geevor staff with tags on April 15, 2009 by geevor

Sharks, dolphins, and sever rooms oh my…

Random ramblings of Claire R

day one of #mw2009, and I was off on a bus tour of three museums (well an art gallery, a childrens museum and a zoo) in Indianpolis. and it was great.  The Indianapolis museum of art has some pretty interesting stuff, including a server room which they seem very proud off.  lots of wires and flashing lights.  but they have this thing called the Davis lab  which is a area in the gallery space where people can access the online stuff that the IMA does.  genius idea.  shall be stealing that for geevor i thinks!

the childrens museum was brilliant! so many little people running around and making noise… possibly would be a tad dangerous to do that on a mine site, but it is something to aspire to where possible! the childrens museum seems to have more emphasis on fun then learning. I don’t mean that in a bad way,  the key aspect was that it was so tactile and constructivist in approach that everyone wanted to play! as long as the visitors are having an experience it surely means they are learning! you even get to be part of some of the exhibits, crawling inside train sets, or going inside a submarine! fab.

as for the zoo, well that was just great! got to go behind the scenes where the dolphins and a massive  whalrus called brutus hang out.  maybe we really should get a geevor goat?

What’s Claire been up to?

Posted in meet the geevor staff with tags on April 14, 2009 by geevor

claire rGeevor goes abroad!

hello! this week i’m mostly going to be getting up to mischief in america! yep thats right, i’ve been allowed out of my little dark and damp office in cornwall and off to Indianapolis! which today turned out to quite damp and cold! almost home from home.  why am i in america? well its for a conference called museums and the web #mw2009.  So i will be posting quite a lot about it this week, as i discover lots of interesting things that i can steal and then use at Geevor. best to be upfront about yoinking cool things from other museums….

so i arrived yesterday, sunday night – no easter eggs on the plane 😦 and battled with jet lag and the weather and ended up at the Indiana state museum today.  it was awesome.  they must get some major funding to do all the interactive stuff! from touch sensitive fossils, to directional speakers, to giant beavers! BRILLIANT!  it was slick, and well organised and most importantly it was so much fun.  there was a school group in and i was having to fight with them to play with some of the stuff.  i am a big kid/museum geek, i want to play with everything!  oohh and on the mining front, the museum has a nice 19th century coal mining flat cap complete with oil lamp attachment… honestly mining seems to follow me everywhere.

tomorrow is the start of the conference tour, so i get to go to the indianapolis art museum, the childrens museum and the zoo! all three do innovative stuff with the web (roaming webcams at the zoo!).  i love animals, nearly as much as i love museums, so i’m stupidly excited about tomorrow.  fingers crossed there will be lots of things i can nick and make them geevorish.