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.
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.