Museums and the Web

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Doing it for the kids: Tate Online on engaging, entertaining and (stealthily) educating six to 12 year olds


TitleDoing it for the kids: Tate Online on engaging, entertaining and (stealthily) educating six to 12 year olds
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsJackson, S., & Adamson R.
Secondary TitleMuseums and the Web 2009. Proceedings
Conference Start DateApril 15-18, 200
PublisherArchives & Museum Informatics
Place PublishedIndianapolis, Indiana, USA
EditorTrant, J., & Bearman D.
Keywordsart, children, community, Tate, user-generated content, Web 2.0
Abstract

Children between the ages of six and 12 are not a homogenous mass. Both ends of the age range have differing needs, abilities and expectations. When designing a Web site for them, it is crucial to appeal not only to all of them, but also to their ‘gatekeepers' – their parents and teachers, who tend to manage their time online. Taking the new Tate Kids Web site as a case study (http://kids.tate.org.uk/) , this paper will outline a process of designing a Web site that attempts to meet the needs of the three audiences, while embodying the Tate Kids ethos: smart, fun, irreverent, anarchic content with educational value. It will outline the graphic design process, the strategy for user testing, the importance of differentiating content, and the purpose of an adult zone. It will discuss our efforts to alleviate online safety fears and the use of teachers' notes to support the use of the Web site in the classroom. A unique aspect of Tate Kids is My Gallery, a carefully managed online community. Here users create profiles, upload their own art, take work from the Tate Kids Collection (a subset of around 500 works from the online collection) and save work they have created in two new games: Tate Paint and Street Art. This paper will discuss how this functionality was created, and how its audiences are receiving it. This paper will also discuss how Tate Kids will be developed in the future and will also look at the possibility of working in partnership with external companies to share audiences.

URLhttp://www.archimuse.com/mw2009/papers/jackson/jackson.html