March 22-25, 2006
Albuquerque, New Mexico

Sessions: Abstract

Out of Our Mines! A Retrospective Look at Online Museum Collections-Based Leaning and Instruction (1997-2006)

Cynthia Copeland, The New York Historical Society, USA

Over the past decade, the journey towards on-line museum learning and instruction has been a mixed bag, riddled with trepidation, scepticism, economic anxiety and varying degrees of success. Now that the groundwork has been laid, are there signs indicating that the situation is changing? As the industry matures and develops adaptive expertise, it appears we are moving into a dramatic expansion of our collective knowledge and understanding of how technology can broaden and strengthen our museum teaching practices while delivering our content to the masses. Based on cases presented in previous Museums and the Web Proceedings, this paper will provide a historical perspective and overview of the field, and will examine select art, science and history museum education departments to see where they have been and where they are heading with the integration of technology. Moreover, this paper will examine how an on-line presence has influenced museum education in general, and some institutions specifically. Inquiry and methodology will include case study reviews, an examination of current research, interviews with museum educators, administrators and other personnel, questionnaires and, wherever possible, on-line visits.

Session: Opening Plenary [Plenary]

Keywords: on-line learning, collective knowledge, museum education, collections, object-based learning