Museums and the Web

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Face-to-Face: The Canadian Personalities Hall

The Canadian Museum of Civilization
Mike Teixeira and in-house staff.

In September 2007, the Canadian Museum of Civilization launched its newest virtual exhibition, Face to Face: The Canadian Personalities Hall. The site offers supplemental material for teachers and students as well as easily identifiable activities for grades from 6 to 12. The virtual exhibition has four main components, Meet the Personalities, Play a Game, Have your Say and Educators. The last three components present material relevant to the category of “Best Educational Site”.The Play a Game interactive, Mystery History-Maker Match-Up, encourages youth to find out which great Canadian history-maker best matches their personality profile, and relate the information about their history-maker match back to themselves and their friends. The Game reinforces and makes exhibition content relevant and meaningful for youth.The Have your Say component invites the participation of not only students but the general public in determining the future evolution of the exhibition.In addition to providing activities for grades 6 to 12, the Educators section includes a Webquest in which students form a group that must develop a new exhibition titled “Great New Canadians”. The group must decide how it will select the young Canadians to be featured in this exhibition. This offers students supplemental material to be done in a collaborative environment and help’s them exercise their presentation and teamwork skills.A current trend in museology is the facilitation of personal meaning-making and social interaction. The desire of youth to share information about themselves and connect with others is well illustrated by the popularity of Facebook and other such internet sites. The educational components in Face-to-Face: The Canadian Personalities Hall, draw inspiration from this phenomenon by beginning with what interests youth most – themselves. This exhibition is effective because it allows youth to make a personal connection with historical personalities. Ultimately, by giving a face to history, Face-to-Face contributes to youth understanding of the many individuals who have had an impact on the evolution of Canada.

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