Visitor Research Forum #VRF2015

Attending this forum today in Canberra. Spoke about some recent (and not so recent) work with teachers and museum visits. You can download my slides here: Kelly VRF2015. Follow the discussions on Twitter #VRF2015.

Here’s some quotes by teachers about a range of things.

On teaching:

“I’m just on return to work after a maternity leave so it’s just a two-day a week arrangement. I’m not on class, I do library, and that’s for the younger children, K-2. The school is using me where they need me but, look, I found it fascinating just to step out of the workforce about six years ago and then to return, I absolutely got gobsmacked with new directions things have taken, but I’m really impressed too. I’m amazed and I’m keen to get on-board actually.”

“My name is xxx from [xx primary school] on Sydney’s North. I’m an AP. I’m Year Three as well. I’ve got five classes. And I do a lot of 21st century stuff. I’m just setting up a Weebly website and blog for next term. I’m doing a major transformation in my room and getting a rid of a third of a furniture and changing it all, having some bean bags and stuff.”

 “I teach at [xx high school] and I’m actually the teacher librarian there and have been there for about ten years now. It’s my tenth year. So I’ve got the best job in the school, but I also teach history and some of the HSIE subjects and Aboriginal languages. I’ve been teaching on and off for 30 years having immigrated and back and forth and stuff. So this has been my longest stint in a school. It’s a lovely school. Kids are nice, so – Yeah. I enjoy it”

“… that’s my job to create the situation for kids to have some success somewhere. [I’m] not naive enough to think they will all succeed everywhere, but …”

“I’m at [a girl’s high school]. I’ve been there for 15 years. I teach Design Tech, Textiles, Food Tech, Hospitality. I love the girls. They’re really respectful and really value your effort, which is a nice change from my previous school. I don’t think I’m going anywhere soon.”

On apps they can’t live without:


  • “Twitter – my greatest source for learning and connecting with teachers all over the world”
  • School site / software [for] work use”
  • “My DEC portal app because I check it daily”

Practical – makes life easier:

  • Bus and transport app”
  • “Google maps”
  • “Viber – most used form of communication via text and calls”
  • “Internet banking”
  • “Run double – linked to my fitness training program”
  • “XE or iPass Safe”


  • “NASA”
  • “Spotify – so I can listen to music”
  • “ABC news”
  • “Facebook – I refer to it at least 10 times a day”
  • Soduku
  • iTunes radio – always access current news / music etc. anywhere in the world

On BYOD v provided device:


  • We are used to pre-teaching excursion and tour resources on devices”
  • “I could download it over Wi-Fi and perhaps prepare myself for the visit”
  • “So I know what to expect”
  • “So I can organise which sections of the tour I would like to spend time visiting”
  • “[gives me] time to research and add more information to enhance student enjoyment / learning”

Provided device

  • “Would prefer not to ‘clutter’ my phone”
  • “Less fear that any corruption might occur on phone”
  • “I wouldn’t have a device to use, so would need a museum device”
  • “As a private visitor set up similar to MONA (Hobart). At the end of my visit the details of my visit are emailed to me”
  • “Does not take up memory on my phone

On excursions (Secondary teacher):

“We could do up to a dozen a year but we plan the year before, put it on the school calendar so that we don’t have to go through all that paperwork, getting signatures, et cetera but because of all the different subject areas in my faculty, like Year Sevens, we’ve taken to the theatre. Because we do a model making unit so they get to see like the stage and work on that costume et cetera. Powerhouse, their Design Tech seminars for the seniors. Whitehouse School of Fashion for our Textiles girls, Community and Family, they’ve gone to Wesley Centre Mission. Is that what it’s called? Anyway, and what else? Food Technology, there’s been excursions to the Botanic Gardens for bush food.

And I found more recently, in the last two years, I’ve had Year Nine engage in a variety of programs. And they’ve been short, like about an hour long, which is really good and then the girls get a break and it’s sort of hands on activities and young presenters. So the girls relate to the young presenters. And it’s been so stimulating ‘cause there’s been that change. You don’t have to just sit there in one spot. They have resource material to work with and it links really closely to what I’m actually teaching. And some really great ideas as well have come from those. So it really inspired me as a teacher as well.”

On excursions (Primary teacher):

“T1: Rescue [exhibition at ANMM]. It wasn’t really what we were learning about. That was the only thing in it. Kids loved it. It was engaging. It was fun, and I mean I jumped in the ball pit and we did, we had a lot of fun; but then I was thinking more about like, it isn’t transport ‘cause it didn’t really link with the transport, and then I know there’s been other exhibitions that have been on and if you were seeing that and alternating, then that would’ve suit perfectly with the transport but yeah – it was hard because the kids did love it.

T2: It was a good day out.

T1: We all did love it but then after reflection, I was like, ‘Well hold on, that didn’t really’ …

T2: You told me you got some good writing out of it like, so that’s –

T1: Yeah, they did, that was all they wrote about. Our focus was transport and all they talked about was the rescue and yeah, but that was the most exciting.

T2: Ours just did the ferry ride and they talked about all the things they saw on the harbour; well for me, that was a valuable experience for them. Yeah sometimes – it’s only gotta be the start –

T1: Like the catalyst.”


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s