#MuseumEdOz Thursday 2 July, 7.30pm AEST

horizon report

I’m hosting my first ever tweet chat this week as part of the #MuseumEdOz initiative started by @rellypops and @vergeofperil. The topic I have decided to tackle is the New Media Consortium Horizon Report on museums, technology and education to get us thinking about what are the key challenges, trends and technologies to watch over the next five years.

I was influenced by this blog post that mapped the trends in the K-12 Horizon Reports since 2004, The Horizon Report: A History of Ed-Tech Predictions, which I thought was an interesting take on what is seen to be happening in the ed-tech area in formal school education.

In an analysis of the museum reports since 2010, I have found the following overarching themes.

Key trends:

  • Analytics / data / visitor outcomes / measurement
  • The changing nature of our role as educators / professional development and skills training
  • Cross-collaboration
  • Resourcing – in digitisation projects, in managing and developing digital experiences and in using third party providers
  • Visitor participation

Key challenges:

  • Digital strategy and buy-in of management and Boards, leading to processes
  • Funding – for both maintenance and sustainability as well as infrastructure
  • Roles – training and PD leading to increased digital literacy, as well as staff roles and structures: where is the digital department best placed in a museum – separate or embedded??

Important Developments

Each year the consultative group votes on what technologies will be important developments in the near-term horizon (one-two years); two-three year and long-term (four to five years). The table below shows what made the cut in each report.

table 2

Overall, these developments can be categorised as:

  • Accessing content – natural user interfaces / wearables / gesture-based computing and smart objects
  • Technologies – Augmented reality / social media / mobile / BYOD
  • Participatory experiences – crowdsourcing; games / makerspaces / location-based technology

This analysis has led to the questions I’d like to address in this week’s #MuseumEdOz chat:

  1. Given some of the technologies that have both stayed on and dropped off the list is this still an accurate reflection of the technologies we can leverage in our education programs in 2015 and beyond?
  2. In 2010 social media was a force to be reckoned with and a trend to watch – has it delivered on that early potential?
  3. In 2015, what social media sites / applications are the most useful in educational programming for museums?
  4. One of the critical challenges that keeps popping up is measurement. Although we do know quite a bit generally about student learning in museums, what are some of the measures we currently are, or potentially could be, using to assess the impact of our digital education programs specifically? Is this one area we could start to develop a collaborative research agenda around?
  5. My “what’s occupying my thoughts at the moment” issue: I love Twitter for many reasons. Is it a good platform to reach teachers or are there others we should be using?

See you on Twitter – Thursday, 2 July, 7.30pm AEST! Hashtag #MuseumEdOz

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