Creating, connecting, participating in communities #MWA2015

The Museums and the Web Asia conference was held on 5-8 October this year in Melbourne. Communities came up in many of the presentations and conversations on the Twitter backchannel #MWA2015. Here are some of the conversations about communities:

What Retrogamers can teach the Museum showed us the Popular Memory Archive which encouraged people to share their memories of 1980s video games and gaming in Australia and New Zealand. An online community of experts shared their recollections including images of themselves playing games which reminded me of my own childhood and different types of play. A tweet shared this video by curator Michael Reason from Museum Victoria which encourages students to research and document their own family or community history. You can read a Storify here

During the Professional Forum with Tim Hart, Seb Chan and Janet Carding we heard about Communities of Practice and there was a discussion on Twitter about attending conferences and professional development opportunities both in person/face to face and also getting online and contributing to professional communities and platforms. This theme of connecting in person and online was strong throughout the conference. Here are some tweets from the Q&A session:


Answers: be an employer of choice; people will be brilliant with you, when they leave you have a diaspora – community of practice #MWA2015

— Amelia (@amelbow) October 7, 2015

Answers: opportunities to do things they can’t in the private sector, having a trust relationship with your people is critical #MWA2015

— Amelia (@amelbow) October 7, 2015

This is from Courtney Johnston‘s fabulous mystery shopper tour of museums in the USA:


Alexis Tindall spoke about the Atlas of Living Australia and how she solved the problem of content on aging websites by uploading the content to Wikipedia: “We put the information where people would find it”.


Jan Molloy, Cameron Hocking and Narelle Lemon presented Musing, media, and mediation: Social media and museum learning. The slides from their talk are well worth a read and you can check out a Storify here.

They have applied principles for engaging with social media personally and professionally to build @MVteachers – a strong connected community of teachers, learners, and cultural institutions. They see the museum as part of the learning community, rather than separate to the learning community which helps to build networks, connecting and bringing ideas from outside into the museum.

Their multi layered approach includes working in partnership across sectors (museum and education) to create a community that connects online through Twitter #PLN (professional learning networks) #CL15 tweet chats and Twitter tours #mvtours, and face to face with an accredited Teacher Education core subject with Masters of Teaching (primary) at La Trobe University in partnership with Melbourne Museum, Immigration Museum, and National Museum of Victoria.


Nicole Kearney and Ely Wallis told us about how a online community of volunteers are transcribing hand written archival field diaries in Transcribing between the lines: crowd-sourcing historic data collection and how they worked with that community.


There are strong opportunities to connect with communities using online/digital technology and IRL for museum professionals and members of the community. Follow @MVteachers and @ANMMedu and connect with the professional learning network.


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