Learning in the 21C museum #TBT #fma2017


National Museum of Finland

This #throwbackthursday post comes to you from the Finnish Museums Association annual conference, Collections: storing and using of the metadata, at the National Museum of Finland, Helsinki. I’m one of the keynote speakers and presenting a paper, Are museum collections still relevant in the 21st century? (answer = it depends…) – more on this to come.

Travelling there reminded me of the last time I presented to this group in 2011 and am re-posting this paper (from the Australian Museum’s website) as some background for the 2017 conference.


This keynote paper, presented at the Open and Learning Museum Conference, Tampere, Finland, 12 October 2011, unpacks what learning looks like for museums in the 21st century.


Web 2.0, social media and mobile technologies are one of the defining issues for museums in the twenty-first century. Museums now need to operate across three spheres: their physical site; the online world (via websites and social media) and in the mobile space. What this means for how we engage our audiences in future is only beginning to be understood by museums across the world.

Given the rapid pace of change, access to new tools for learning and the subsequent focus on digital literacy, how will museum visitors learn across these three spheres? Drawing on latest research this paper will identify the key trends around learning in museums, and discuss what these mean for museum practice, not only in the education and interpretive fields, but across the entire organisation.


The paper can be downloaded here: LEM paper 12 Oct Kelly

You can follow along on Twitter – I’m using the hashtag #fma2017 for want of a better one!

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