Planning, Executing, and Evaluating Digital Projects in Museums

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Regardless of your reasons for becoming a museum professional, part of working in the field is working well with others. The curatorial staff has a different agenda than the advancement department, the board of trustees has different tasks than docents, and visitors have a different perspective than the public programming department. All museum professionals can benefit from understanding the basics of Project Management. With all of the new and exciting potentials of digital media, museum staffs across the board need to work with one another to create the best possible experience for visitors. Continue reading “Planning, Executing, and Evaluating Digital Projects in Museums”

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Making Museums Accessible for Everyone

 

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Image taken from the Arizona Commission on the Arts website

Back in 2010, the United States Department of Justice announced that new regulations in the Americans with Disabilities Act would require website managers make their content accessible to all users. This meant providing means for anyone with an internet connection the means to consume the information available online. For all of those who haven’t ever had an issue with reading or seeing what is on the screen, this may not seem like that big of a deal; But for those who have physical or mental disabilities, it was overdue. Imagine that you’re that you are blind, the internet—the world of information available at your fingertips—was still vastly unexplored. Needless to say, this was a big deal. For museums, this goes beyond the ADA’s requirement; Providing multilingual content for their visitors is also crucial, especially at international institutions. Continue reading “Making Museums Accessible for Everyone”

Museums, Technology, and Engagement

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Collection Wall at the Cleveland Museum of Art, Gallery One. Photo credit: Local Projects

Last week in class, we discussed audience research, visitor study, and evaluation. These endeavors are essential in keeping the museum close to the pulse of their audience. While there are many ways in which museums collect and use this information on their visitors, the goal is to improve the experience for everyone. Museum staff tasked with this job of looking at the day-to-day operations and interactions between visitors and the collection must extract raw data, piece it together to understand something, and then develop a plan to create a more meaningful experience for future visitors. This is by no means an easy task and there aren’t really any shortcuts or cheap options. It is hard work. Continue reading “Museums, Technology, and Engagement”

What is a museum in the Digital Age?

 

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Jenny Holzer, Guggenheim Installation (1989)

Whether you are a tech-savvy teen, a Wall Street business-type, a museum professional, or even a Luddite, you are aware that we are living in a Digital Age. It seems like everyone has their phone, tablet, and/or laptop with them at all times. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, although it can definitely be; Distractions, diversions, dilemmas exist on these screens and they are entirely digital. Our handheld data-streams aren’t inherently evil, but they are beginning to toe-the-line between helpful and harmful.

Alright, now that I have gotten the vague and dramatic pitfalls and blunders of the Digital Age out of the way, let’s talk about museums. How can museums embrace and integrate digital technology into the museum? How can museums use “big data” to improve visitor experiences? How can museums expand their collection and resources digitally? There are plenty of other good questions that are being asked and many that have yet to be thought of, but, I think that this is a good start. Continue reading “What is a museum in the Digital Age?”