Today’s lecture was given by Rhiannon Loosely, who came from the Museum of London, with the topic of digital learning, online learning in particular, mean in today’ s museums. As we all know, people today are enjoying the internet and online resources. Most of us have free access to the latest news and information via the Internet and this also encouraged organisations to re-consider their roles and functions in the community. Museums’ functions and ultimate aims, as has been discussed in this course so many times, are to preserve the exhibits, to decode their cultural significance and to educate the populace. Recently, museums are joining those educational organisations which are seeking for the most cost-friendly, efficient, straightforward, modernised, and fun way to spread knowledge to people. With the help of all-sided Internet, although some people are already fed up with it because of its cons, a number of museums are introducing digital learning to their online audiences and putting the topic of digital learning on their daily schedules.
From my personal points of view, digital learning is so much accessible than visiting the ‘real’ museums. According to the report written by Bayne et al (2009), the recent decade has seen a shift “toward a renewal of the museum’s role as educational” and museums are divided into two groups in terms of their focuses, one is generally considered as object-focussed institution and another one is considered as user-focussed. Bayne et al claimed that:
In a user-focussed museum, the expertise of professional staff (such as curators) is only a small part of – and dependent upon – the wider expertise of the whole community; the audience therefore must be ‘in here’ as well as ‘out there’ if the institution is to develop successfully. (no page)
The “out there’ here refers to online methods, including online learning, virtual museum, etc. In fact, lots of museums are using the digital learning method to encourage visitors get involved. Actually, in terms of ‘digital’, there are a number of forms can be found. Podcast is one of them. Here is an example of the blogger launching her personal Podcast. (http://www.mooshme.org/2015/04/preview-object-oriented-the-new-podcast-on-digital-learning-in-museums/). Some may say this is only a person looking into expressing her ideas via Podcast. But National Museum of Australia has launched an innovative iPad game and an intelligent robot to provide new learning opportunities for the youth.
(Photograph by Monica Murphy/Getty Images.)
People can get so many benefits from digital learning. For example, since every audience comes from a different background, customised learning tool is hardly to achieved at the museum site. On the contrary, customised learning programmes are being developed and launched in hundreds of innovative schools. With customised learning programmes come expanded learning opportunities. Knowledge is open to everyone, citing Education Reimagined, “learning happens at many times and in many places and intentionally leverages its expansive nature in the learner’s development of competencies. learners with authentic, rich, and diverse learning opportunities” (Ark, 2015).
Ark, T. (2015). The Shift to Digital: 10 Benefits. [online] Getting Smart. Available at: http://www.gettingsmart.com/2015/11/the-shift-to-digital-learning-10-benefits/ [Accessed 31 Dec. 2016].
Barry, (2016). Preview Object-Oriented, The New Podcast on Digital Learning in Museums | Moosha Moosha Mooshme. [online] Moosha Moosha Mooshme. Available at: http://www.mooshme.org/2015/04/preview-object-oriented-the-new-podcast-on-digital-learning-in-museums/ [Accessed 31 Dec. 2016].
Bayne, S., Ross, J., & Williamson, Z. (2009). Objects, subjects, bits and bytes: learning from the digital collections of the National Museums. museum and society, 7(2), 110-124.
National Museum of Australia, (2016). Embracing digital learning | National Museum of Australia. [online] Nma.gov.au. Available at: http://www.nma.gov.au/about_us/publications/pubs/the_museum_three/issue_three/embracing_digital_learning [Accessed 31 Dec. 2016].