Thursday, May 13, 2010

Interactivity 2010

Janet Petitpas, Gyroscope Senior Associate

The ACM 2010 meeting did not differ greatly from other ACM meetings in format, discussion, or informal conversations. I found it interesting that the economy was no longer a main focus of conversation (it remains a concern but seems less urgent). Risk-taking and green design/implementation/practice were more topical this year.

Notes about conversations on the street/what is being talked about:

· Risk-taking was a big topic of conversation. Institutions are trying to step out of the box and create innovative projects despite concerns for safety and legal pressures.

· Green design and practice was also a big focus with many sessions on this topic.

· There was less conversation about the economy, but fundraising remains difficult and there were many conversations about creative fundraising.

· Some of the presentations included: Children’s Museum of Phoenix talked about risks taken with their new climbing structure. Looks very cool and City Museum-like and opens on May 21st.

6 Big Ideas:

Museums, Libraries and 21st Century Skills

· Very interesting session about the ILMS 21st Century Skills framework and how two museums have implemented it.

· The Children’s Museum of Houston has framed its entire strategic plan around the framework.

· The session focused on how Museums can take part in preparing children for the skills they will need in the future including: “just in time” learning, making sense of on-line information, digital literacy and creative problem-solving.

· Changes in museums have been fuelled by this need for change: from presentation/display to audience engagement, from located in community to embedded in community, and focused on outcomes and evidence.

· The Children’s Museum of Houston has been focusing on allowing visitors to use their smart phones to connect to the Museum and its content and combining the virtual and on-site Museum (they will host next year’s ACM and it would be interesting to see how they are doing this).

The Changing Face of Technology in Children’s Museums

· The panelists were largely against technology for technology’s sake and quoted a 3/6/9/12 rule. No screens before age 3, no internet before age 6, no electronic gaming until age 9 and no unsupervised internet before age 12. A study in the UK showed that parents want less technology at Museum for their kids.

· Pittsburgh talked about their artist residency program

· NEH has published a paper about technology and the humanities.

Nature Play: The Environmental Connection

· Madison Children’s Museum talked about their rooftop garden and greenhouse. All materials for their new site are natural, including straw, clay, stone and wood and local (within a 100 mile radius).

· The rooftop will include a chicken coop and pigeons. School kids will be able to take a pigeon back to school that will fly back to the Museum.

· Madison Children’s Museum founded the website of resources.

· The Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose’s (CDMSJ) outdoor exhibit was originally about the past, called “The Way Back Lot” but is now called “The Open Lot,” focusing on nature play. This was influenced by Wild Zones, which is a new organization.

One Person’s Trash is Another Person’s Treasure

· This session looked at using recycled and retooled materials for exhibitions and building projects.

· The Madison Children’s Museum presented their building project, which uses all recycled materials including old school gym floors and bleachers.

Mill City Museum

· Mill City Museum is built in an old flourmill. The building burned down in the early 1990s and they have rebuilt the fa├žade but used the destroyed building as its own interpretive element. The museum includes an exhibition area downstairs and a wonderful object theater viewed on each floor of the museum while sitting in their freight elevator. An observation deck in the upper floors presents change over time in the industry and the city. Included in the exhibit area downstairs is a staffed baker’s workshop, which is open during museum hours.

Other Cool Stuff:


1 comment:

Justine said...

Check out our picture from the conference on FB and post yours if you took one. We saw some pretty great photos while we were there and we'd love for you to share them!