There are gender wars, and then there are casualties. It wasn’t until 2011 that the behemoth toymaker LEGO acknowledged girls’ desire to build with bricks, even though the company had long before made a seemingly effortless pivot to co-branding, video games, and major motion pictures. So it’s little wonder that girls face all-too-real obstacles when […]Read more
Games and gaming principles have a useful role in exhibit design for both real world and virtual settings. “As educators, we’re always looking for ways to make museum content ‘stickier’ and more meaningful,” says Michelle Moon in a recent blog post, “All fun and games.” Moon designs and runs public programs for adults at the Peabody Essex Museum.
To get thinking about it, here are some simple game structures that work well for museum learning: (more…)
Over 30,000 objects are now available for anyone to savor and study online, for free, in impressive high resolution, in Google’s ‘Art Project.” This is 30x expansion from the thousand objects in the first version launched in February 2011. See our prior article, The virtual vs. the real: Giga-resolution in Google Art Project. The project now has 151 partners in 40 countries; in the U.S., the initial four museums has grown to 29 institutions, including the White House and some university art galleries.
See the site: Google Art Project (more…)
QR codes are a way to send information to mobile devices (e.g., a smartphone) using its camera. You send a short blurb of text, or a web address (URL) by representing it as a code which people photograph from their phone.
The codes are easy to generate. Several web sites and software programs will make the codes for you.
To read the codes, users need a QR reader app to take a snapshot of the code with their device’s camera. The app returns the decoded text or web URL.
In the photo at left, a pedestrian takes a photo of a QR code promoting an Andy Warhol show.
There are hundreds of barcode-reader apps (e.g., RedLaser and QuickMark for iOS and Android devices, and the Kaywa reader for dumber smartphones), and code-reading can be included in custom apps, e.g., a museum tour. (more…)
Wikipedia, the free, online encyclopedia that “anyone can edit,” is a useful way to deliver scientific and cultural knowledge to the public. Wikipedia is the 5th most visited web site, with 400–450 million unique visitors per month.
It’s not “merely a larger audience, but a different audience,” says Sara Snyder, webmaster for the Smithsonian Institution’s Archives of American Art, who has recently started to use Wikipedia more. She says, “Our main website is geared towards an academic-minded or university-level student, researcher, curator, or professional art historian. Yet we have information and collections that may inform or appeal to a broader set of folks, such as younger students and art enthusiasts. Wikipedia is a platform for trying to start serving those researchers too, without overhauling the current way we do business or our existing website.” (more…)
The following were the twenty most visited art exhibitions of 2010: (more…)
What’s the difference between a science museum and a science center? To insiders, the difference is the extent a museum is based on a collection of objects vs. experiences they create for visitors.
To the public, it’s largely immaterial. (more…)
Games on mobile devices are a new way to engage museum visitors. Two companies gave presentations at yesterday’s Museums & Mobile 2011 online conference.
One popular type of game is a miniature scavenger hunt, called “location-gaming.” The premise is that players go places (e.g., a restaurant or park), do fast, simple tasks (like typing something into their phone, or uploading a photo of something), and win a reward (the reward can virtual “points,” or something tangible, like a free postcard or sandwich). Other types of games are more thematic, such as creating playing-card “battles” between characters that appear in art. (more…)
Walking over rough sandstone blocks, between adobe houses, our $20/person tour wove through the streets and alleys of a small village atop a mesa in the Acoma Pueblo, in New Mexico.
The tour culminated in the local church (at right), the San Esteban del Rey Mission, which is a source of great pride, and also a symbol of Catholic persecution of traditional peoples. The earthen walls are many feet thick, and the roof is supported by centuries-old logs. (more…)