The MCG website now has profiles of the projects moving forward from the LIVE!Museum Project. My favourite (I'm biased because I am on the development team) is I, Object.
Whilst all the projects are concerned with enhancing the on-site museum experience I, Object examines how the 'web' (in its broadest sense) can enhance the character of the object. Because the encounter with an object in a gallery should be a special experience, informational layers must add to, rather than detract, from that experience. This project seeks to reassert the "relevance of the object, its enduring significance and its contemporary relationships to in-gallery and other experiences".
The research question, and one now being developed into a funding proposal, is 'How can Museums and Heritage Institutions bring in external live content in order to enhance visitors’ experience of in-gallery objects?'
"What is imagined is an object-centred network that generates live content drawn from within, and beyond, the site itself in such a way as to enhance the visitor’s experience of in-gallery objects".
A proposal for workshops associated with devleoping the conceptual fraemework for his project are being discussed so hopefully we can benefit from a wider community imput into the idea in the next two or three months.
The original intention of the SOLE Learning Design model and its associated toolkit was, and remains, to embed academic professional development support 'inside' a learning development 'tool' and to embody good practice.
This isn't as simple as it sounds but I have to say I'm enjoying the attempt. The SOLE Model (Student-Owned Learning-Engagement Model) was first mooted at the end of 2009 and previewed at DEANZ in Wellington, NZ in April 2010. In July 2010 it was presented as a work in progress at the LAMS European Learning Design conference and a cloud floated on www.Cloudworks.ac.uk.
The response has been interesting, such a simple tool (Excel!) but an easy one to use, and for some, well suited to their approach. For me, the issue has been about producing a tangible product that the student will see, and potentially manipulate. That the student can see, and engage with the learning design is, I think, significant.
Version 1.2 of the SOLE 'Toolkit' has been uploaded today and a number of support videos (linked to from within the workbook) have been loaded onto www.YouTube.com/theSOLEmodel channel. The inclusion student feedback on time spent, the inclusion of Intended Learning Outcomes on each student view, and the development of significant guidance and advice on each element of the model makes me feel Version 1.2 is ready! But, there is more work to be done on the advice and guidance in particular and I am considering how that may link in time to pages here on WordPress. I would like if possible to keep it very much 'self-contained' within the toolkit but user feedback may change that.
Serendipity perhaps. Yesterday I found myself looking at an article by James Davies (2006), 'Dialogue, Monologue and Soliloquy in the Large Lecture Class', International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education 19 (2) 178-182) which wonderfully articulates the difference between large class teaching delivered for, and to, an audience and the ruminations of a speaker in their own world on stage. Last night on the BBC Magazine website there was then a wonderful 4 minute clip of actor/director Samuel West describing the different manner in which that Shakespeare's famous soliloquy from Hamlet "To Be or Not to Be...." might be performed. The two sit beautifully together as a little staff development package for academics, and I for one intend to use them that way!
Back in August I attended a 'sandpit', brainstorming workshop at School of Museum Studies, University of Leicester. This was the second of three such sandpits forming the LIVE!Museum project, led by Dr. Ross Parry at Leicester’s Museum Studies. LIVE!Museum (more detail on the Museum Computer Group website) is an AHRC / BT funded initiative, led by Parry, to create viable research projects exploring ‘live’ content.
On the 14th September we held the Research*Mart, a 'final stage', drawing together work from 3 earlier ‘sandpits’. Details will appear on the Museum Computer Group site in due course. There were some 40 people present from curators and conservators, to academics and researcher, commercial museum designers, sound designers, software developers and educators. It was a thrilling day, but having contributed to early discussion of 'SmartSpaces' and 'LiveTAG', my passions definitely lay with 'I, Object' (possibly to be renamed) which explored the idea of the individual museum object or artefact being made ‘live’. The project seeks to explore the idea that the object can 'draw in' live content about itself, its semantic relationships, and its contemporary relevance in response to visitor interaction.
The educational opportunities, for learner (visitor) directed and initiated meaning making are significant and we know have to work out where the funding for this interesting work might come from.