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Utilizing social media to facilitate two-way involvement with the museum

Page history last edited by Nancy Proctor 9 years, 11 months ago

Case Study title: Utilizing Social Media to Facilitate Two-Way Involvement with the Museum

 

Presenter: Penelope Taylor

 

Brief Abstract:

Based on the ideas of liberatory praxis and an aversion to "banking" forms of education as suggested by education theorist Paolo Freire, I am interested in the possibilities of challenging positions of authority and using social media to facilitate two-way dialogue between museum visitors and community members that informs educational programming at the museum. Placed in the instantaneous and inundated world of museum constituents using social media, the issue of encouraging effective public participation appears on the forefront. What are the most viable ways to involve the response or input of museum "outsiders" into the museum? Based on a collaborative cell phone tour project at the Rose Art Museum that gave recent immigrant women a chance to publicly interpret the museum with their own voices, I’m interested in the experiences others have had sharing knowledge and in tailoring exhibitions to meet the interests of museum constituents.

 

Abstract:

 

By tapping into the way people use the Internet, acknowledging established systems of communication in curatorial and museum educational practice, and attributing information to an author (museum-related or not), informed programming (i.e. public-created cell phone tours or poll-guided exhibition planning) gives the public an online and on-site presence and are prime examples of the potential for using social media for good, two-way, dialogic conversations and updating the place of museums in the world today. Based on the ideas of liberatory praxis and an aversion to "banking" forms of education as suggested by education theorist Paolo Freire, I am interested in the possibilities of challenging positions of authority and using social media to facilitate two-way dialogue between museum visitors and community members that informs educational programming at the museum. A museum’s constituencies are far-flung. From regular visitors, donors and staff to potential visitors, neighbors, school groups and young professionals, the question of who a museum is attempting to serve and how and whether museums can be “all things to all people” is a constant point of entry for leisure science considerations. How people spend their “free time” and how learning happens in the museum are both influential when determining the logistics of such buzzwords as interactive, interpretive, and community-based museum programming. Placed in the instantaneous and inundated world of museum constituents using social media, the issue of encouraging effective public participation appears on the forefront. Since it is still fairly recent, many museums are still parsing out the role of social media in their institutions, and refocusing missions to include the rapidity and wide range of communication that accompanies social media and technology activities in each museum. What are the most viable ways to involve the response or input of museum "outsiders" (anyone other than museum staff or those seen in authoritative positions) into the museum? Based on my experience of a collaborative cell phone tour project at the Rose Art Museum that gave recent immigrant women a chance to publicly interpret the museum with their own voices, I’m interested in the experiences others have had sharing knowledge and making feedback much more than that, to empower visitors about their own knowledge about the museum and tailor exhibitions to meet the interests of museum constituents.

 

 

Session Info

  • Type: Case Study Showcase
  • Keywords: social media, exchanging knowledge, imput-influenced programming
  • Relevance: I believe that "banking" information to visitors is often par for the course in museums, but I do believe that active educators can seek to gain knowledge from visitors an an effort to empower the visitors and break down power differences between those "in the know" and potentially intimidated visitors. This session observes how people use the internet, thereby hinting at how they engage with open-ended questions, info provided by museums online, etc. Moving forward with web-use habits in mind can make participating and contributing less intimidating, and the end product more satisfying. Target audience: museum educators, visitors, web people.

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