Research Question 3: Key Trends

What trends do you expect to have a significant impact on the ways in which we approach museum education and interpretation?

INSTRUCTIONS: Enter your responses to the questions below. This is most easily done by moving your cursor to the end of the last item and pressing RETURN to create a new bullet point. Please include URLs whenever you can (full URLs will automatically be turned into hyperlinks; please type them out rather than using the linking tools in the toolbar.

Please "sign" your contributions by marking with the code of 4 tildes (~) in a row so that we can follow up with you if we need additional information or leads to examples- this produces a signature when the page is updated, like this: - Sam Sam Jul 1, 2013

NOTE: During the voting process, the Key Trends are sorted into three time-related categories:

Fast Trends
These are trends that are driving edtech adoption now, but will likely remain important for only next one to two years. Virtual Worlds was a example of a fast trend that swept up attention in 2007-8.

Mid-Range Trends
These trends will be important in decision-making for a longer term, and will likely continue to be a factor in decision-making for the next three to five years.

Long-Range Trends
These are trends that will continue to have impact on our decisions for a very long time. Many of them have been important for years, and continue to be so. These are the trends -- like mobile or social media -- that continue to develop in capability year over year.


Compose your entries like this:

Trend Name
Add your ideas here with a few of sentences description including full URLs for references (e.g. http://horizon.nmc.org). And do not forget to sign your contribution with 4 ~ (tilde) characters!



Creating Authentic Learning Opportunities
As people become accustomed to tools that allow them to do things that previously required a great deal of expertise (i.e., video editing, or publishing to the web), they begin to appreciate the creative skills involved in actually producing science or art or the like. “Makers” are an emerging category of museum visitors, especially for science museums, who want to not only appreciate what they see in technical, historical or other contexts, but to also understand how it was created. "Maker” experiences, which engage visitors of all ages in individual and collective experiences of tinkering, making, and discovery are a growing trend, and there is a role for all categories of museums in supporting and encouraging such experiences. This is an editorial suggestion. The sentence "...creative skills involved in actually producing science or art or the like." might be more accurately phrased: "...creative skills involved in actually engaging in scientific inquiry, producing art or the like." - bmeyer bmeyer Nov 4, 2014 I agree with Lori - this is a relatively new area for museums but one that bring great rewards as already mentioned - shazan shazan Nov 2, 2014 The trend toward connecting with the maker community is an important one. There's much potential in museums using these models to fill the gap in hands-on learning opportunities and 21st century skills, all while providing opportunities to collaborate on diverse projects. (My makerspace ah-ha moment is documented on the NMC blog: http://www.nmc.org/news/reflections-community-makerspaces-and-future-museums ) - LoriByrdPhillips LoriByrdPhillips Oct 27, 2014- jludden jludden Nov 4, 2014 This idea of learning by doing needs to be spread to adults as well. Museums are doing an excellent job with educational "learning by doing" movements for students, but not nearly enough with adult programming. Brooklyn Museum http://www.brooklynmuseum.org/education/adults/adults.php is doing a great job, and organizations like Museum Hack (essentially a tour company http://www.museumhack.com/) are popping up to fill the void - Jenoleniczak Jenoleniczak Oct 30, 2014 < This. Lectures are too often the default solution for adult programming. - Jeff.A Jeff.A Oct 31, 2014 - AHelmreich AHelmreich Nov 2, 2014 - jludden jludden Nov 4, 2014 Indeed! - jfoley jfoley Nov 5, 2014- mcollerd mcollerd Nov 5, 2014 The IMLS and MacArthur Foundation joined forces to create 24 learning labs for teens and pre-teens, often incorporating 'maker' spaces and activities--definitely about youth as 'producers and not consumers' of culture. There is a body of literature that has emerged about this project as well as other MacArthur-supported digital media and learning projects. [[user:marsha.semmel|1414976402] - jludden jludden Nov 4, 2014 These spaces (like YOUMedia at the Chicago Public Library) are fantastic. I believer there is also a teen-focused maker space at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago. The hurdle that I've seen most recently has been making the leap to adults. (see comment about lecture default above). - jfoley jfoley Nov 5, 2014 Another opportunity is to meet people where they are, so to speak. The Powerhouse Museum in Australia, for example, runs Minecraft workshops as a way of providing a maker space for young people to do what's important to them. http://www.powerhousemuseum.com/thinkspace/minecraft-gallery/ [- ewallis ewallis Nov 3, 2014] Stanford has begun to host a Fablearn conference: http://fablearn.stanford.edu/2014/ and this past year a sister conference began in Europe: http://fablearn.eu/ both are helping to explore pedagogical models around making which can inform museum efforts, and museum efforts and outreach are likewise informing what is being tried in classrooms. - bmeyer bmeyer Nov 3, 2014- jludden jludden Nov 4, 2014 The Denver Art Museum has making spaces throughout their permanent collection such as their Thread Studio: http://www.denverartmuseum.org/tags/thread studio - jfoley jfoley Nov 5, 2014 Some of our most successful classes and programs feature students "making" front pages using both print and electronic means. Getting them involved in making editorial decisions engages them in deeper thinking about what "news " is and hopefully helps develop critical thinking. For this generation doing and making is more engaging than listening to a lecture. - Psparrow Psparrow Nov 5, 2014 I don't think this is something new - people have always been fascinated with the way things work or are made - in art museums that might have more to do with how the artist made the work, what is important about how it's made, etc. Additionally, I think museum education departments have also long had kid 'maker' programs. What is more emerging is the mix with the digital fabrication world and combining those techniques which seems to edge up the age of programs for maker (an adult or teen may be more likely to attend a 'maker' workshop than one where the making is more, say, tissue paper based. The growing maker movement and self-identification into this category does have an impact on how we can work with audiences. It think it's important for museums to take a key role in this informal learning trend. ... of course... i'm biased! - lizneely.mail lizneely.mail Nov 5, 2014- alex alex Feb 19, 2016test test

Expanding the Concept of Museum Visitors
The dichotomy between the on-site and virtual museum visitor is blurring rapidly, and both audiences have high expectations with regard to online access to services and information. Increasingly, people who are unable to make a physical trip to a museum are able to access its collections and respond and contribute meaningfully to conversations about what may be happening in the physical space, redefining what it means to be a museum patron. Through emerging digital tools, museums are now able to develop long term relationships with visitors that expands beyond the physical walls of the museum and the duration of an exhibition. Acknowledging the needs of a global audience is important in helping to keep museums relevant.
Here's a relevant article from Australia: Visitors to Australia's museums rise on the back of a digital exprience: http://theconversation.com/visits-to-australias-museums-rise-on-the-back-of-a-digital-experience-32699 - lkelly lkelly Oct 26, 2014- jludden jludden Nov 4, 2014 With the rise of the "digital native", we are seeing audiences who won't see a difference between digital experiences and analog ones. If we equally valued online visitors as much as we do physical visitors, what might museum websites be like? Would they just be marketing and visiting information, or would they become rich learning experiences? - ortiz ortiz Oct 28, 2014 Couple this idea with emerging tech which allows for a far more "realistic" virtual experience, and this trend emerges as a major factor in how a museum should approach global audiences. - Jeff.A Jeff.A Oct 31, 2014 As we know that museum visit is usually done in a group of two or more people - a collective event, why therefore so many of digital content is designed for a single user (if we leave social media and some serious games aside)? I think that museums have a great potential in helping the society being less individual. The potential is also in connecting onsite visitors with users who are visiting digtial content via remore access (e.g. telepresence). - kaja kaja Nov 2, 2014- cweinard cweinard Nov 4, 2014 - jfoley jfoley Nov 5, 2014 There's also the concept of the visitor journey, where there are digital and physical elements all along a person's journey before, during and after a visit to a museum. See the example of the San Francisco Exploratorium http://www.adaptivepath.com/ideas/exploratorium-mapping-the-experience-of-experiments/ [- ewallis ewallis Nov 3, 2014] - jfoley jfoley Nov 5, 2014 I just don't buy the idea that even with digital natives, we are now seeing audiences who "won't see a difference between a digital experiences" and visiting the analog museum. Do we believe that? Sorry, but I just do not. That's like saying movie audiences in the 1940s or 1950s or now did not recognize the difference between watching two actors kiss and doing it themselves. No way. Maybe the analogy is not direct, but the idea that people somehow don't see a difference is just misguided. Okay, a digital experience created by a museum is a "real" experience, and what happens in the meatspace museum is real, too. But they are different. Now, the second part of ortiz's post is valid, i.e. that we should consider what would happen if we valued the "real" virtual visit as much as the "real" analog visit. That's worth considering - weberj weberj Nov 3, 2014 Agree with weberj that physical and virtual museum experiences are and will continue to be different. The consideration here is how we deliver cultural experiences virtually. Not documentation or the representation of an artistic program that happens on our physical campus but using the web as presentation space. I'm thinking of projects like MoMA's Design and Violence http://www.moma.org/visit/calendar/exhibitions/1445, an online curatorial project/forthcoming "dispersed exhibition" that doesn't exist in the galleries, and the virtual design design collection curated by Andrew Blauvelt and talked about here: http://www.aiga.org/video-HHH-2013-blauvelt/ - rdowden rdowden Nov 4, 2014 The Omnimuseum Project has been cogitating on this topics for several years now. Worth a gander. http://www.omnimuseum.org/id1.html - mwall mwall Nov 4, 2014 The enormous impact of mobile can't be underestimated in the physical vs digital discussion. (ortiz, weberj, rdowden) Is the visitor tweeting/audiotouring/researching on their smartphone in the galleries analog or digital? physical or virtual? Word-of-mouth now travels from mouth to ear to Twitter to Facebook to mouth to ear. We should deliver digital experiences that are mindful of physical context, and vice-versa. Digital is a part of daily life.- cweinard cweinard Nov 4, 2014 Agreed! - jfoley jfoley Nov 5, 2014 I'm curious about the evidence to this trend especially "museums are now able to develop long term relationships with visitors that expands beyond the physical walls of the museum and the duration of an exhibition." How is a long term relationship measured? How are we measuring engagement digitally? How are these experiences being quantified. Page views, repeat visits, etc does not necessarily translate to the same engagement levels as physically being in the presence of an object.- mcollerd mcollerd Nov 5, 2014 Providing a constantly updated resource is important in developing a long term relationship with online visitors. Who are not always going to be physical visitors. The Newseum's Today's Front Pages is by far our most important draw to the website, and while it builds a relationship with teachers and journalists all over the world,. it is not clear if it turns them into visitors. Even a small change to the functionality resulted in hundreds of complaints, so ti can also work both ways. - Psparrow Psparrow Nov 5, 2014 I agree with weberj, there is a difference between the digital and analog museum visit. However, I also think there is a opportunity for museums to build relationships with visitors digital. Many people who live in rural areas and aren't able to travel access museums digitally and consider themselves a regular going to said museums. Sadly I'm not sure museums realize the extent to which these relationships exist.- heathermarie.wells heathermarie.wells Nov 5, 2014 I think and interesting twist on this is how an 'always connected' mindset (and accompanying museum wireless) can transform a solo visit to a museum into and global conversation. Mia Ridge visited the Art Institute of Chicago and tweeted some thoughts that turned into an online discussion. Insta-community in dialogue about the museum...this should be encouraged to make the museum a launch point for discussion. - lizneely.mail lizneely.mail Nov 5, 2014

Growth of Cross-Institution Collaboration
Museums are increasingly aware of the ways in which content, including but not limited to unmediated collections data, may be seen and used in the broader networked environment. The days of gigantic, multi-year, foundation-funded collaborative projects are probably on the wane. Increasingly, multi-institutional collaboration will occur at the data level with institutions being collaborative partners only in a passive sense, and the real work of pulling multiple resources together being accomplished downstream, possibly by third-party organizations.
- AHelmreich AHelmreich Oct 24, 2014Collaborations may also take the form of unanticipated partnerships. Is it of value for museums to learn how their digital content is being reused, repurposed etc. If this a measure of efficacy or is it a mindless trawl of the internet? This idea needn't be focused solely on data-sharing or grant-funded projects, but can also include increasingly creative methods for museums to collaborate via social media. Mar Dixon is a great example of someone who coordinates massive cross-institutional collaborative projects on social media, which helps all participants reach new audiences, connect with one another and share resources, and receive some PR along the way. This has inspired other such collaborations between like-minded museums, on projects both small and large. At a time when social media is becoming increasingly pay-to-play, museums are banding together, rather than being competitive with one another, to make a greater impact on social platforms. (Ryan Dodge & I will be speaking on this at MCN. Slides forthcoming.) - LoriByrdPhillips LoriByrdPhillips Oct 27, 2014 - cweinard cweinard Nov 4, 2014 Steven Zucker and I wrote about the importance of cross-museum projects for education in this post "Why the Google Art Project is Important": http://mfeldstein.com/why-the-google-art-project-is-important/ - beth.harris beth.harris Nov 1, 2014 - jludden jludden Nov 4, 2014~ This is a good paper that outlines how to do a multi-institute collaboration by Ely Wallis: http://mwa2014.museumsandtheweb.com/paper/making-multi-institution-collaborations-work-is-there-a-secret-sauce/ The field guide project in Australia she talks about is a great example of cross-institution collaboration - lkelly lkelly Oct 26, 2014 Nice! - Sam Sam Oct 30, 2014 Assuming that cross institutions means across museums only - perhaps this can be broadened to collaborations with similar not-for-profit institutions that also have an educational mission? I am thinking (naturally given what I do!) of Khan Academy, where we now have partnerships with Tate, The Getty Museum, The British Museum, The Asian Art Museum, MoMA, the American Museum of Natural History, the Exploratorium (and more soon!). Khan Academy partners to offer great museum educational content (especially multimedia, but also articles) to a wider audience - and most importantly an audience that may not be aware of what museums have to offer. But distribution is only the start - partnerships (using Khan Academy as an example) can offer museums a platform for developing learning content and activities that they may not be able to achieve on their own websites. Partnerships also offer opportunities to look at additional analytics about users/learners - beth.harris beth.harris Nov 1, 2014 +1 - dhegley dhegley Nov 3, 2014 - jfoley jfoley Nov 5, 2014 Adding the last point on analytics including this reference to the Cultural Data Project: http://www.culturaldata.org/about/ - bmeyer bmeyer Nov 3, 2014 I would like to add the LOD processes here http://lodlam.net/ as a concrete way to integrate dispersed collections and make them visible intuitively and seamlessly - shazan shazan - AHelmreich AHelmreich Nov 2, 2014 +1 - dhegley dhegley Nov 3, 2014 Or cross-sectoral collaboration...Following the philosophy of co-creation and reuse as well as an idea of linking different culture and creative industries, museums play a great role also in new paradigms of tourism as a source of inspiration and knowledge. Two of them are creative tourism (see Creative Tourism Network (http://www.creativetourismnetwork.org/) and nanotourism (http://www.nanotourism.org/). "Nanotourism is a new, constructed term describing a creative critique to the current environmental, social and economic downsides of conventional tourism, as a participatory, locally oriented, bottom-up alternative." Creative tourism: "Tourism which offers visitors the opportunity to develop their creative potential through active participation in courses and learning experiences, which are characteristic of the holiday destination where they are taken." - kaja kaja Nov 2, 2014 I want to put in a strong word for community-wide learning projects (life-wide, life-long, and life-deep) that are taking hold in many cities around the world and include museums. These efforts leverage the potential of social media, digital badging, and the growing emphasis (by funders and other stakeholders) on collective impact, that is, 'moving the needle' on learning results for entire community populations. The collective impact literature has defined (and continues to hone) the key elements and skill sets required for successful pan-community learning efforts. Many articles in the Stanford Social Innovation Review (SSRI). - marsha.semmel marsha.semmel Nov 2, 2014- jludden jludden Nov 4, 2014 - jfoley jfoley Nov 5, 2014 Interesting that no one has mentioned the DPLA http://dp.la/ Could adding open access to our collections to a major aggregator, using standards (gasp!) empower greater collaborations? Or is it just another hard, uphill hike to no return on the investment? - dhegley dhegley Nov 3, 2014 Agreed DPLA is important but so is Flickr, wikipedia, wikimedia and any where else images (and their related content) can be discovered by users. Perhaps most importantly museum content should have a clear license so users know what they can and can't do with it (without a lot of legalese)- we need to reverse the chilling effect image licensing has had on the discipline of art history (see: http://mfeldstein.com/an-open-letter-to-museums-and-libraries-about-images/) - beth.harris beth.harris Nov 4, 2014 I agree that cross institutional collaboration and contributing to aggregators using a standards based approach is an increasing future trend. The museum science community has been doing this for some time - e.g. Encyclopedia of Life, Atlas of Living Australia. I'd also like to put in a word for the Biodiversity Heritage Library - where the contributors are mainly museum and herbarium libraries. BHL is also a foundation member of DPLA. [- ewallis ewallis Nov 5, 2014] Collaborative groups can act as change agents, connecting and empowering museums. There is huge potential in linking collections, connecting staff, sharing tools and knowledge, pooling infrastructure resources, and sharing successes and failures widely. For Balboa Park Online Collaborative, Balboa Park is a lab for how museums can collaborate, to benefit the sector s a whole. (Shout out to the International Social Media Managers Group too--BPOC has recently started a group connecting all the social media managers in Balboa Park.) - cweinard cweinard Nov 4, 2014 - jfoley jfoley Nov 5, 2014

Increasing Emphasis on Rich Media
Museums are beginning to see the value in developing formal strategies for capturing high-quality media documentation at every opportunity. Curators and content specialists are working more closely than ever with educators and technologists to embrace opportunities provided by using digital resources to enhance multi-modal learning both online and in the galleries. Video, audio, and animations are no longer seen as afterthoughts in interpretation but increasingly as necessary components of an interpretive plan. This trend is beneficial to museum professionals and visitors alike as it encourages a deeper understanding of objects, ideas, and audiences. Rich media has become a powerful tool for sharing museum collections through online, mobile and onsite. Balboa Park implemented a project called "Balboa Park Commons." Similar to the "Museum Commons," the Balboa Park Commons provide access to museum's collection. Many museums in Balboa Park installed iPads or touch tables to access content onsite. These files are also accessible online that can potentially capture global audience's attention. There are components that needs to be considered in managing rich media: finding solutions for organizing, indexing and accessing contents, finding technology equipment and creating an app or program to access the content.- luannel luannel Oct 28, 2014 This trend stands out when we look at how contemporary audiences learn by using the Internet. Audiences of all ages are used to finding hyperlinked content that allows them to explore learning in their own way. This gives them choices of how to learn, and how much to learn. Within the physical museum environment, we are limited to how much information we can provide. Our audiences, however, are more used to being able to "click" and get a video, audio, or additional information. How will we adapt our physical and online presence to work for this kind of educational consumer? - ortiz ortiz Oct 28, 2014 Cannot agree more. Rich media speaks to my audience better than anything else. Our community is plugged in at every level and being able to provide video, audio and animation learning examples far outpaces our static displays. - rstriojr rstriojr Nov 1, 2014 a concomitant growth in digital storytelling that is connected to other museum experiences and collections - marsha.semmel marsha.semmel Nov 2, 2014 +1 - dhegley dhegley Nov 3, 2014 - jfoley jfoley Nov 5, 2014 Questions remain about staffing models, production workflows, digital asset management, storage and backup, etc. I agree that our audiences expect more of this kind of content. How will we keep up with demand? - dhegley dhegley Nov 3, 2014 - jfoley jfoley Nov 5, 2014 I agree with is too, it is important to be cognizant of staff capacity for actualizing this projects. We must build in the structures, work flows, and most importantly skill sets to be able to complete projects like these in successful ways that are relevant and useful, not just another video on a tv screen in the corner. - mcollerd mcollerd Nov 5, 2014 At SFMOMA back around the turn of the 21st century, we created a lot of first-wave digital information for visitors, including a big, non-linear art history program about our collection, called Making Sense of Modern Art. It had lots of text, lots of zoomable and static images, and some videos scattered here and there. But what visitors liked the best, by far, by a huge margin, were the many videos that we shot and gathered and licensed, of artists talking about their work. We ended up creating a direct access portal to the videos (which were nested all through SFMoMA) because it was clear that this is what visitors wanted most. Thinking about this, it is intriguing to note the success of Youtube in the past decade. Yes, I think visitors want rich media content. And they can be a bit impatient about how to find it. And if the video clip is boring, badly edited, and basically lame, they likely won't stick with it. I agree, too, that creating compelling rich media content is labor intensive, and often costly, even if only in terms of staff time if you are fortunate enough to have good video, audio, and writing/editing staff. But when you get it right, it is golden. - weberj weberj Nov 3, 2014 +1 - dhegley dhegley Nov 4, 2014 - jfoley jfoley Nov 5, 2014- mcollerd mcollerd Nov 5, 2014 As a matter of course, the Walker now produces trailers for every exhibition, major program and series. For our 75th anniversary, we redirected the funding that in the past would have gone to a print publication to rich media production (see http://www.walkerart.org/75/). This very much ties into ideas around e-publishing, new narrative structures, and storytelling discussed elsewhere. - rdowden rdowden Nov 4, 2014- jludden jludden Nov 4, 2014 Again, the decreasing cost is allowing institutions of all sizes and available resources to embrace this exciting trend. One of the best examples of this I have seen was the "Can You Walk Away?" exhibit at President Lincoln's Cottage. Completely revamped my thinking when it comes to the use of media in an exhibit space. http://lincolncottage.org/canyouwalkaway.html - Jeff.A Jeff.A Nov 4, 2014 This section makes me think about the previous topic as well (cross-institution collaboration). Creating rich media content is something that requires a great deal of skill and resources. How can institutions band together so that we aren't reinventing the wheel? Are there resources and talent that can be shared in some way? For example, capitalizing on similar exhibition themes to build content that can be used at more than one institution. - mcollerd mcollerd Nov 5, 2014 For the Newseum, media is artifact. We embed rich media into every gallery, every exhibit and provide a variety of ways to engage with it. Moving forward museums should consider how to tap into the wearable trend and to better utilize geo tagging and geo tracking. ibeacon low power blue tooth is going to make mobile rich media very location specific. - Psparrow Psparrow Nov 5, 2014

Increasing Focus on Participatory Experiences
Expectations for civic and social engagement are profoundly changing museums' scope, reach, and relationships. More and more, museums are integrating emerging technologies and approaches such as social media, open content, and crowdsourcing as a means of engaging their communities both internally and externally on a continuum of participation. Museum professionals are embracing innovations that enable museums to provide patrons with more immersive opportunities to become part of the art by integrate visitor knowledge into exhibits and objects. Additionally, there is a need to recognize that niche visitor groups and individuals can provide museums with insights that enrich our collections and enhance the interpretive value of an exhibit or objects from collections. This ties in with the below trend of "rethinking the role of museum professionals." I think the two could be combined with the broader trend of, "Incorporating community (or visitor) contributions." This hits on both the idea of increasing participatory experiences online and on-site, and allowing this to more seamlessly occur by shifting the role of the museum expert. It relates to the idea of museums having radical trust in their online communities by being open, transparent, and collaborative. (See Colleen Dilenschneider: http://colleendilen.com/2011/07/05/barriers-to-adapting-social-media-radical-trust/) - LoriByrdPhillips LoriByrdPhillips Oct 27, 2014 - AHelmreich AHelmreich Nov 2, 2014- jludden jludden Nov 4, 2014 +1 - jfoley jfoley Nov 5, 2014 At the ROM we've been moving our focus to include more social engagement activities as the value of 'people telling others that we're cool' far outweighs any paid media. We've been incorporating user generated content in our events and exhibits since 2012. Next year you will see a redesign of some exhibits to integrate this into the overall gallery experience. ( - ryand ryand Oct 28, 2014 ) Nice point - have you done any evaluatins of these programs - how are audiences responding to this kind of content? - lkelly lkelly Nov 2, 2014 If you have done evaluations I would also be very, very interested in hearing about it. - jfoley jfoley Nov 5, 2014 Interesting article on Participatory Arts Practice - http://artmuseumteaching.com/tag/participatory-arts-practice/ - Jenoleniczak Jenoleniczak Oct 30, 2014 Museums have always been participatory expriences, it's just that the tools have changed and made this easier: http://musdigi.wordpress.com/2013/12/18/everything-is-now-online-ruminations-on-crowdsourcing-participation-and-musdigi/ - lkelly lkelly Nov 2, 2014 There's some good examples from this event: http://anmm.wordpress.com/2013/09/23/history-week-2013-part-2/ Flickr has been a great tool for us here at the ANMM - lkelly lkelly Nov 2, 2014- jludden jludden Nov 4, 2014 I think a shift is in the area of co-creation and crowdsourcing (citizen science, etc.) the experiences themselves - marsha.semmel marsha.semmel Nov 2, 2014 We did some research about delivering citizen-science projects and found that they do take a significant resource to undertake - it would need a re-focus/shift in someone's job spec?? - lkelly lkelly Nov 3, 2014 Note that we aren't just talking art museums here. Science and natural history museums have rich potential here in terms of participation in science. see https://www.zooniverse.org/ and http://www.inaturalist.org/projects - mwall mwall Nov 4, 2014 Do I dare raise the point that, while very exciting, it can be a thorny issue internally? - jfoley jfoley Nov 5, 2014 The idea of participatory experiences is very important to the future of museums. I think it is a blunder to limit the idea to crowdsourcing, co-creation, or open content. A participatory experience does not need to be one that holds knowledge or facts as the goal. Rather, museums have and will find great success in providing visitors opportunities to share their personal experiences with works of art in analogue or digital ways. These experiences provide ways for visitors to engage with themes and learning outcomes of an exhibition in more personal, participatory ways. There are a myriad of examples that should be considered in this section of discussion. Just a few: http://www.imamuseum.org/exhibition/essential-robert-indiana/autoportrait, http://blog.phillipscollection.org/2014/03/10/amelia-thinking/, - mcollerd mcollerd Nov 5, 2014 Participation is everything for the under 20 crowd. If they can touch, vote, like or share then it doesn't really matter to them. - Psparrow Psparrow Nov 5, 2014

Prioritization of Cataloging and Digitization Projects
Museums are distinguished by the content they keep and interpret. There is an increasing understanding among museum professionals that visitors expect to be able to readily access accurate and interesting information and high-quality media. This requires museums to plan strategically for the digitization and cataloging of collections. These projects frequently require sacrifices in terms of scarce resources (money, personnel, and time) in order to meet long-term goals. In some ways this is a trend, and a challenge. With educational and learning becoming increasingly digital, audiences are turning towards the Internet to find resources. Museums hold the best content materials (not just objects, but also curricula and other learning content), but have a very small "footprint" of digital resources online. What would happen if all of the museums had their collections online? Would people look to museums as their primary source for much of their learning? - ortiz ortiz Oct 28, 2014 +1 - dhegley dhegley Nov 3, 2014 In many instances we are seeing a shifting perception of what "access" means to the visitor. While we struggle to bring them to us, they are just adamant that we come to them. While the resources necessary to establish a digital presence are often limited, the cost for these technologies is rapidly decreasing and will become more accessible. Investing in these efforts will ensure access to an otherwise inaccessible collection which in turn will help with identification (based on data analytics) of key content that draw the attention of visitors. Digital curation is a powerful equalizer. - Jeff.A Jeff.A Oct 31, 2014 With digitized projects more and more content is publicly available but is there any evaluation if this content is really reaches the general public? They receive the message? - kaja kaja Nov 2, 2014 Good question - jfoley jfoley Nov 5, 2014 If we're finding anything, it's that these days everyone wants an image. It's not longer enough to rely on text only catalogue data. Images, sounds, videos are all wanted by users. I agree with the premise above - digitising collections must include creation of high quality media, along with all the issues and resource considerations that brings (licensing, underlying copyright or other IP in the original, formats, encoding, captioning, etc.) [- ewallis ewallis Nov 3, 2014] That's true but the proliferation of image-based websites has, in some cases, made navigation harder due to download times and the fact that certain audiences (teachers that I samped the other week) just want to text info right there, not images) when they are looking for education programs. On the other hand there is also the fact that 'people are now sharing 500 million photos each day and will double year on year': http://allthingsd.com/20130529/meeker-500-million-photos-shared-per-day-and-thats-on-track-to-double-in-12-months/ - lkelly lkelly Nov 3, 2014 I find it interesting that we are still talking about this. It's not exactly news. I think the issue is that we all know and/or wish we could accelerate the process and provide a much deeper and wider sea of content to all potential audiences. Digitizing and cataloguing are hard work, often lack the glamour that a new app would provide, and harder to fund than ever (funding agencies - perhaps rightfully so - respond with "this should be part of your operational objectives"). How are we going to get this hard work done, and when? - dhegley dhegley Nov 3, 2014 - mcollerd mcollerd Nov 5, 2014

Pushing the Boundaries of Creativity
“As incubators of creative expression, museums flourish as facilitators of the ongoing creative renaissance. They play a vital role in nurturing, documenting, organizing, interpreting and making accessible the new realm of creative output. Museums play an even greater role as economic engines in their communities, helping harness the value generated by the emerging wave of creative-driven commerce and exchange. They are repositories of knowledge about traditional craft, sources of inspiration for new designs and processes, and through their collections and exhibitions, validators of new artists and new art forms.” [Via MUSEUMS & SOCIETY 2034: TRENDS AND POTENTIAL FUTURES http://www.aam-us.org/docs/center-for-the-future-of-museums/museumssociety2034.pdf?sfvrsn=0]

Rethinking the Roles of Museum Professionals
Access to educational materials of all kinds has never been as easy or as open as it is today, and this trend is only increasing. The model of the museum curator or educator who stands in front of an object and interprets meaning for a passive audience is simply no longer realistic in this world of instant access. Museum professionals must respond by changing their roles to reflect the new need to guide and coach visitors in finding, interpreting, and making their own connections with collections and ideas. Museums are also more willing now to see themselves as learners, taking advantage of user-generated content to enhance the overall understanding of collections. - AHelmreich AHelmreich Oct 24, 2014the notion of "shared authority" is a compelling way to frame this. Also Open Authority. There are blurbs I can pull from the recently published book edited by Mia Ridge, "Crowdsourcing our Cultural Heritage," in which I discuss the role of museum experts as moderators and collaborative participants alongside visitors, rather than omniscient purveyors of truth. - LoriByrdPhillips LoriByrdPhillips Oct 27, 2014 +1 ( - ryand ryand Oct 30, 2014 ) I haven't seen any of these, but I'm definitely looking. Interesting article on museum educators http://museumquestions.com/2014/07/23/what-does-a-museum-educator-do-and-do-we-need-them/ - Jenoleniczak Jenoleniczak Oct 30, 2014 This is also interesting when we think about the idea that digital is now part of every museum professional's job. HR and training departments need to re-evaluate their 'curriculum' for professional development, career paths and recruitment in order to support this transformation.- croyston croyston Nov 2, 2014 - mcollerd mcollerd Nov 5, 2014 Here is one European project about new professional profiles who will fill the gap between ICT and museums: "Based on the analysis of the labour market needs and the input received by sectorial stakeholders regarding the development of the training profile model, the eCult Skills partners will identify and specify the knowledge, skills and competencies required for new specialist profiles in the Culture sector and formulates these, according to the structure of the European Qualifications Framework (EQF) and the European e-Competence Framework (e-CF)." See more about profiles by clicking on particular profile: http://ecultskills.eu/pages/project-results - kaja kaja Nov 2, 2014 This is so important. Not only in the curatorial and education arenas but throughout the institution, including its leadership and governing body. In addition to support the need for digital literacy, and data literacy, there are the skills of collaboration, 'turning outward,' facilitating rather than presenting, and redefining more traditional and 'silo-bound' metrics for success and impact. - marsha.semmel marsha.semmel Nov 2, 2014 +1 - Jeff.A Jeff.A Nov 4, 2014 ditto - mwall mwall Nov 4, 2014 - jfoley jfoley Nov 5, 2014 agreed - mcollerd mcollerd Nov 5, 2014 Important to the changing role of museum professionals is the way museum professionals work together. Collaborative, team based approaches to exhibitions, programs, etc needs to be the new norm to adapt to the changing landscape. While this topic is discussed ad nauseam, it still is an issue as curatorial, it, and education staff hold fast to their areas of expertise. Top down or grass roots models of collaboration need to be implemented to foster interdepartmental collaborations. - mcollerd mcollerd Nov 5, 2014

Rise of Collaborative Consumption
“The fact that Millennials prefer to spend money on experiences rather than on acquiring stuff opens the opportunity for museums to position themselves as a good buy. As pre-eminent players in the experience economy, museums can tout their status as a leading source of high-quality content you can use just as much as you want it, just when you want it. But the curation that creates the quality also restricts what is offered. Will people trained by services such as Spotify, Pandora, and Netflix prefer experiences that are more agnostic about quality and content, but provide more choice?” [Via Trendswatch 2014] The value of authenticity in developing memorable experiences is critical. Museums are seen as both authoritative and objective and should leverage that to create meaningful and fun experiences that engage the visitors emotionally as well as intellectually. - Psparrow Psparrow Nov 5, 2014

Using Data Analytics to Inform Museum Operations
“Data analytics give museums tools that enable them to hone their business practices and become more efficient in operations like food service, sales, pricing, marketing campaigns, retail, development and exhibit design. Museums can index attendance data to literacy rates, household incomes, average number of children and other community services to yield an intimately detailed picture of whom they are serving. Data mining can help museums Data analytics give museums tools that enable them to hone their business practices and become more efficient in operations like food service, sales, pricing, marketing campaigns, retail, development and exhibit design. Museums can index attendance data to literacy rates, household incomes, average number of children and other community services to yield an intimately detailed picture of whom they are serving. Data mining can help museums.” [Via Trendswatch 2014] Data mining is important but you need to have the right questions first? - lkelly lkelly Oct 26, 2014 +1 - Jeff.A Jeff.A Oct 31, 2014 - mcollerd mcollerd Nov 5, 2014 Perhaps this is a "which came first, the chicken or the egg?" conundrum. I agree that just collecting data with no analysis plan is pointless; on the other hand, waiting to determine the perfect set of questions just delays the work necessary to collect the data. Plus, one thing that big data has taught us is that trends will emerge that are totally unexpected, simply by applying statistical analysis to a large data set. How will we move forward? - dhegley dhegley Nov 3, 2014 - jfoley jfoley Nov 5, 2014 Businesses outside the museum field are embracing the use of data-driven decision making. Although it costs money upfront, it saves us money in the long-run when we make decisions based on the needs and wants of our audiences. By using analysis and evaluation methods we can design our work to improve the audience experience. This also requires museums to embrace that we don't know everything about our audiences, but we can find out through data. - ortiz ortiz Oct 28, 2014 Lots of value in analytics but as Lynda said we need to be sure we're asking the right questions. I also see an importance in mining location data from visitors to inform and personalize offerings. ( - ryand ryand Oct 30, 2014 ) I don't think we should first focus on asking the right questions: the beauty of data analytics is that it can inform questions you'd never have imagined asking. (If you have a skilled data analyst on board, which is getting ever harder considering the speed they're being hired away.) - jasper jasper Nov 2, 2014 Data literacy for museum professionals is an increasingly important new skill that needs to be part of professional development training. - croyston croyston Nov 2, 2014 - jludden jludden Nov 4, 2014- AHelmreich AHelmreich Nov 2, 2014 This isn't a new idea - first proposed back in the 90s - why haven't we done more is my question?! - lkelly lkelly Nov 3, 2014 - mcollerd mcollerd Nov 5, 2014 It is worth tracking changes in the Cultural Data Project, which is reinventing itself to train and provide resources for cultural organizations to acquire and hone their data literacy skills for their own management purposes. Agree that this is an important skill. - marsha.semmel marsha.semmel Nov 2, 2014 Great session at AAM in Seattle on this in the context of "big data'. Summary here: http://futureofmuseums.blogspot.com/2014/06/a-recap-of-big-data.html - mwall mwall Nov 4, 2014

Added as New Trends


Outside Companies Stepping in to "Educate"
The idea of Museum Hack (which I'm no longer a part of) and other companies entering the museum field to create the experiences that museum educators aren't doing/can't do/don't have the budget to do. Could be an ongoing trend? - Jenoleniczak Jenoleniczak Oct 30, 2014
MOOCs may be relevant here? Also third party platforms - why load a collection of images to your website when a site like Pinterest does this well already and can reach more people? - lkelly lkelly Nov 3, 2014 To me, Google's "Ingress" game somewhat serves as an example of this in the context of public works of art. Not sure if it was intentional, but I know I have been educated while playing. http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2014-07/14/ingress-ios-john-hanke - mwall mwall Nov 4, 2014 I am curious about this as a long term trend. Could 3rd parties be the wave of the future, or will it hold a mirror up to museums/departments that are outdated and in turn encourage them to make big changes? - mcollerd mcollerd Nov 5, 2014

Relaxing of Photography Policies in Museums
I am not sure what we can do with this, but it is significant how many museums now allow visitors to use their cell phones and cameras. On the one hand, this is really irritating: try going to the Louvre now and looking at any famous picture, and there will people in front of it barely looking at it, but snapping a pic with their phone. On the other hand, maybe we can use this as an opportunity to get people to engage more deeply through the act of making a photo. I do not have a method, yet, but I'm thinking about it, and wondering what others are doing/thinking about this phenomenon. - weberj weberj Nov 3, 2014 The jury is still out on this. http://museumselfies.tumblr.com/ However, engaging audiences is vitally important to our very existence, and that often means areas of compromise and finding shared meaning that would have been unheard of in the past. http://www.theguardian.com/culture-professionals-network/culture-professionals-blog/gallery/2014/jan/22/museum-selfie-day-in-pictures We want to throw our doors open as much as we possibly can, but I do think that we struggle with setting rational and sensible limits - at least at times. Still, I see this as a growing trend in the near-term, so we should not put our heads in the sand and ignore it. - dhegley dhegley Nov 4, 2014 I think there are important moves being made toward a more realistic understanding of visitor engagement and photography. It may not be the main way we would like visitors to engage with our collections in a perfect world, but it *is* how many visitors engage with our collection. As you say, it's about figuring out how to leverage that phone/photo/collection interaction. There is also the issue of rights and navigating through how to deal with rights holders as well. For example, many visitors love to photograph (or take selfies) of/with the Picassos in our/everybody's collection. The Picasso estate specifically says no social media. They don't generally chase down individuals who post their Picasso selfie on Instagram, but if the museum were to tweet the same individual's Instagram Picasso selfie they would likely contact the museum. - jfoley jfoley Nov 5, 2014 I don't see how we can avoid this trend. I think it will be impossible to really police this and it maybe better to embrace and find ways to engage than to totally squash. Our museum allows non-flash photography everywhere but special exhibitions but this is only because of AAM loan agreement guidelines. Visitors still sneak photos or take them accidentally. - mcollerd mcollerd Nov 5, 2014 For a somewhat lighthearted take on this: Even Google Street View is accidentally taking selfies in museums. See http://qz.com/229852/googles-street-view-cameras-are-touring-museums-and-taking-weird-selfies-by-accident/ [- ewallis ewallis Nov 5, 2014]

Moved Here as a New Trend from RQ2:


Rise of the Indie Web
The Indie Web is a growing interconnected network of developers, tools, camps and hackathons designed to, in Tim Berners-Lee's words, "re-decentralise the web." The fundamental push behind the Indie Web is the idea that content silos like Medium, Facebook, Tumblr, and Twitter, while indispensable to the modern web, create serious issues around the persistence and ownership of content. The Indie Web is a return to the web's "first principles," with the goal of encouraging individual users and organizations to both own and publish their own content, but then also syndicate that content all over the web using open standards and frameworks. While this is a far-term horizon issue (five years plus), it's one that all museums will have to address sooner or later as we increasingly rely on proprietary walled-garden networks like Facebook for distribution of our content. The Indie Web provides a set of standards and technologies that allow us to own our content, but still take advantage of the distribution of content offered through proprietary networks and platforms, thereby not leaving us in the lurch when one of these companies radically alters its terms of service, or is sold to Yahoo, or decides to radically alter its business model. A great introduction is Dan Gilmor's Welcome to the Indie Web Movement" on Slate. I would also recommend Anil Dash's "The Web We Lost" as a great summation of why this is a really critical issue. - Koven Koven Nov 3, 2014 - jfoley jfoley Nov 5, 2014 Agreed. Natural evolution of the basic tenet we've all had ingrained in us: separate the content from the delivery mechanism. For the cultural and historical heritage sector, the importance of maintaining our intellectual production over long spans of time pushes on this need to publish independently then syndicate, from platforms under our administrative management. This trend is likely to bubble up quickly, although we need to see some pioneers from our sector get it rolling. - dhegley dhegley Nov 4, 2014[Editor's Note: This reads more like a trend, so I am placing it in RQ3.]