MCN 2016 Sessions – The Intersections of Social Media, Race, and Social Justice for Programming

 

Lanae Spruce snapping a photo

The Intersections of Social Media, Race, and Social Justice for Programming
Wednesday, November 2, 2016 2:30 PM – 3:00 PM
Session Leader: Lanae Spruce, Digital Engagement Specialist, Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture
Co-Presenter: Deirdre Cross, Public Program Coordinator, Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture

As protests broke out across the nation in response to police brutality, hashtag activism campaigns spread across social media like wildfire. #BlackLivesMatter. #Ferguson. #ConcernedStudent1950. How do cultural organizations work with their social media departments to create timely and relevant programming that is centered around current race and social justice issues? Are museums missing out on attracting diverse audiences by not offering programs that interest them and their specific needs? The Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture has been tasked with leading a national discussion on race and reckoning. Through a partnership with public programming and social media, the museum has been able to amplify undervalued narratives in both a digital and physical space. This session will explore the ways in which social media and programming can serve as a context in which to learn about, challenge, and address issues of race and social justice. Participants will learn ways to design their own programming around social justice and race. Through our collaboration on programming we have found: participation expands prior, during and after the event, we have filled a void in the museum field, intersectionality should guide the framework, live-tweeting offers a virtual space to continue difficult discussions, and self-affirmation for underserved communities. In short, our digital programming can offer historical context for contemporary issues and help center museums as a forum for discussion of social justice issues for a range of communities and audiences new to museums.

 

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MCN 2016 Sessions – Building an Innovative In-House App: Collaboration, Evaluation, Iteration

Graphic showing smartphones and loaded apps

Building an Innovative In-House App: Collaboration, Evaluation, & Iteration
Wednesday, November 2, 2016 4:00 PM – 4:30 PM
Speaker: Miranda Kerr, Manager of Digital Learning, Shedd Aquarium
Designing and building an in-house app involves collaboration across departments, creativity in prototyping, and a commitment to evaluation to ensure the goals of the learning experience are being met. Shedd Aquarium has reimagined the school group experience to challenge the notion that field trips are an out-of-class unstructured visit and instead a constructive learning opportunity. Over two years, supported by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Sciences, a cross-departmental team researched the needs of teachers, students, staff, and chaperones, and then reimagined the school group experience. The reimagined experience now includes programs based in tablet apps, called Science Tech Treks. The program pilot and creation phase included prototyping with paper and existing apps, and then using an iterative design process to perfect the in-house app. The Science Tech Trek apps were designed as an immersive technology experience, connecting K-5 students to our animals and exhibits. These apps are not gallery guides, but instead students observe animals, make predictions, record data like a scientist, and create a digital journal. Teachers automatically receive an electronic copy of the students’ work created in the app during the field trip to track their learning, and build upon their experiences during post-trip classroom activities. Science Tech Treks were launched in the fall of 2015, and there were 259 program registrations in the 2015-2016 school year, reaching 7,179 students! Our evaluation team has conducted observations of school groups using the app, including group and student case studies, to measure the impact. We are also able to review the digital journals students create to ensure learner outcomes are met. Presentation Highlights: 1) Collaboration across cross-departmental teams to design, build, and evaluate an in-house app 2) The iterative, innovative process of creating these apps 3) The benefits of co-creation of digital journals by students

 

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MCN 2016 Sessions – Building Tools, Building Community: NEH Funding for Digital Projects

National Endowment for the Humanities logo

Building Tools, Building Community: NEH Funding for Digital Projects
Wednesday, November 2, 2016 2:30 PM – 3:30 PM
Session Leader: Perry Collins, Senior Program Officer, National Endowment for the Humanities
Co-Presenter: Phil Sager, Digital Projects Developer, Ohio History Connection
Co-Presenter: Elizabeth Venditto, Project Manager, Immigration History Research Center, University of Minnesota
Co-Presenter: Jason Wesaw, Tribal Historic Preservation Officer, Pokegnek Bodewadmik, Pokagon Band of Potawatomi
The National Endowment for the Humanities has a long history of support for initiatives that leverage technology to engage diverse audiences. In recent years, NEH’s Office of Digital Humanities has funded a range of projects that not only promote access to cultural heritage, but also invite community partners to help shape new technologies in ways that reflect their needs and experiences. This session will highlight three current efforts to develop tools that can be adopted and adapted by a wide range of museums and allied organizations: • Mukurtu, a grassroots project developing open-source digital heritage management tools that respond to the needs of indigenous communities • Immigrant Stories, a platform that invites recent immigrants to the United States to produce, share, and preserve multimedia narratives • TourSites for WordPress, a new initiative that will build on the successful Curatescape project to enable institutions of all sizes to create, deploy, and maintain digital tour experiences across multi-location networks The session will also include an overview of NEH funding opportunities and current priorities.
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MCN 2016 Sessions – Creating Anti-Oppressive Spaces On-line

 Panel for Creating Anti-oppressive online spaces

Creating Anti-Oppressive Spaces On-line

Wednesday, November 2, 2016 1:15 PM – 2:15 PM
Session Leader: NIkhil Trivedi, Senior Systems Analyst, A museum in Chicago
Co-Presenter: Sina Bahram, President, Prime Access Consulting
Co-Presenter: Eric Gardner, Digital Publications Developer, Getty Museum
Speaker: Trish Oxford, Principal Technologist, Trish Oxford Media

Does your sign-up form reinforce binary notions of gender? Does your latest web project unintentionally exclude visitors with different abilities, or from different backgrounds? Many of us are interested in creating anti-oppressive spaces in our work–those that share power more equitably, are representative of the places our institutions reside, and account for the traumatic histories that allowed many of our institutions to be established. This brainstorming session will look at existing spaces that have thought well in this area, and radically imagine what might be possible in the future. Attendees will walk away with a number of concrete ideas that they can apply to their current and future projects, which in incremental ways will push our sector towards a more just future that centers more and more people.

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Creating Anti-Oppressive Spaces On-line

 

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MCN 2016 Sessions – Creating a Culture of Innovation

 

Creating a Culture of Innovation
Wednesday, November 2, 2016 3:00 PM – 3:30 PM

Jessica Seuss headshotSpeaker: Jessica Suess, Digital Partnership Manager, Oxford University Museums

Museums are facing significant challenges in the current, fast changing environment: digital is revolutionising the way individuals engage with the world, the demographic make-up of society is undergoing a significant shift, and traditional funding models are no longer sustainable. In order to turn these challenges into opportunities, museums need to be adaptive, entrepreneurial and innovative. Over the past four years Oxford University Museums has been exploring how we can create a culture of innovation across our four museums, giving colleagues in all corners of the organisation the skills, confidence and mandate to break out of traditional frameworks, test new ideas, experiment with new ways of working and take risks (with the hope of significant reward). Central to this initiative to build a new organisational culture is the ‘Innovation Fund’ – a small, internal, competitive funding stream to which colleagues at all levels of the organisation can apply to support projects and experimentation above and beyond their remit. This funding stream is supported by a framework of professional development activity, including workshops delivered in partnership with the Saïd Business School aimed at giving our teams the tools to develop and stress test new ideas and think entrepreneurially, as well as bring together colleagues working in different areas of the organisation to enrich one another’s ideas. This programme has resulted in some of our most effective new initiatives, especially in the area of digital engagement, but there have also been pitfalls. In this presentation I will share how we established and developed this programme, the impact on our organisational culture, and where we would like to make changes over the next few years.

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