MCN: Where Education and #MuseTech Meet!

The final post for the MCN Special Interest Group conference previews is from the Education and Interpretive Media SIG. This time has been particularly difficult for museum educators, but Devon Armstrong and Melissa Mair share what they are looking forward to in the conference as well as ways the community is supporting each other. Interested in registering for the conference AND joining a SIG? If you’re not a member yet, you can take advantage of our special bundled registration rate.

We are excitedly looking forward to MCN’s Virtual Conference this November and the chance to connect with our colleagues as we gather online to share new developments in museum technology and how they can help us meet the daunting challenges that we all face. The pandemic has profoundly affected the museum education field, with many departments tasked with transitioning to virtual programming and experiences while also facing budget cuts, lay-offs, and instability. Rather than shy away from these concerns, we’ve seen our community rally together—sharing resources, brainstorming new ideas, and having conversations about how to best support our communities. The conference this November will prove an excellent tool in framing these discussions as the sector prepares for the new year.

A few of the sessions we are most excited about are:

Both of these topics are ones that have come up frequently in our SIG conversations, especially as many museum educators are having to rethink traditional inclusive programming and accessibility approaches due to Covid-19.  In the wake of the pandemic, museums have had to do away with large groups and extensive tactile experiences, causing the educational field to shift dramatically. These sessions will be useful as we explore the new ways we need to work. 

We also want to give a quick shout-out to a few sessions that came out of our SIG group and that our members are participating in: Virtual Teen Programs/Real Connections and Interaction Beyond the Touchscreen. Go check them out!

We know this conference has a lot to offer educators, and we are looking forward to (virtually) seeing you there. We have also been working hard to create digital networking opportunities for our SIG members that will take place during the conference, so don’t hesitate to join us and say hi.  

Our SIG is a community seeking to practice and build knowledge and skills around the planning and implementation of media and experiences that support visitors’ connections to collections and ideas. The group addresses the role of digital interpretation and educational tools in the museum and the use of digital media for connecting with museum visitors across a wide array of platforms both in the museum and online. We support and foster conversation around many topics, including digital storytelling, inclusive accessibility of interpretation in the museum, and evaluation for digital projects and programs.

Thank you, and see you all in the Zoom Chat!