Museums for Digital Learning: A Community of 21st Century Museums, Educators, and Students

Museums for Digital Learning (MDL) is a special initiative funded by the IMLS with the goal of building the capacity of museums to connect K-12 teachers and students with digitized collections and related resources. During this two-year pilot project, the technology team at the Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields, the education teams of The Field Museum (TFM) and History Colorado (HC), and a cohort of K-12 educators are collaborating to build a platform that will make it possible for museums of varied types and sizes to leverage their existing digital collections and media in the creation of open educational resources. In this session, representatives from Newfields, TFM, and HC will provide an overview of the MDL project. This will include not just a demonstration of the in-development pilot platform, but also a discussion of the methods employed by the museum partners to foster meaningful communication and collaboration with a team of educators from around the country. As co-creators, the educators have played a crucial role in shaping both the platform and an initial collection of educational resources. Come to this session to learn about how your museum can get involved in Phase II as an additional museum partner!


Unknown Speaker 00:00
Okay, so there's a bag of ping pong balls here.

Unknown Speaker 00:02
It's from yesterday.

Unknown Speaker 00:04
We just start throwing asleep. Really, thanks for attending today's session. We're going to talk today about can you hear me back there? Yeah. Okay. We're going to talk today about museums for digital learning, a community of 21st century museums, educators and students. So what I've been hearing yesterday and this morning, is how important a sense of community is an MCN really is a community. So when this project was designed, it was deliberately created, such that it would create a sense of community between museums, educators, and students, which is imperative. And that that sense of community that purpose behind the community is that there is shared vision, that the digital content that museums have, is so valuable and so underutilized, that it's certainly under utilized within the educational community, K through 12 students. My name is Stuart Walter, I'm the project director for this. I, when this project began, I was the director of technology in Newfields. Lab, I have since left Newfields. I'm out as an independent consultant, but I've stayed on in this role for the duration of the project. So we want to talk today a lot about our model of process and product, how its iterative, how it was established a sense of community. And about two years ago, Paulo, Paula here at IMLS, called me and we had several extensive conversations about what her vision was for this MDL. For you know, who you know who I am. So what her vision was, and what the innovation lab at Newfields had done. So we talked a lot about that and decided that what we did from a technology cooperative partner and a project management cooperative partner, and M, ils IMLS, we come together, we created this idea and launched the two year project. And the first thing we said was, let's create a platform. So we knew that there were a lot of components that we wanted to put together. So on the left, there's all these pieces, what do we want, what's going to differ differentiate this platform, from all of the other educational platforms that are out there, the biggest thing being museum contents, we also knew that we were going to design this in such a way it was going to be really an iterative process during the process of the first year, and the product the second year. So it's going to look something like this. Just going around and around until we really in an iterative way, keep tweaking what's going to be part of it, what's not, and what the platform is going to look like. And we'll cover today, you know, a lot of the the essence of this project. So the first thing we needed to do was build a team. Of course, it's an extensive team, people from IMLS, both the lead the administrator, Newfields, project director and administration, the Newfields technical team of developers, designers and content expertise to museum content providers, 10 educators from around the country, a museum consultant from here in San Diego, independent evaluators and 10 Future museum content providers, which we'll get into a little bit in a little bit to talk about how other institutions can be part of this. So today, you'll hear about the IMLS perspective, the project overview and what the platform is currently looking like from Newfields museum content from the Field Museum, the collaborative process, I'll be talking a little bit more, and we'll get into a panel discussion, and what the opportunity is for involvement, and then we'll open it up for some q&a. Paul.

Unknown Speaker 04:06
Good morning, everyone. I will use the mic because I have a toothache and a sore throat. So I don't want to stress myself. Sorry. So before we begin, just with a show of hands, how many of you work in museums? Wonderful. And how many of you work with museums in a consulting or in a tech at tech company? Okay, wonderful. We have a good mix. So like Stuart mention, you know, I just wanted to know, because how much Okay, hope technology works. Maybe I'll just do it, do it from there. Okay, thank you. So, um, I just wanted to give sort of a very high level view of the vision, the goals and the deliverables, because this is a relatively major project for IMLS. And before I begin I just wanted to, maybe you'll have to do it for me. Sorry, Stuart. Okay, just kick me into this.

Unknown Speaker 05:08
So I know that most of you know about you know who IMLS is, we are the primary source of federal funding, we get about 214 million a year from the Congress bulk of that funding goes to the library grants to states program. And the remaining is divvied up between the office of library service and the museum services. There are about 125,000, libraries and 30,000 plus museums. And when we talk about museums, they are like nature centers, to zoos, to historic house museums, all types of museums, and you have to meet some eligibility criteria to be to apply for grants, our deadline is November 15, how many of you are in the plans for flying this year, I'm just going to take a look at the hands not looking at the faces, or the institutions. So we are expecting close to 1000 grants, and only about two thirds of them, you know, eventually will get funded. So but continue doing the great work. And, you know, the current level of OMS funding for FY 19 was 34 point 7 million, which actually was an increase of 3 million. And, again, thanks to all the good work that you're doing that we are able to show the value proposition to Congress to you know, continue the funding, quick overview of the types of grants, there is one slide that's missing that that's okay, we have this there should have been one more slide before this. Nope, it got deleted maybe. So we do grants we have, you know, the bulk of our money is for Museums for America, where individual museums can apply national leadership grant is for large projects where a museum or university or nonprofit foundation can apply. But they have to be large projects. And actually, where this fits in this project fits in, as you can see, is under a cooperative agreement. So from the NLG, or the National Leadership Grant for museums, we actually engage in cooperative agreements or interagency agreement on specific topics that that are important for IMLS not just important for IMLS. But where we feel there is an unmet need in the field, we have been engaged with the American Alliance of museum for many number of years with the MAP program. We are, you know, in collaboration with the Children's Museum, on our museums for all accessibility program, and that's where in this universe of cooperative agreement, and these are substantive, you know, big, big grants, they range from, like 300,000, to close to a million or a little over a million, and they are cooperative agreement. And the distinction is that in a cooperative agreement, IMLS is engaged with the grantee, throughout the project, in terms of other grants, we give you the grants, and we are totally hands off. And we just review the reports and you know, you comply, but in this just like Stuart mentioned, and in many of these, the vision of what the project is either comes from the cooperator, like ACM brought to our attention that, you know, they wanted to do something to increase accessibility. And that's where we engaged in terms of this particular project, our needs assessment showed that there is a need for a project like this. And we provided the vision statement and looked for partners, you know, to put the whole collaborative together. So I'm not going to get into the details of all but just so that, you know, where MDL as a project fits into the universe of the IMLS work. So I joined I've been with IMLS now in my current role as the Deputy Director for about four years, but I've been associated with IMLS for more than a decade in different roles. I was on the board appointed by President Obama for three years, and I was the board member who asked the maximum number of questions and didn't get the answers. So now in my role, I was like when I joined, I said, we are going to look deeper into where the investments you know, are being made, where the gaps are. I'm I'm very data oriented. So we did an extensive internal scan of everything that IMLS had funded everything digital IMLS had funded for the last five years. You know, my staff used to dread this word Paula wants internal scan, but now they they love it now they love it because they're seeing the benefits of it. And the insights from those IMLS funded digital projects showed us that the majority of what IMLS was funding was Digital Asset Management Institute, you know, museums coming in we want to digitize 1000 To 3000 to 30,000 objects. How will they be used? We will put it up on the website they will be used possible used by researchers very traditional approach. More than 60% of the 400 projects that we have funded are digital isolation of collections, or, you know, digital asset management, which is very important. And then some work for education, technology, piloting an online course or kiosk, you know, a digital learning lab, you know, things like that, and few sort of crosscut. Many museums are individually providing phenomenal, innovative digital solution. But what we found lacking is that the current models and efforts are so fragmented, that the power of the whole, you know, of what museums can provide to the educational community is really lacking. Sometimes, you know, we say, more is not good, there is so much that sometimes if you talk to K through 12, educators, they will tell you, we are so inundated and so overwhelmed with everything that's out there, that when the need comes, we just google and find whatever is whether that's authentic, whether that's contextualize whether that has made metadata, it doesn't matter, we just need something. So there is there is abundance of digital platforms, but there's too much variety, you know, out there. And so that's that was like a, you know, a big aha moment, you know, learning from the projects that we had funded. Thank you, Stuart, and some of the other

Unknown Speaker 11:16
some of the other insights from Museum and Education sectors. I've been in the realm of education as a practitioner, before I joined IMLS, I was eight years working as the chief learning officer at the Henry Ford. And, you know, I was very engaged with the whole K through 12. sector. And the there's a dire need for new ways of of engaging this iGeneration, you know, that whole sage on the stage to facilitator of learning, you know, that's that that thing is that there is this need at but there is lack of good, user centric models and tools to expand the use of digitized collections. So especially with collections based organizations, you're digitizing it, but if you're putting like an image, even if it's a 3d image, without any contextual tool, aligned to the educators, you know, that then the gap is really not being met. And many museums can better use the digitized collection, even if you take the 400, where they have digitized, we have actually changed the language and are no force to say, how are you using the digitized collection. So it has gone from the effort of digitizing to how you're deploying the digitized collection. And then the big gap is that the small and medium sized museums, they do have valuable assets. And believe it or not, about 17,000 of the 30,000 museums are small and medium size, that's our sector. So there are the moments and the Henry Ford's are the large institutions, but they're the bulk of the sector. And as a funder, we have a responsibility, they do not have the expertise, the capacity or the resources to contribute to digital learning. So those were some very basic needs. And we can just continue funding whatever comes every year, or we can be thoughtful, make our decision based on data, and then provide the vision and museums for digital learning. Is is you know, the next slide please, is one of the ways so what are the goals. So to for you to go away, there are five things that we are trying to do. One is we are trying to pilot a shared digital platform. And going back to what Stewart said, very important for any pilot to have the iterative element in it. When you're piloting something you're experimenting, you're trying to learn to be to make better, we are trying to leverage digital collection related data and assets in the form of interdisciplinary digital resources. When the kids come out of school are going to college and the workforce, you know, the workforce does not, you know, they do require content expertise. But the workforce is interdisciplinary, which we are not preparing our kids for that. So the combination of an art museum history and a science museum like the Field Museum, and History Colorado, you know, it was it was put to the three partners were put together with a lot of thought. And then the products that are going to come out are also going to be interdisciplinary by design. That's that's the point. And so we are trying to create a model with teachers are co creators. We know of enough projects where we have a teacher advisory group, we meet with them. We do flip charts, we listen to them, we take notes, we circulate, and maybe they come back as experimental. In this particular project. And Karla will go into details. The 10 Teachers are co creators right from the from the get go. They're not only creating the products, they are going to be the first one to test the products in the classroom and tell us you know how, how these are working out. And then we want to test and validate the approach of contributing content the way these guys are building it. Can that be wrapped became replicated by museums of all types, disciplines. So that's like the bigger, bigger goal. So And overall, we want to serve the educational needs of the nation's educators and students. So that there is this one stop shop, where K through 12 education can say, where can I find, you know, contextual museum content, and they can go rather than going to 10,000 other places. So, this was launched through a cooperative agreement with new fields and the and IMLS. And I'm a visual learner. So how it all comes together. As you can see IMLS provided the vision and is providing the leadership guidance, Newfield as a cooperator they're doing the project management, we have history, Colorado and Philly museums as the content partners. Then we have the 10k through 12 educators. Eventually, we'll be bringing in 10 museums, and we have a consultant and an evaluator. And this was our first kickoff meeting at Newfields. Last year, right? It's almost been a year.

Unknown Speaker 16:02
Yes, that makes any sense. Yes.

Unknown Speaker 16:05
The consultant. And then the key project deliverables, what is in it for IMLS? What are we looking at? What are we nudging? You know, the project partners is we we don't want to recreate or reinvent the wheel. So at the front end, you know, we asked, that is one of the deliverables that Newfields will produce for us is an environmental scan and guide with lessons learned. You know, it's a process evaluation, right? What did we learn? If there are other models? How is MDL going to be different and complementary to the other models, because we don't want to recreate the same thing, shared platform and Access Portal suite of standardized digital educational products and solutions, pilot platform and product testing documentation, a collaborative model with different disc museums of different disciplines. And third party evaluation of the process and the products and of course, with every national leadership grant. The requirement is you come up with a sustainability plan. After the project funding ends, how are you going to sustain? Are you going to unplug? No, you know, that's not expected. That's that's something that, you know, goes through a lot of review that at least come up with a business plan, talk to partners, and that's the reason, you know, everyone's input today would be really, really good. Thank you.

Unknown Speaker 17:26
Perfect to sit here. Okay, that'll be great. I'm sorry. Did you want me to move?

Unknown Speaker 17:36
Okay. Hello, everyone. I'm Patrick Kavanaugh. I'm the manager of technology development and implementation at Newfields. If you guys remember if you visited us past couple years at MC N Newfields is the rebranded version or the home of the Indianapolis Museum of Art. So Newfields represents a campus that includes a museum of art, historic property, a garden, and 100 acre art in nature park. So at Newfields, we also have a technology lab. And part of that lab, what we're doing is we're the technology leads for the museum's for digital learning. We have myself, we have Samantha Norling, who's a digital collections manager, to software developers, rich Lemke and Daniel Keller, and an interactive designer. So this is the technical weight behind developing the platform. And they've been involved in the process throughout the discovery and an ongoing development. So today, what I'm going to present to you is the current state of the live prototypes that are kind of reflective of all this brainstorming activity that has gone into the creation of the MDL platform. So a little bit of what Newfields lab does, I'll briefly go over this, we do software development, a lot of web based applications also interacted for galleries, even bleeding into mixed reality and kind of experimental gallery experiences, data analytics, serving our senior leaders, business intelligence dashboarding. And also, we're the resident technology consultants and experts for various needs of new fields. So moving on to museums for digital learning. So what I'm going to show today is really representative of the two major parts of the platform, we have the backstage which is really where museums are going to log in, create their content, upload their objects and start to, you know, inject their digitized collection material into these templated activities and resource kits that you can create. And then on the back end, or I should say that the front end on the front stage, those are presented in an easy to consume clean interface that educators and students will be able to access. So I'm going to switch before we go to that to a different presentation so I can actually take you through that kind of a live demonstration of this. Okay, so what you see here is the backstage, that's what we're calling the backstage, this is really the back end, where you log in as a museum, and you have these various, let me get a little bit bigger. So you guys can see, okay, so this is just devoid of color wireframes, I'm sure many of you have interfaced with these, the front end is going to be much more full of the color and branding that you've kind of seen some things. So it all starts with the media, and the media is coming from, let's say, museums, digitized collections. So let's say you're a museum that's gotten an IMLS funded grant, and you've digitized a lot of your collections, but they're just sitting there just waiting to be consumed. So this is where you can go in, you can add media, documents, images, audio, video, 3d, and you basically have a preview of it, you're able to associate a bare minimum kind of required metadata. In the case of video, audio, 3d, maybe it's a Vimeo video of YouTube, maybe it's SoundCloud, maybe it's Sketchfab. So we have the ability to add all those and build those up. So those are the initial building blocks in the media objects are then used to be included in an object. And an object is what you might think of it as media, plus more extensive metadata that really kind of defines how this can be used within educational context. So you can create an object. Maybe we'll see if this works, internet's been a little bit wonky, basically, what this would provide as an interface, potentially. Okay. So you'd be able to go through and create an object, add your metadata. Versus in our catalog, okay, so since I don't have internet challenges, have a live demo to me to know, from hotspot or land for this, okay. Sorry, I just have to go to the backups. Okay. So to do so create and edit an object. So here you go. So an object, you can have multiple pieces of media. And you can see that you have various other metadata that you attach to it, a title a link, you can choose mediums. So this is where if you've experienced many of the online collections, that's what you're going to kind of be building up and here or kind of,

Unknown Speaker 22:42
as we go through this, we're going to iterate on ways to make this easy for the museum to embed, or ingest their collections data into this. So that's one of the things that we're going to try and prove out is how can we get this done efficiently. So it's not requiring an extensive amount of commitment, and time from the museum's? You can see here, okay, so now we're gonna move on to activities, so bear with me. So this is an example of the backstage for activities, you can see there's an A create Activity button over here, and this would lead you to this create activity. Dashboard. Okay, so here's where you can think about this is like a CMS, like you're working with a webpage. And you're creating activity, which is a series of objects. Now, some of these activities might be as simple as an article or what we're calling narrative. So that's where you'd have an object, you'd have some copy, you'd be able to, you know, really kind of guide through in a blog fashion or a narrative fashion, just what it is. That's the kind of the simplest activities, we also have. Let me see if I can find out. There's other activities that we've kind of shown here, such as slideshows, and kind of hotspot activities. And basically what these are, each one represents kind of our condensed version through conversations with the educators on what exactly what activities would be most beneficial to embed these collection objects into? And how can that engage the students in a way that they can interact with it? At times, they can customize it and put their own annotations and commentary on that. And ultimately, they can export that or submit that as a submission for a homework assignment or some kind of assignment. So this is just to give you a quick dive into this. So there's, there's more objects, I'm not going to really go into the backstage too much because you guys would probably like to see what the front stage looks like. So I'm going to move on to that. And this is a little bit more fleshed out. This is what we're starting to use with our valley. The waiters to test out what this would actually look like, and get educator feedback and see how well this reflects these conversations we've had with these 10 educators at various in person meetings, and these design thinking sessions. So what we've done here is taken a China online exhibition from the Field Museum, and we've deconstructed it, and basically ingested it into our platform in a way that we envision it would work. So here you have your homepage, you have subject grade levels, standards, museums, so navigation, that way, you have the ability to log in. And if we click through, you'd have various resource kits. And that's kind of the highest level you have resource kits that are series activities that are built using objects. And that's kind of the hierarchy that we're looking at. Dive into a resource kit, you have the title, you have educational standards, you have the ability to bookmark and share via social media, you have some copy that explains intros to the to the X or the resource kit. And here we have various activities within the resource kit. So we'll dive into a few of these. Here you have your navigation. So you can see for individual resource kit, you have grade level that it's targeted to roughly, we're looking at three different tiers of grade levels, early, middle, and later education up to 12th grade. And we also have this kind of navigation where you have bookmarking of various activities and educational materials that the educator can download and use to build up their lesson plans. Here's an example of standards like each of these activities will have associated standards with them. So this will match with state standards. And basically the most important ones as we start to work through this with educators. Okay, educational materials, this is hard to read. But basically, this is a quick sheet that educators can print off and download and use further lesson building. And then you have an example of a video. So this is a very simple activity, one that you can have your YouTube video embedded have some copy. And you still have the associated standards bookmarking sharing. Here's a example of a narrative where you have kind of a, a guiding object that has associated metadata that says details down here, you can click through to open up. There's also embedded slideshows. And this is all part of that narrative activity. And moving down scrolling down, you see there's additional images and copy.

Unknown Speaker 27:45
This is an example of what the slideshow would be like. So if you click out here, launch and slideshow. It's just a simple to consume slideshow that you can scroll through and have various photographs and copy to describe that. Here's another example. Similar narrative where you have an object and you have associated images and copy. So that's just kind of that's very similar to what the first one was. And again, the slideshow example. Stink pot. This is a another narrative example. A lot of these are, aren't going to show the full breadth of what the MDL platform can do, because we are using the online China exhibition. But this was what they provided with us and what we're kind of using for this initial testing phase as we build it out. And then you have just another example of some more in depth narratives. So yeah, so this just gives you a sense of what the platform is going to look like as we build out this initial prototype. You can see here, this is reflective of a 3d object. This would be a sketch, flat Sketchfab plugin or 3d Viewer where you could rotate this object and zoom in and have that kind of interactive experience. And then some an example of the metadata when you'd click through to a actual object. And then lastly, this is a 3d graphic that represents a digital digital virtual Gallery, where you have hotspots that you can click through and have associated content with each hotspot. Yeah, so I will move on. I'm probably over my time. But let's hop back on and I'm going to hand it off to Karla, who's one of our educational partners at The Field Museum.

Unknown Speaker 29:54
And I just as Carla is walking up I'll mentioned that this is just the beginning because for the last one year, you know, we were having the conversation, the ideation, the selections of the 10 teachers, they represent different, not only different grade level, they represent different geographic regions that's important for IMLS to have like a nationwide representation. And they also represent a different discipline. So we are, you know, taking that, and this is just the beginning. And we are missing one of our other content partners, history, Colorado. They are also, you know, contributing, not only similar, similar content from the history, Colorado's digitize assets, but the thing that's really exciting for us as IMLS to watch is that they are collaborating, and sort of uncertain topics, both the institutions, and they are even leveraging some of the assets from new fields, and sort of creating like a three institution, you know, collaborative mod module. Thank you. Yes.

Unknown Speaker 31:04
Hello, everyone. Again, my name is Karla. I'm from the Field Museum in Chicago. We are a natural history museum with a collection of around 40 million objects, and specimens. And we really try to fuel discovery and our educators and learners by connecting them with that collection through through accessible and relevant technology. As Paula said, our content partner is History Colorado, which is located in Denver. And they try to make Colorado's history accessible to the visitors and members of that state that by sharing powerful stories and honoring that state's treasured memories, and their work. So it's been very exciting to work together with that institution and their collections and education staff, to bring our content to this pilot program, and help infuse this project with the voice of the users, the ultimate users of the of the platform, which are going to be museum contributors, but also educators. And then also as as people have alluded to, to document our process, our challenges and our solutions, in order to sort of paved the way for music museum contributors in the future and provide more documentation so that as more people join on to the platform and are contributing that their experience is efficient and effective as possible. One of the first lessons that we came to when we started this project and started bringing all of our resources together, is that museums are creating, by and large, we're creating a very wide breadth of education materials and sharing digital, digital learning digital collections in a lot of different ways. So what we did is, we, you know, started a question, well, how are we going to bring these things together on a single platform that is somewhat coherent, make sense, is something that when someone sees it, they're actually going to want to use it. So we ended up asking educators, and you can see here that as, as we was alluded to, before, the educators are from across the country. They represent all grade levels from kindergarten through high school, we have several Middle Grade educators, because I know for us and history of Colorado, that middle grade third through eighth grade as a real sweet spot in terms of users of the museum and field trips and everything like that. And we asked, so we brought the educators in on the project, and we asked them, What do you look for when you're seeking resources outside of your districts curriculum? What are you? What do you like about these resources that we're putting out there? What do you dislike? What is superfluous? tons of questions and got a lot of really rich, great data from this work. And that was used to inform the platform that Patrick and the Newfields team have created thus far and are are putting into the pilot. And I guess, I Well, I think I did allude to this. But one thing that is sort of similar about all the educators in our grouping so far, are they are they are educators that are, are kind of tuned in to utilizing cultural institution material and unique source material in their teaching. So they're willing to go outside of the standard curriculum, and bring in these like rich and unique resources and So I'm going to pause here from all this talk about what we've been doing. And I want you guys to turn to someone near you in the room here and take one minute. And just think about, you know, looking at this map of educators and just thinking about where your home institution resides, maybe on this map, maybe, maybe it's off this map. Sorry, if I excluded you. Yeah, I excluded. Canada excluded. Hawaii, Alaska, I apologize. But just think about if, rather than I know, for us are our typical users are within our drive space, or, or our region. And so think about what it would mean for your work. If it was available through a platform that was known nationally. Take one minute to turn to someone in your immediate vicinity and just share that. Yeah, it's good. This is changing last time since Yeah, it's always a good thing to wake them up. Really good song. Oh, next. Yeah. Yeah, yeah. So initiated the status quo. This is. A timeless establishment. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, yeah. And that's the

Unknown Speaker 37:09
beauty of the One Stop Shop. idea is that people go someplace expecting to find one thing, and they'll find completely different things. Alright, I'm gonna attempt to bring everyone back now.

Unknown Speaker 37:21
All right, if I could get everyone to wrap up their conversations in about five seconds. 321. All right. If you can hear me, raise your hand.

Unknown Speaker 37:39
Remember, there's ping pong balls.

Unknown Speaker 37:43
That was great. Thanks, everybody. So it seemed like there was some lively conversation. That's exciting. I'm glad to hear that. So now I'm just going to, like finish up here with talking about what we're what we're really working on now. And what's next, for the content creation. So as we discussed, as Paula highlighted collaboration and co creation are, like a core value of this project, and working working with an institution like Newfield, or well, like Newfields, but also, specifically with history, Colorado, across state lines across an hour time difference has its challenges. And it's not always been easy to engage with partners that you know, do parallel work, but do it in a different way come from a different institutional culture. But it's also been very rewarding. If you think about the experience here at MCN, where you kind of are like, Oh, my people, there are people here that think about these things, do you we get to do that every week for a few hours a week. So that's been a really gratifying part of this project. And in doing that, we're also, like I said, we're developing processes. And we're looking at problems and solutions to co creation. So that there's there's going to be a framework and sort of different protocols that can be used, if you have this idea that, hey, I want to I want to join together with you know, that art museum in Indianapolis or I want to join together with, with the Madison Art Museum in Wisconsin or something like that, and and just, you know, form these new ideas. One of the one of the processes that we're doing in the co creation is that we're, we're looking at a theme or a broad a central question. For for you, instructional designers out there. And we're, we're applying that to both collections and seeing what comes up seeing what we can pull out of the collections in terms of objects and specimens that speak to this bigger question. And doing that across the collection of multiple institutions has been, like, pretty amazing. And it's just, it's a super fun thing to do. And then when you bring in the educators and say, Alright, think about this theme, think about this question, look at these objects that we have for you to teach with, what kind of learning strategies would you bring to this, and then we take that and we, and then we go to the platform, and we build out these learning activities and create a resource kit. And so that's, that's kind of our work. I hope I made it sound exciting. And I'm going to turn it back over to Stuart for some more question.

Unknown Speaker 40:46
All right, well, thank you to the three of you. I think that presented a great overview of this project, I want to talk a little bit if I can pick up the mouse doesn't matter. So I want to talk a little bit more about collaboration, because we as I said, we'd really did deliberately designed this community around a really around a group of people that were going to be passionate, not just interested in, but passionate about getting digitize museum collections out into the hands of educators. So we were lucky because we did we hand selected the 10 educators who like Carla said they already had this interest. So you know, half the battle was won already. But we also deliberately had this disparity size, geography, budget technology, and with the educators socio economic. So in some of these discussions, there were things that came up, that we just never would have entertained, had we not had a really disparate group of people at the table. But what that does, also is bring about a lot of discussions sometimes not necessary, you know, some very opinionated discussion, there is lexicon that is a challenge, a terminal, a term that might mean something in the museum world means something very different in the educational world. So we encountered a lot of that those issues, we also encountered as this, I'm sure everyone in this room will nod their head, a lot of very smart people, very passionate people, and therefore very opinionated people who really threw the gauntlet down and said, I think we should do this. So the rest of this time I really want to focus on or that I want to turn to the panel, and really talk about collaboration in ASCII and give it to you three to talk about, I mean, throw two cents in. But really, you know, honestly, this was a tough process. So I want to hear what some of your thoughts are. So let's have a panel discussion up wrong panel, cheap joke. So the first question really is about the process. And as I said, this, we really focused on what we differentiated between the process mostly in the first year, and the product in the second year, the evaluation process, we'll look at both, you know, pretty much separately. So we had three face to face meetings, we had lots of brainstorm sessions, the Environmental Scan, East Coast and West Coast group meetings on the phone every week, the museum content providers in a collaborative way, educators technical. And again, remember that the museum, I mean, the educators were representing the students. So the name of our presentation was museums, educators and students. If we had asked students, we would have gotten into a lot of trouble, who would have said we wanted Godzilla to jump up out of the screen and take a rocket ship to the moon and bring us back by dinner time. And that was just outside the scope of the pilot. So I just want to throw the question out there. How successful do you feel that we were in the in the process of collaboration?

Unknown Speaker 44:08
Yeah, I can, I'll kick it off. It was kind of extraordinary the amount of time that went into it in a good way. And in retrospect, because so you have technologist interfacing with museum professionals interfacing with educators. So three groups that don't normally talk all the time. I mean, you probably have more exposure and interaction with educators, but you bring in technologists who are they're like, Hey, what are our requirements? And they're like, what our requirements are, like, how are we going to build these wireframes? Or like, what are our user stories? And they're like when the educators like, Huh? So that was really fun to tease out into ask them and figure out okay, how specifically as technologists, how are we going to interact with these educators and get at what they want in their classroom like they're dealing with kids on a day to day basis, so they're the way that they're interact? acting and interfacing and just like going about their daily jobs is very different than the way we are when we're looking at code and building things and trying to hit specs and requirements. So through a lot of design thinking discussions is how we kind of achieve that. And we had great input from there were some wonderful people at The Field Museum who's led some of these design thinking and brainstorming sessions. We, as technologists lead some of them that were more focused on user stories and trying to trick them into giving us requirements. Without them knowing, just. But I think it really boiled down, it wasn't time that was lost. And it's an ongoing discussion. I mean, this is something that's cultivated or culminated with these prototypes and the shortlist of these many activities out of list of maybe 50 that were, you know, bounced around at the beginning. But this will be so great moving forward as we begin the next cycle of iteration of actually getting the alpha in front of the educators and saying, How well did we hear you? And is this going to be usable in your classroom? Because ultimately, that's, that's the main customer. You want to talk?

Unknown Speaker 46:21
Yeah, I just want to reiterate the idea of time, I think, sometimes when you, when you think about collaboration, it's really hard to set aside the time, but it takes it takes time. Unfortunately, I know, I know, like, maybe strategy people or, or business people are like, there's no time. But I think that's our experience in working with educators. You have to, you know, take the time to understand take the time to communicate, and empathize. And then it really does pay off, I think. So

Unknown Speaker 47:02
I'll add my two cents, as you saw on that diagram that I showed you. This is a project with, which is multi layered in terms of collaboration is a collaboration between a federal agency and a museum. It's a collaboration between that particular museum with two other museums, then there is a, you know, another layer of collaboration. So it's a multi layered, complex collaboration. So time, distance, especially when you are ideating. Even though we all love technology, we all love video conferencing. And we all, you know, have conference calls every Wednesday, it is a challenge. You know, I know, for me, I'm sort of coming to the MDL call trying to make time for an MDM called pact between two other meetings, you know, and to have the mind to sort of comprehend what the progress is, and sort of give the input. So So there are definitely you know, those those kinds of challenges, but one of the basic crux of this project, and when I like Stuart mentioned when I was having phone calls, you know, which Stewart picked up the phone and said, Hi, Stuart, this is Paula and you know, we have this this project in mind, or interview. Or like, you know, I was in Chicago and I, you know, called Beth Krohn over and I said, Hey, can you meet me at Starbucks, I have this idea that I wanted to talk about, one of the things I kept on pushing is, y'all are experts in this field, what MDL is asking you is to take an altruistic lens, and sort of step out of your role of what you do for your institution, for your your group of educators. And now you are the mentor institutions building this platform, doing something for the much larger museum sector. So that's where the whole, you know, set off, you know, the collaboration becomes, you know, it sort of evolves into like, into a new meaning. So, and again, from, from a federal aid funder agency perspective, we constantly have to guide everything that's happening. So that it stays within some of the mandates of, you know, a federal agency product, especially as you heard in the keynote today, what happens with the data, what happens with, you know, sensitive data, or, you know, how are you? If certain museums are coming on board, are they going to be signing off, you know, or giving you release on some of the content that they're putting. So there are these complex issues. And that's where, while the there is a different kind of, you know, collaboration, we are very pleased with how everything has been happening. We are constantly sort of guiding the partners into sort of keeping those things in mind.

Unknown Speaker 49:52
And I'll put a quick, quick little plug in, the collaboration doesn't stop now. So you some of you, and I don't know how much we've mentioned this So the next step, and I think we've already talked about this, but we're also soliciting 10. Future museum partners to join us on this journey. So it's been History Colorado in the field to start to really help us build and get in the trenches at the early stages. But after that initial phase, that's when we bring on 10 additional museums to join in this provide additional content, and collaborate and continue this journey. So this is really just still the early stages of it. But so that's just a plug to put in your ear. If you guys want to talk about that, feel free to come up to any of us and, and we can continue that discussion

Unknown Speaker 50:35
so much for my last two slides. So we're running a little bit short on time. So the quick answer to the next question is very similar, but it's about the product. So we had all these museum content providers, other museums, the educators and you know, the students or the students, as represented by the educators, we've now seen the platform, we know this platform will absolutely evolve. Patrick demonstrated some of the activities, there have been a lot more activities that we've talked about, that the educators really want interaction with students, they want the students to be able to get on there and go through something. How do you feel at this point where we've just started building it out about the iterative process to build the product? It's a similar question.

Unknown Speaker 51:26
Yeah, no, it's really good. I mentioned I mentioned, we called down a list of like, 50, activities down to 10. And these were activities that were well vetted by educators. So we're talking about activities, it's like the, the narrative, it's like, that's a very basic one. But it's, it's essential. But then there's also things like a puzzle where you can put together or a sorting activity, or a timeline, or gallery or landscape with those hotspots. So these are ones that we went back to the educators and it's like how well do you think this would function in your classroom setting? And is this what you want? So yeah, we'll test out those first 10 activities, but then it's a platform is made in it's the plan is in such a way that these activities can be extended. And even it's been bounced around the idea of having a standardized to the point where we can have external developers come in and say, hey, I want to build a new activity for the MDL platform, I'm going to submit it, you know, using this, these set of specs and conform to this standard.

Unknown Speaker 52:26
So we're actually down to five minutes. Okay,

Unknown Speaker 52:29
I just mentioned two things. What the MDL platform in terms of product we are not looking for is that the museums, the future museums will just put up whatever they have developed in a we don't want this platform to have become just like any other platform where there is 10,000 varieties of education products. So the standardization is very important. And again, from a user perspective.

Unknown Speaker 52:55
Okay, thank you. So last slide. So this is again, it really is an iterative process. And it will continue to be and that's where we really want to get 10 additional museums to provide some content, because a lot of what we built out involves history, Colorado, and their, their way of doing things in the Field Museum and their way of doing things, the more museums that come on board with different, very different kinds of collections, the way they do things, their data, this will evolve further. So the opportunity now is for 10 additional museums to step up and get involved, what's in it for the institution's visibility, visibility, about the museum, about the collections about the digital collections, and about their their passion and involvement, and dedication to providing education based on those, you know, based on those digital assets. So we're looking for, again, geographically, size type diversity in those institutions. But from each institution, we really need, you know, a commitment, dedicated staff, we need some digital assets, those digital assets, we don't need fully robust with all kinds of metadata. We want to build this. So it's really available to smaller and medium sized institutions. So in the next 10 institutions, we may take large, but we certainly want representation from small, medium and large museums. So we're here the rest of the day. I didn't quite talk about that. So we're here the rest of the day. Come to come to me come to Paula, Carla Patrick, talk about it. Take a card, give us your card. We would love to further discuss it. We really would like to onboard 10 additional museums, certainly by the end of the year are very early in January. So we're here. Thank you for attending. Any other comments?

Unknown Speaker 54:59
No. I'll just sort of, say the same thing. This summer IMLS did six regional workshops, we were able to at least, you know, reach out to 200 or more attendees. And every time I mentioned about MDL, there was a lot of interest. So what we've been doing is we've been collecting, if you have a business card, right, just right on top interested in, in MDL. And give it I've been collecting a stack of those, because but one thing to clarify is just because you're interested, you know, there has there will be a vetting process. There will be a vetting process. But if you're interested, we definitely would like to have a conversation with you. And just like we did with the selection of the 10 educators, because it's a federal project, we want to make sure that there is, you know, equitable, sort of a balance of the representation. But the good news is that if 500 are interested, that's that's what I want to hear. Right? And we are only able to take 10 Just imagine how much that 490 interested will help with a sustainable sustainability plan for this, right? Because that shows the need of institutions, you know, who would benefit you know, from something like this? Okay. All right. Thank you. Thank you.