Rethinking the Museum Experience Seminar

On Monday I attended my first professional development seminar since starting Maternity Leave in February. It was a lunchtime seminar at the Immigration Museum Melbourne on the topic of ‘Rethinking the Museum Experience‘. I did have my, very obliging, 5 month old daughter in tow, so I wasn’t at my full capacity. Unfortunately I missed all of Andrea Witcomb‘s presentation while I was settling her.

Nonetheless, there were some interesting messages I took away from the seminar. Laurajane Smith and Philipp Schorch spoke about research they had conducted with visitors to the Immigration museum. Both looked at how the visitors engaged with the content in the museum, particularly in relation to emotional engagement and the role of identity in shaping their visit.

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MONA – Hobart

IMG_6678I had been hoping to visit MONA (Museum of Old and New Art) for quite some time, so I was pleased to finally make there last week.  I had heard a lot about MONA and their mobile experience ‘The O’ at various Museum conferences and gatherings, so I had quite high expectations.  I’m pleased to say I wasn’t disappointed and it lived up to the hype.  A visit to MONA is quite a powerful experience.

Photography is allowed inside the museum, but publication on websites is not allowed without permission.  So I will share only images of the entrance.

Initial Impressions

I arrived at MONA by car, rather than ferry.  When you enter MONA you travel to the lowest level by a cylindrical lift or spiral stairs that wind around the lift.   You emerge into a cavernous hall with towering stone walls.  This entrance really set the scene for the visit.  It feels like you are delving into something deep, unknown, confronting and surprising.

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Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery

Bond Store Galleries - Our Living Land
Bond Store Galleries – Our Living Land

Last week I visited the recently renovated Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery in Hobart.  I hadn’t visited it prior to renovation so I can’t comment on the transformation, but what I did see was quite impressive.  What struck me the most was the aesthetic quality of the exhibitions, particularly those in the Bond Store Galleries.  They were very beautiful spaces to be in.

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Video Conferencing Museum Education Programs

Reflections from Perfecting the Blend Conference

paper-planeOn Friday (7th December) I attended a small part of the Perfecting the Blend Conference held at the impressive Earth Ed Centre at Mt Clear College here in Ballarat.  The whole conference ran for a full two days with a huge range of presenters talking about the innovative and seamless use of technology to support learning.  Unfortunately I was only able to attend two sessions on Friday afternoon, but they were a good opportunity to look at how Museums are using Video Conferencing to deliver Education Programs.

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Takeaways from Digital Strategy Masterclass

Things to remember when defining and implementing a digital strategy

Workshop participants takeaways from the day.
Workshop participants takeaways from the day.

Last week I blogged a summary of the Digital Strategy Masterclass run by Jasper Visser as part of Intercom 2012.  Running through the Digital Engagement Framework as a planning process was a useful exercise.  But it also allowed time to consider bigger issues around digital engagement and strategic planning.  There were a few key points that I took away from the day:

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Digital Strategy Masterclass Overview

Intercom 2012 – Digital Strategy Masterclass

As part of the Intercom 2012 conference on Thursday 29th November there was a full day Masterclass on ‘Developing your digital strategy’ run by Jasper Visser (@jaspervisser) of Inspired by Coffee. I was looking forward to this day as an opportunity to look at the bigger picture and gain ideas and knowledge that could be used to develop a comprehensive and well planned digital engagement strategy.

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IMTALAP Article – Twitter in Museum Theatre

Ideas for using Twitter in Museum Theatre

This article was original published in the newsletter of the International Museum Theatre Alliance – Asia Pacific (IMTALAP).

Last weekend I tried to explain to my Mum, Uncles, Aunt and 92 year-old Grandma the value of Twitter.  It was so hard.  I was met with many sceptical looks or polite smile-and-nods.  The truth is that Twitter’s power and value is difficult to explain in theory, it needs to be experienced.  It needs to be experienced over a fair amount of time.

I’ve been making a concerted effort to ‘learn’ Twitter since July last year, and it’s only been in the last three months that I’ve really come to appreciate and vouch for it’s worth.  If you’re keen to work productively with Twitter, and I will argue that’s a very worthwhile pursuit, then I recommend giving yourself a good amount of time to play first.

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Twitter at Conferences

Twitter Dynamics at Conferences

Last week I attended the Museums Australia conference in Adelaide.  It was my second time tweeting at a MA conference, and as Regan Forrest suggests, there was a more robust Twitter conversation going on this time.  I also felt more connected to Twitter in this conference than I did last year, and it got me thinking about how the Twitter dynamics of a conference has affected my experience.

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Education in Museums

Education in Museums – Reflections from Museums Australia Conference

Last week at the Museums Australia conference in Adelaide there were a number of presenters that spoke about Museum Education (broadly referring to museums, galleries, libraries, zoos, historic sites etc.) – about engaging school audiences.  Despite being an Museum Educator myself, I intentionally did not go to all education-related presentations, with the aim of looking more a the big picture of what is happening in Museums.  However I did go to a number of Education streams, particularly on the first day of the conference.  From these presentations I came to some general thoughts and conclusions about what is happening in our sector…

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Museums Australia Conference Presentation

Learners, Digital Resources and Museums

Museums Australia Conference Presentation by Stephanie Rosestone

On Thursday 27th September I delivered a presentation called Learners, Digital Resources and Museums.  The presentation was a culmination of both research and practical experience over the past year as part of my work at Sovereign Hill.  My presentation discussed why cultural organisations should engage with teachers and students using digital resources, explored some digital resources developed by museums, and presented some practical ideas for getting started.

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