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Future of Museums

December 21, 2009

One of my favorite websites to find good things to think about is at the Center for the Future of Museums.  Of most utility is the email Dispatches from the Center for Museums you can subscribe to and receive weekly updates.  

So what have they got?  Each Dispatch contains links to a dozen or so different articles or websites that stimulate thinking out how we will carry our missions into the future.  Things I read in the recent Dispatch that were relevant or “good to think” for me around issues of Public Outreach and Education included:

  • America’s Information Consumption Soars – Article in the San Francisco Chronicle – I found this interesting in demonstrating that the actual amount of information we receive today is dramatically increased with digital technologies.  How do we mesh our public outreach with the way folks are receiving this information today?  This all reminds me of a free webinar I listened to earlier this year on the AAM website that dealt with Gaming and Museums.  The basic thesis was that if we could get youth (and others) to invest the amount of time currently spent in gaming for pleasure on gaming for social good, then the sky is the limit . . . 
  •  Ten Crucial Consumer Trends for 2010 – from the website trendwatching.com – A list and discussion of trends, about half of which I found good to think about, such as:  Business as Usual – How the end of the Recession will not bring about a return to the past; Real Time Reviews – How the good and bad of what we do in our presentaiton and events is judged by the visitor and immediately spread through digital media to the world; and how digital interactions can ultimately be turned into real time interactions – certainly a goal we wish to move toward in Public Outreach efforts
  • The Use of Handheld Guides in Museums – from Learning Times – I really enjoyed this piece.  The handheld/audio tour is an issue we continue to grapple with at the C.H. Nash Museum.  We take up at what point are we pushing more interacivity on our visitors than they want?  How do we balance different visitor learning styles?

All this and more comes once a week to your in box. 

What other tools do you use to find ideas that are “good to think” about for Public Outreach?

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