Rob Stein, while at the Indianapolis Museum of Art, addressed the changing conversation about museums and technology. In his post, he addresses in part;
…What is the best way to leverage electronic media and social networks to engage new museum audiences? When should we invest in a new online collection or a new website? These questions and many more plague museum technology professionals who are struggling to justify the investments in technology and staff that leverage these tools for the best purposes of the museum.
This is especially true in the changing role of the museum in education. As we stated in an earlier blog post Museums Embrace a Greater Role in Education, the modern museum has become more than just an informational source. The museum has now become an environment for learning. This broader scope gives the museum a role in education that has a greater impact on our society.
Museums provide a place for the student to discover information. Learning through discovery drives creative thought and innovation. The modern museums that have embraced their expanded role in education have become more than a didactic source.
We agree with Rob Stein’s statement in his conclusion, “A consistent focus on the mission of the museum, and the tools required to achieve that mission, is critical to see the impact we all desire.”.
As the museum strives to share the knowledge that their exhibits hold, technology supporting new media needs to be embraced. Museum leadership must partner with the Information Technology staff to achieve these strategic goals. Modern technologies must be used to get the information out to the student, even if the students cannot leave their classroom.