Blog 1: Digital Media Workshop

Although I currently live, work, and study in Virginia, when people ask me where I’m from, my automatic response is “Washington, DC.”  So when the video featured the Smithsonian Institution’s workshop, my ears perked up, and I wanted to find out more.

As shown on the video, students are charged with creating a scavenger hunt that would interest teenagers.  They use their cell phones to photograph clues and send them to the gamers. Students use multiple skills such as writing, photography, and visual literacy (how to look at artifacts and interpret them).  Working in groups, their social and communicative skills are also honed.

I tried to find out more about this workshop, but my websurfing skills have proven inadequate.  I haven’t given up, though, and when I find out more, I will blog about that.

The scavenger hunt also piqued my interest since I recently included a similar activity in a Social Studies lesson plan. The unit was on US presidents, and as part of a field trip, students and their parent chaperones visiting the American Presidents (a permanent exhibition of the National Portrait Gallery at the American Arts Museum) would have to find certain presidents using photographs of details found in the presidential portraits.  The details would potentially spark conversation and more research into those presidents. 

With more knowledge and skills to be acquired in this technology course, I hope to tweak the Presidential Scavenger Hunt activity and make that lesson more interactive.

 

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About palancatina

Teacher, Student, Facilitator. In Spanish, PALANCA means lever. An English Language student once told me how apt my name was because I lifted the class up into a higher realm of knowledge and understanding. I hope to live up to that!
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2 Responses to Blog 1: Digital Media Workshop

  1. sjknight says:

    Great post. Thanks for sharing how you are incorporating these ideas into your instruction. I also loved this program. One question I have…is this type of activity only beneficial to kids that have access to the museum to visit again? I was recently working with a former ed554 student who is now working at a historical site. She wanted to encourage them to explore more technology usage to enrich the experience. Her biggest opposition was the fact that the decision makers felt that the tech would distract from the exhibits. Especially with first time visitors. I need to reach out to her to find out what ever happen with her ideas. How do,you feel about it? Clearly the kids in the video live in the district and surrounding areas and visit the museums often. Does this increase the success of the program? Should first timers experience the museum in a traditional way first and the second experience is when the tech is layered on?

    • palancatina says:

      There is so much available on the internet now; most people search the internet before buying a product, eating at a restaurant, seeing a movie, or visiting a museum. So before even setting foot in a museum, most visitors have already checked it out virtually. Having a program such as the one in the video could actually attract more people and give them information that may not fit into those little cards that they have at exhibits. The digital aids could have comments and questions that could direct visitors to other exhibits in the museum. There might even be the added benefit of getting those who are reluctant to step into the digital age to get their feet wet and splash around a bit! Wouldn’t it be great to see docents guiding people around, interacting with them using iPads, iphones, or other digital devices?
      The question of whether or not first-tmers should experience a museum in the traditional way first is moot. There already is a choice. The Smithsonian offers self-guided recorded tours, as do other museums. That’s technology working right there, albeit 20th century technology. A scavenger hunt type of program would have museum visitors guiding themselves more as they navigate through information that suits their interests. Or, they could stroll among the artifacts as they please with or without devices.

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