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Keeping up with technology

February 1, 2013

Having read an interesting post on another blog about using tablets in museums I thought I had better take a look at how museums are keeping up with the technology advances in society.

This blog gives some great links on how museums are in fact using tablets to get people interested in the subjects on offer and the museums themselves. But, this must be a strain on these institutions, I don’t mean just creating an app for a museum or exhibition but in general children need to be interested in what they are looking at, and technology is taking over.

Over the past 10 years technology has improved more so than ever before, we have smart phones, tablets, laptops, and any amount of information on anything on the Internet. Children are using computers and even tablets for play, reading and learning, this is what entertains them now. Not only this, but adults also rely on them, for finding out so much, including looking at websites of museums they intend to visit.

Schools now use computers to teach children, I don’t see that this is a bad thing, even at a primary school level. Schools need to prepare these young people for the future and most jobs now require the use of a computer, so it is fairly vital, and to learn when they are young is the best way. But, there aren’t only computer classes now, some schools use tablets and bring up websites on the interactive whiteboards, education is entirely incorporating the use of technology. To keep up with this trend, museums, where most classes will go on a school trip, need to be online, most do have a website, even if they are a bit dull or not very user friendly. But, they also need to incorporate technology within their exhibits and galleries. Interactive exhibits work well with this, but will there be more in the future, will people be able to hire a tablet to use throughout the museum? Possibly, they could be the new tour guides! But, what museums will need to do, is use tablets and computers for the use of children, on school trips or with parents. The use of technology will interest children and maybe will save some tantrums on a family day out whilst still learning something.

Having done some research into working in a museum and having done some work experience in one, I have noticed that school trips are dwindling slowly. This is mainly because of the financial situation at the moment, schools have to hire coaches for school trips, which parents have to pay for, with the rising cost of fuel and many parents struggling to get by, it simply isn’t feasible. One possible solution to this is by bringing the museum to the classroom. With the use of websites, videos and the interactive whiteboard, children can almost enjoy the museum in their classroom.

But, the even bigger problem museums will face with keeping up with this technology is also a financial one, and one that comes up everywhere (especially this blog) – FUNDING! There simply isn’t the money to employ people to put together fancy websites and programmes, or to supply children with tablets when walking into a museum. But, they are doing their best and hopefully the situation will improve in the future. National museums are doing a bit better, but local museums have no chance in catching up and this is a problem for them, because they need the visitors and school trips.

There is so much more to be done to keep children interesting in the subjects covered in museums, and a lot of this will be achieved with the use of computers in the future. But, until the economy picks up, children will simply have to have fun the old fashioned way and have a look at some old stuff through glass!


From → Museums

  1. Thanks for mentioning my blog and linking to my post! Flattered that I have influenced your latest blog entry.

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