Over the past few months I’ve been working with the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences in Sydney as a Visiting Research Fellow. We have been exploring how we can engage education audiences with learning and social media (you can read more here and here on initial thinking). It has been such an exciting adventure with many perspectives shared on both building student capacity to engage with the rich cultural objects on offer at MAAS and museums as a whole and in building teacher capacity to engage with learning resources both for curriculum and their professional development. We have focused on a spin, if you like, of engaging through social media. This way of thinking has emerged through the philosophy that social media platforms are rich sources to form a community, continue conversations, share personal experiences, create visual narratives through the generation of images (photographs or video) paired with a story (or even recorded) that shares knowledge, meaning making, and posed questions.
Our thinking has led us to connect firstly with teachers. Specifically we are exploring how we can link early years, primary, secondary and higher education teachers with museum educators nationally to form a supportive community that discusses all things museum education. This has lead to the launch of a dedicated hashtag to focus on these areas. We are calling this adventure #MuseumEdOz.
We are aiming to:
- Provide a voice for museum educators and teachers
- Develop an Australian profile on social media to further strengthen USA presence in this space
- Connect in real time and across boundaries with fellow museum educators, curators, museums, and teachers
- Demonstrate how social media can be a professional learning platform
- Support the access to resources, pedagogical strategies, and ideas in a fluid environment
- Develop a community of practice
- Provide a forum for posing questions, discussing best practice, and innovative educational approaches to engage learning for all in the museum setting with objects, exhibitions, and cultural assets
- Explore new ways to engage audiences
- Extend experiences for teachers in museum education
This hashtag will be launched next week beginning on the evening of Sunday 24th May 2015 through a cohosting of @EduTweetOz (read more here about this great network of teachers on social media) by myself, Dr Narelle Lemon (NL) and Mr Peter Mahony (PM) focusing on museum education.
Throughout the week we are very excited to be tweeting about learning in the museum from the perspective of museum educators, teachers, students and curators. The focus will be on object based pedagogy and we are planning to live tweet several museum education programs to share learning strategies, engagement with objects, and interactions with students and teachers.
We will be hosting a live TweetChat on Tuesday 26th May 2015 at 7:30pm (EST) focusing on the following questions about learning with objects and in informal settings such as museums. We would love you to join us and share your perspectives.
The hashtag #MuseumEdOz will be used to connect teachers and museum educators national as a community during the week and beyond. We are planning to have monthly TweetChats (1st Thursday of every month) hosted by various educators nationally and invite you to make contact to propose ideas and questions. You can do this by contacting Peter or myself through Twitter or email (see below for our details).
Who are your hosts for Tweet Chat 1?
Peter is Manager of Education and Digital Learning for Sydney’s Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences. He is responsible for program direction and delivery of the Museum’s booked group learning experiences including the Thinkspace digital learning centre, and is curriculum leader for special projects including The Mars Lab. Peter believes that a revolution in school-museum learning partnerships is just around the corner and lends all available effort to running punk learning experiments to try to find a way. Qualifications include Master of Teaching, Graduate Diploma in Music Therapy, Bachelor of Arts, and Cert IV Workplace Train and Assessment. Peter’s background is in community and performing arts. Back in the day, with the Castanet Club he toured nationally and internationally as performer and musician, including to the Edinburgh Arts Festival. These days Peter sings in Sydney based gospel choir Cafe of the Gate of Salvation.
Dr Narelle Lemon @rellypops
Narelle is a Senior Lecturer at La Trobe University in Melbourne working with pre-service teachers in the areas of arts education, interdisciplinary skills, and integration of digital technology in learning including social media. Her research agenda is focused on engagement and participation in the areas of teacher capacity building in cultural organisations such as galleries, museums and other alternative education settings, social media for professional development including Twitter and Instagram, and working in academia. She works with teachers through visual inquiry, narrative inquiry, action research and participatory research methods. Narelle also coordinates the Master of Teaching (primary) within the School of Education at La Trobe University.
Narelle’s passion is for learning has been throughout her career as a F-12 arts (music and visual arts) and generalist primary teacher and now with future teachers. She firmly believes everyone can learn from each other. She is very much looking forward to cohosting @EduTweetOz with the focus on how museums, and other cultural organisations such as galleries, libraries and aquariums, can support learning across the curriculum as well as for teacher professional development. She is a firm believer that this is a wonderful platform to support one another and form a community to explore learning.