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Archives & Museum Informatics



Access to the Distributed Environment: Making On-line Museum Content More Accessible to Educators

Danielle Boily, Canadian Heritage Information Network (CHIN), Canada

Session: Finding Educational Sites

While the museum community is developing authoritative and valuable heritage content for the WWW, access issues are making it difficult for this material to be found by those who are seeking it. This panel will examine, from a Canadian perspective, the issues around providing distributed access to on-line resources for educators and students.

The presentations will centre around the results of a collaborative project which analysed Gateway sites for teachers, metadata for resource discovery of learning resources, analysis of provincial curricula for Grades 7 - 13, cataloguing of on-line heritage resources, creation of a directory of distributed learning resources, tools for cataloguing and collecting metadata, and publication and distribution of metadata schema, tools and related resources as "best practices" guide for museums creating learning resources for the Web.

Collaborators on this project are:

  • Gateway to Educational Materials (GEM)

  • Industry Canada: Canada's SchoolNet and Canada's Digital Collections

  • Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (University of Toronto)

  • Archeological Services, Government of New Brunswick

  • Department of Tourism, Government of Yukon

  • Heritage Community Foundation/Alberta Museums Association

  • Musée McCord d'histoire canadienne / McCord Museum of Canadian History

  • Muskoka Steamship and Historical Society

  • Pointe-à-Callière, musée d'archéologie et d'histoire de Montréal

  • Canadian Heritage Information Network

Although the curriculum analysis is Canadian, the lessons learned have universal applications. The panel will explore the issues from the point of view of both the museum and the educator (content provider and content user). The automatic collection of metadata for a gateway designed for educators depends on the implementation of a metadata schema based on curricula and the development of tools to be used by the museums.