April 11-14, 2007
San Francisco, California

Workshops: Description

Remixing Museum Education through Online Participatory Learning

Matthew Fisher, Night Kitchen Interactive, USA
Juan Leon, Night Kitchen Interactive, USA

Our workshop provides museum educators with a hands-on introduction to the online "remix," a highly participatory educational experience supported by blogging, photo sharing, and podcasting. Participants in a remix curate their own online exhibits by drawing upon museum collections to design and build interactive, uniquely personal spaces. Tools such as WordPress, Flickr, and Slapcast facilitate the production of these cross-disciplinary educational events that take into account a variety of learning styles while developing the critical and creative skills of participants.

Our half-day remix workshop divides the afternoon into five sessions:

  1. an introduction to remix programs and the tools that support them,
  2. an in-depth case study,
  3. the design of a sample project for the workshop,
  4. studio time, and
  5. a reflection activity to promote transfer of the day's learning.

The remix is an online production that includes label copy, audio commentary, and the capture of audience feedback. It is also the creative repurposing of artifacts so that their voices can speak to the present moment. During the first session we will introduce educational remix programs that have been sponsored by the Franklin Tercentenary, the Pew Charitable Trusts, the National Constitution Center, and other institutions. We will discuss the criteria that can be used to help identify materials and topics suitable for remixing. We'll also identify the kinds of learning goals these projects can address and the tools that you'll need to provide for a remix project's technical infrastructure.

During the second session we will present a case study of the Franklin Remixed project ( . This study explains the program's objectives, the program's structure, its curriculum, the production work, and program evaluation. We'll emphasize the ways in which classroom activities were blended with the online production and examine some of our own lessons learned.

During the third session we will facilitate the design and production of the workshop participants' own remix. We will provide a set of images representative of a portion of a museum's online collection. Participants will interact with these images in defining for themselves an interpretive theme for an exhibit drawing upon them.

During the fourth session--studio time--we will guide workshop participants as they use blog tools, the photo sharing site, and podcasting to create their exhibit. This online exhibit will include a homepage and a gallery of images that have been creatively edited by participants. There will also be a narrated exhibit exploring one theme in depth. Finally, we will choose an image from the gallery as the subject of an audio skit that participants will write and record. The site will also include an "About" and "Credits" page.

In the concluding session we will reflect on each other's work and discuss ways in which the remix approach might be adopted in a variety of museum contexts.

Workshop: Remixing Education [Afternoon]

Keywords: remix, blog, podcast, flickr, online, exhbit, education programs