MA Digital Technologies, Communication and Education students studying on the module Educational Technology and Communication , taught by Dr Drew Whitworth are undertaking a field trip to a museum, and reflecting on the experience.
The museum will serve as the educational environment that students will ‘deconstruct’ using the principles they have been exposed to in the course so far.
”Museums, though they don’t tend to offer formal courses, are nevertheless clearly a part of the educational infrastructure of any given place or nation. They are designed environments — they have a particular focus (the subject matter of the museum) — and, increasingly, they are using digital technologies in various ways. Thought can be given as to how a museum presents itself generally, and presents specific artefacts or other elements of its collection. Like any other text – or collections of texts – museums conform to genre expectations, and as a result, use media in certain specific and identifiable ways.
There are also special features of the communicative exchange which govern how they communicate, some of which we have already alluded to: for example, that they must communicate to large numbers of visitors at one time, and can assume little if anything about the prior knowledge or other characteristics of these “learners”. What else governs the museum format, well, it is one purpose of the visit to reveal these things.
In short, how the museum communicates its educational intentions through technology can be studied in some detail. And that is what we are going to do here.”