The first speaker, Kevin Walker, discussed his research in “museum bookmarking” and ways of extending the visit beyond the walls of the museum. The first exhibition they worked it into basically used kiosks to capture email addresses from the visitors allowing them to receive further information after their visit – something many museums have experimented with to some degree.
Next mentioned an exhibition at the National Cowgirl Museum that allows visitors to record themselves riding a fiberglass horse, receive a ticket with an URL, and later find a video of themselves composited into a rodeo scene. Again, something we approached with our first Dialog Table: users could gather objects and receive a ticket where they could later get an online postcard of their collection.
Location tracking technologies: they’re using bluetooth detection devices to basically tell where people are in the museum. Problems include determining context – they’re standing there, but are they looking at the painting? For his research he added a microphone to an iPod and asked users to report their own location: better data, but it needed more structure.
Now moved into discussing the paper, so go read it. 🙂 He emphasized how the best learning took place as the kids shared knowledge, rather than just taking it in singularly — that by “creating trails” for other users they enhanced their own knowledge. Problems: lack of structure in the trails, and no returning visits online. Next version asked for more structure, and seemed to help narrow the focus.
Interesting: By only allowing 15 seconds of audio, he found that people more carefully constructed their comments instead of rambling — a good point we may apply to our Art on Call feedback feature? I think we’re facing the same “lack of focus”, we may need to be more specific than just asking for “comments.”
Next projects include some technology projects African villages – as yet TBD, but he hopes to apply these findings. Very cool. Take-home message: it’s not about the technology, it’s how you use it. This is one way they’ve had success using technology, but there are more.
In Q&A he gave the idea of possibly converting these “trails” into blog postings and then eventually a community. Interesting thought. Does carrying around a little screen detract from engaging with the actual object? He feels yes, hence his focus on audio: cognitive load.