discovery education & web 2.0 tools

by mestep387

after considering everything we discussed in class regarding web 2.0 — including blogs, videos, online literature — i started really considering the audiences that best would understand and appreciate how to use social media and web 2.0 tools. even though we’ve discussed how young learners are so adept at using these tools, mostly because they are growing up with them, i am more interested in encouraging adult audiences to use social media as a means to interact and participate with a museum’s collection and staff.

for my tool, i chose wordle— where you can create word clouds to use interactively — because i think this is one of the only tools on the website that could be used outside of the classroom setting. many of these tools (wikis, mobile calling, etc.) seem more suited to a classroom which has the same students and participation constantly. i am interested in having one interactive tool that museum visitors can use to add their views about a specific exhibition or participate with their impressions of the museum: i have seen museums use this before and wordle seems to be exciting and thought-provoking.

here’s my word cloud created off the phillips collection’s blog:

you’ll notice that “WAX” is huge! i thought that was hilarious. this is because of TPC’s newest announcement regarding a permanent installation of wolfgang laib’s beeswax work.

it took me approximately 10 minutes to create the wordle. there was about 20 minutes spent trying to figure out why java wasn’t working on my computer…but that has nothing to do with this web 2.0 tool. wordle is, as described on the website, “a toy” for generating word clouds … “the images you create with wordle are yours to use in any way you choose. you may print t-shirts, business cards, brochures, what have you. on the other hand, when you place an image in the gallery, anyone else can use it too! so if you want to keep it to yourself, print it out without saving it.” ~ the wordle website.

considering ideas for the museum, i love the possibility of combining a few web 2.0 tools to use in the museum setting with adult learners.

my first idea: it would be neat to create a type of wiki or editable website (i think wiki would be the best tool used, perhaps PBworks or Edmodo). this site would be available on a couple of ipads or laptops…something…at the end of an exhibition or throughout a permanent collection. visitors to the collection would be able to comment on the exhibition and add in their feelings or reactions. these could be extended into a word cloud.

a second idea would be to expand on my personal mission, which is encouraging personal response to museum exhibitions. so, for a second world cloud, i entered in the responses to two group poems that participants on one of my museum tours came up with. here is their word cloud:

when prompted, two groups picked out two paintings in TPC’s permanent collection — vincent van gogh’s entrance to the public gardens in arles and marc chagall’s the dream — and created spontaneous poems in response to deep looking. these are words from their group poems. inspiring!

participants embarking on future personal response tours or programs could see their responses tracked with word clouds in order to see what comes up over and over again. again, this could be something entered into a wiki or blog, although it could be more private.

any thoughts?