This week I’m preparing for another Varsity Tutors Large format course, on Monday, February 22, at 7pm EST/ 5pm MST: “Making Your Family’s Museum Visit Magical.” In this 2nd of 2 presentations I’ll virtually visit three museums and utilize their online platforms to demonstrate some tools and activities to make museum going fun for the whole family.
Register TODAY by clicking on the image below, and join me next Monday at the Museum!
While preparing for this class, I looked at multiple platforms from museums all over the world. My research wasn’t comprehensive or scientific in any way. I mainly found platforms that served my needs regarding my teaching and learning objectives.
However, I do want to share with you all how 5 different museums have created an online space for learning that provide student, teacher, and family audiences on creative and relatively easy to use platforms.
#1: MetKids: I love this space. I have to keep myself for over-using this platform in my classes. Met Kids has created a world inside the Metropolitan Museum of Art that provides exactly the kind of entry points students, teachers and families need to build an appreciation and love of museums and all they offer. My favorite thing to do is to break the time machine! I’m such a rebel.
#2: Tate Kids: I just recently started playing with this platform and I’m in love with the video: JACQUELINE WILSON’S MAGICAL TOUR OF TATE BRITAIN. There are so many wonderful videos and inspirations on this platform that I can see students, teachers and parents spending hours clicking through and learning.
#3: LACMA: I was able to recently attend a webinar hosted by Museum Educators of Southern California where we learned about the many creative ways museums have been reacting to the recent shut downs. In addition to the equally impressive and thoughtful work presented by the Hammer Museum, the Pacific Asia Museum and the Autry, I was especially impressed with the interactive and 3-D access to the collection for teachers that LACMA’s online courses provide. The fact that they are free an accessible to everyone is the cherry on top! This is something homeschooling moms, pod-leaders and scout leaders can use too. I find myself going there often for personal and professional inspiration.
#4: Skirball Cultural Center: I am in love with the Skirball’s educational programming overall, but I was especially excited to see the new Noah’s Ark Videos that the amazing storytellers on staff created for our younger audiences! These are magical re-tellings of cultural flood stories from around the world. If these performances don’t inspire you to build a better world then, I’m at a loss.
#5: Smithsonian, National Museum of Natural History : Out of all the walk through virtual tours I’ve tried out, this one wins for me. It’s easy enough to follow the map, find what you’re actually looking for and also explore. They also offer amazing narrated virtual tours and access to past exhibitions! My 4th grader and I went here to help dig deeper into his fossil lessons and he was even better than I was navigating the maps. On the topic of STEM, I have to also mention NASA. Oh my goodness. This resource is amazing. I mean, who doesn’t want to experience STEM lessons from Space!?
This year, while disheartening for so many of us with the shut-downs and lack of in-person access to museums, has also opened the door to some incredible innovation in education. I’m really excited to see where this takes us and how this new frontier changes and improves our approaches to learning and access for the next generation!