The Kids Are Alright: Collaborating on College-Level “Museum Digital” Courses

Lightning Talk

Saturday, April 06, 2019: 9:30am - 11:00am - Grand Ballroom: Lightning Talks

Sabrina Greupner, Ontario Science Centre, Canada

What role can museums play in developing the next generation of digital professionals? The Ontario Science Centre has successfully participated in the co-creation and offering of university- and college-level credit courses with local institutions for a number of years now. By working closely with program leads and individual professors at Ryerson University and the University of Toronto, the Science Centre has created an opportunity for students to learn from museum staff, and provided a venue to test and showcase their digital skills. 

It’s a win-win for everyone involved. The design, development and fabrication of the exhibit were part of the students’ course work, providing them with valuable real-world experience. “Our students get to see how a museum like the Science Centre operates behind the scenes, and they get to work on a project that goes beyond the scope of what they would normally be able to do in one of their classes,” states David Bouchard, the Ryerson New Media prof who collaborated on course development. For the Ontario Science Centre, it means exciting and engaging new experiences for visitors, and the opportunity to gather more data about the ways in which museum-goers interact with technology. 

This lightning talk will highlight the concrete steps taken in course development, from conception to delivery, and will provide an overview of the rewards and challenges of working with students in their educational journey to becoming museum digital professionals. Photos and video of the process, both in-classroom and on-site in the museum will supplement the talk.