The Museum as Ecosystem and Museums in Learning Ecosystems

Chapter
Part of the Springer Series on Cultural Computing book series (SSCC)

Abstract

In this chapter, we suggest that ecological thinking can inform the design of audience-centred and society-relevant learning experiences in museums, with a focus on digital learning. We draw attention to two interrelated perspectives for positioning museum learning experiences: First, their embedding in the museum ecosystem, which includes the collections and spaces, but also museum staff, audiences and the intricate webs of interactions and relationships that underpin the everyday life of the museum. Second, the place of the museum in a broader education ecosystem, which includes formal and informal education providers, learners, as well as other social and institutional actors that shape educational practice. We illustrate this perspective through a case study of a successful long-term partnership between a museum and a technology company for innovating the learning offer for young audiences: The Samsung Digital Discovery Centre at the British Museum. We use a communicative ecologies framework to examine the context and determinants of the Samsung Centre digital learning design approach, how this evolved, and its impacts on the variety of digital interaction patterns that are offered and constantly refined by the Centre. On this basis, we discuss implications for the design of digital learning experiences in museums in increasingly interconnected ecosystems, within and outside museum walls.

Notes

Acknowledgements

This chapter draws upon research conducted in the frame of the RICHES project, which was funded under EU 7th Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration, grant agreement no. 612789.

References

  1. Altheide DL (1994) An ecology of communication: toward a mapping of the effective environment. Sociol Q 35(4):665–683CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Barab SA, Roth WM (2006) Curriculum-based ecosystems: supporting knowing from an ecological perspective. Educ Res 35(5):3–13CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Barron B (2006) Interest and self-sustained learning as catalysts of development: a learning ecology perspective. Hum Dev 49:193–224CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bateson G (1973) Steps to an ecology of mind. Paladin, LondonGoogle Scholar
  5. Bell G (2002) Making sense of museums: the museum as ‘cultural ecology’. Intel LabsGoogle Scholar
  6. Cannon-Brookes P (1992) The nature of museum collections. In: Thompson JMA (eds) Manual of curatorship. Butterworth-Heinemann, Boston, pp 500–512Google Scholar
  7. Center for the Future of Museums (2014) Building the future of education: museums and the learning ecosystem. American Alliance of Museums, Washington DCGoogle Scholar
  8. Charatzopoulou et al. (2016) Access, participation, learning: digital strategies for audience engagement with cultural heritage in museums and libraries. RICHES EU project deliverable D6.1., May 2016Google Scholar
  9. Desvallées A, Mairesse F (eds) (2010) Key concepts of museology. Armand ColinGoogle Scholar
  10. Erstad O, Sefton-Green J (2013) Digital disconnect? The digital learner and the school. In: Erstad O, Sefton-Green J (eds) Identity, community and learning lives in the digital age. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 87–104Google Scholar
  11. European Parliament (2006) Recommendation 2006/962/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18.12.2006 on key competences for lifelong learning. Official J L 394 of 30.12.2006Google Scholar
  12. Falk JH, Dierking LD (2013) The museum experience revisited. RoutledgeGoogle Scholar
  13. Finke P (2013) A brief outline of evolutionary cultural ecology. Tradit Syst Theory Major Figures Contemp Dev 11(2013):293Google Scholar
  14. Gay G, Hembrooke H (2004) Activity-centered design: an ecological approach to designing smart tools and usable systems. MIT Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  15. Hearn G, Foth M (2007) Communicative ecologies: editorial preface. Electron J Commun 17(1–2)Google Scholar
  16. Ito M, Baumer S, Bittanti M, Cody R, Stephenson BH, Horst HA, Perkel D (2009) Hanging out, messing around, and geeking out: kids living and learning with new media. MIT Press, Boston, MAGoogle Scholar
  17. Jackson NJ (2016) Exploring learning ecologies. Chalk MountainGoogle Scholar
  18. Jackson NJ (2013) The concept of learning ecologies. Lifewide learning, education and personal development. ebookGoogle Scholar
  19. Knowles MS (1981) The future of lifelong learning. In: Collins Z (ed) Museums. Adults and the Humanities, Washington DC, AAM, pp 131–143Google Scholar
  20. Latham KF, Simmons JE (2014) Foundations of museum studies: evolving systems of knowledge: evolving systems of knowledge. ABC-CLIOGoogle Scholar
  21. Lemke JL (1997) Cognition, context, and learning: a social semiotic perspective. Situated cognition: social, semiotic, and psychological perspectives, pp 37–56Google Scholar
  22. Lugan JC (1993) La systémique sociale. Presses universitaires de France, ParisGoogle Scholar
  23. Mannion S, Sabiescu A, Robinson W (2016) Innovate or stagnate: disrupting the conventional audio guide. In: Proceedings, MW2016: museums and the web 2016Google Scholar
  24. Nardi BA, O’Day V (1999) Information ecologies: using technology with heart. MIT Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  25. Roberts L (1997) From knowledge to narrative. educators and the changing museum. Smithsonian Institution Press, WashingtonGoogle Scholar
  26. Sabiescu A, Charatzopoulou K (2015) Shaping a culture of lifelong learning for young audiences: a case study on the samsung digital discovery centre at the british museum. RICHES EU project deliverableGoogle Scholar
  27. Samis P, Michaelson M (2017) The visitor-centred museum. Routledge, New York and LondonGoogle Scholar
  28. Scott C, Dodd J, Sandell R (2015) Cultural value - user value of museums and galleries: a critical review of the literature. Arts and Humanities Research Council, Leicester, p 2015Google Scholar
  29. Sharples M (2000) The design of personal mobile technologies for lifelong learning. Comput Educ 34(3):177–193CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Slater D (2013) New media, development and globalisation. Making connections in the Global South. Polity Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  31. Steward JH (1972) Theory of culture change: the methodology of multilinear evolution. University of Illinois Press, ChampaignGoogle Scholar
  32. Tacchi J (2006) Studying communicative ecologies: an ethnographic approach to information and communication technologies. Paper presented at the 56th annual conference of the international communication associationGoogle Scholar
  33. Vermeeren AP, Calvi L, Sabiescu A, Trocchianesi R, Stuedahl D, Giaccardi E (2016) Involving the crowd in future museum experience design. In: Proceedings of the 2016 CHI conference extended abstracts on human factors in computing systems. ACM, New York, pp 3347–3354Google Scholar
  34. Wakkary R, Evernden D (2005) Museum as ecology: a case study analysis of an ambient intelligent museum guide. Museums and web 2005: selected papers from an international conference, pp 151–164 Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Loughborough University LondonLondonUK
  2. 2.Independent ResearcherBerlinGermany

Personalised recommendations