The Concept of Children’s Museum in Virtual Learning Environment

By Lea Kuznik.

Published by The International Journal of the Inclusive Museum

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Children’s museums are one of the fastest growing fields in the world’s museology. The concept of children’s museum, which is based on pedagogical and psychological theories of children’s learning and play as well as on developmental theories of children, can be efficiently applied to different »non-museum« or »alternative« environment, such as the Internet and its virtual worlds (e.g. Second Life) and especially virtual worlds for children (e.g. Club Penguin, Neopats, Whyville...). Virtual worlds are attracting interest from different organizations as platforms for learning. Also known as immersive environments, these systems can provide significant advantages over other learning strategies and present different possibilities for learning in virtual learning environments. Informal learning environments such as virtual worlds offer children various intellectual activities i.e. »crystallized« experiences. What kind of learning possibilities do the virtual worlds enable the children? It is important to create an environment, which would enable the children to construct their own knowledge through their interaction with peers, different materials, objects, learning games and other activities.

Keywords: Children’s Museum, Experiential Pedagogy, Interaction, Virtual Learning Environment, Virtual Worlds, Game-Based Learning

International Journal of the Inclusive Museum, Volume 1, Issue 1, pp.53-60. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 653.666KB).

Dr. Lea Kuznik

Assistant, Department of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology, Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia, Slovenia

I was born in 1975 in Ljubljana, Slovenia. I graduated in 1999, I finished my master’s degree in 2004, and my doctor’s degree in 2007 at University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Arts, Department of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology. In this Department I am working as assistant for Slovene Ethnology. For more than seven years I am taking interests on museology, children’s museums and interactive learning spaces, pedagogical and psychological theories of learning and play and developmental theories of children. My doctoral thesis presents first scientific research on field of children’s museums in Slovenia. I am also dealing with up-to date technologies, virtual museums, virtual worlds, such as Second Life and how to transfer the concept of children’s museum in interactive virtual learning environment (for example: Club Penguin, Neopets, Whyville, Barbie Girls…). I strongly believe that the concept of a children’s museum can be efficiently applied to a different “non museum” or “alternative” environment. My recent research project was designing an interactive learning environment in a shopping centre.

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