An iPod Experiment

By Ann Davis.

Published by The International Journal of the Inclusive Museum

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

If museums are learning institutions, museums must provide mechanisms to promote, support and encourage learning. As well museums must understand how learning occurs. The rapid development of hand-held technology offers new and potentially powerful opportunities for museums to develop innovative pedagogy.

For the past year The Nickle Arts Museum, in Calgary, Canada, has been experimenting with the use of iPods in the gallery. Tours and talks related to a specific exhibition are videotaped and, with minimal editing and titling, downloaded to an iPod which, in turn, is available, free, to patrons for their in-gallery use. In this way visitors may follow, both visually and aurally, a previous educational event. With this technology, visitors can proceed at their own pace, stopping and starting as will, or even repeating segments as desired.

The tool has many qualities, including that it is individually controlled and can be personalized. In the future we would like to make the learning on the iPod or hand-held device (will it be a cell phone?) a more layered experience, by adding links and materials not covered in the original tour or talk.

Keywords: Learning, Technology

International Journal of the Inclusive Museum, Volume 3, Issue 2, pp.59-64. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 556.227KB).

Dr. Ann Davis

Director, The Nickle Arts Museum, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Ann Davis is the Director of The Nickle Arts Museum at the University of Calgary and teaches in the program in Museum and Heritage Studies. Holding a Ph. D. from York University and a Certificate in Arts Administration from Harvard, Davis has been involved with museums and heritage since 1965. She has worked at the National Gallery of Canada, the Winnipeg Art Gallery, the National Museum of Singapore and the London Museums. Before coming to Calgary, she taught at the University of Winnipeg, Carleton University, Bishop’s University and the University of Western Ontario. Her publications include 2 books, numerous catalogues and articles. Davis is the Past President of the Canadian Art Museum Director’s Organization, the Past President of the International Council of Museums Canada and, currently, a board member of the International Council of Museums’ Committee for Museology. Recently she has organized the major per-Columbian gold traveling exhibition Ancient Peru Unearthed: Golden Treasures of a Lost Civilization. Ann is a member of the Advisory Board of this conference.

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