Techno-Culture and Education Design in the Museum
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This paper contributes to the conversation on museum education by examining how educators can engage learners in a world with digital networks. After World War II, many scholars agreed that the purpose of museums was to provide a service for the public. Now, at the dawn of the twenty first century, digital networks make it possible for another shift, so that museums are no longer for the public, but by the public. This paper demonstrates how John Dewey’s Constructivist Learning Theory and John Falk’s Contextual Learning Model can be incorporated into museums’ educational programs to enhance learning for an online audience. The thesis begins with a brief history of the nonprofit public art museum, and then examines how the museum is changing in response to the digital age. Each chapter opens with an examination of a unique digital platform, and then shifts to exploring how the museum can implement the technology into a curriculum. Chapters begin with broad topics, such as a website design, social networks and digital labs, and then progress toward the implementation of specific technologies, such as writing projects, visual media tools, and mobile technologies. Optimism for enhancing public education through online programming permeates the paper, yet each chapter explores the unanticipated and negative consequences of working with an emerging technology.