Engaging digital audiences in museums, 11 July 2012, University of Manchester

Museums are finding more and more ways to use digital technologies to enhance their learning and public engagement programmes. Technology has tremendous potential to engage, excite and inspire people, to make learning more flexible and to cater for different learning styles and abilities.  In many museums, however, the work of learning departments and technology teams is still quite separate.

This conference, curated jointly by the Museums Computer Group and the Digital Learning Network, will bring together the two worlds of museum technology and museum learning and encourage them to talk and learn from each others’ skills and experience.

Museum technologists will learn about tried and tested techniques used by colleagues in Learning departments to measure the impact of digital projects on audiences. Learning teams will be inspired by the potential of digital technologies to achieve learning outcomes, audience engagement and reach.


Download full programme (PDF, 92KB)

Programme: engaging digital audiences in museums


Time Session title Speakers


10.00-10.30 Registration


10:30-10:40 Welcome Mia Ridge, MCG Chair and Claire Ross, DLNET Chair


10.40-11.15 Keynote speeches


Keynote 1: ‘None of us is as smart as all of us…’: How networking and multiple intelligences will shape our futures Nick Winterbotham, Group for Education in Museums (GEM) Chair and Director, Winterbotham Associates at Thinktank


Keynote 2: Museums and technology Matthew Cock, Head of Web, The British Museum


11.15-11.30 Discussion Chairs: Mia Ridge and Claire Ross


11.30-12.00 Break


12.00-12.30 Mobile learning case studies Chair: Martin Bazley, DLNET


‘Discover Sessions – new ways of working.’

Taking what they learnt from an off the shelf system the National Maritime Museum developed a bespoke mobile learning system where the user drives the learning process.

Lucinda Blaser, Digital Projects Manager, Royal Museums Greenwich


‘Hidden Newcastle- failed inventors and body dredgers’

This case study will look at the successes and challenges in creating compelling content for Hidden Newcastle, an app revealing strange and forgetten stories in Newcastle upon Tyne.

John Coburn, Project Coordinator ICT, Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums, Newcastle


12.30-1.00 Evaluation and measuring engagement case studies Chair: Rhiannon Looseley, MCG


‘Beyond the survey: effective and fun ways to measure engagement and learning’

Find out how Museum of London has been piloting new methods for measuring engagement and learning with Foundation Stage pupils and Family audiences.

Isabel Benavides, Programme Manager (Family Outreach), Museum of London


‘The opium of the masses: Evaluating ‘High Tea’

Through our evaluation of a risky but highly successful casual web game, we discovered more than we expected to about new audiences and how people play games, as well as reaching towards best practice in evaluation itself.

Martha Henson, Multimedia Producer, Wellcome Trust


1.00-2.00 Lunch


2.00-2.45 Parallel workshops


Engaging audiences digitally – on a budget

It’s not easy to identify and implement technologies that are a good match for
your audiences, content and organisational context. This session will provide some inspiration and help you get started.

Greg Povey, Mudlark and Shona Carnall


‘Mobile Apps: Shiny new distraction or useful learning tool?’

The buzz around apps seems to be getting stronger – but what does this mean for cultural heritage organisations? Should we all be developing them? Do they deliver the new audiences they promise? Can we really use them to deliver learning objectives or are they just the latest new shiny distraction?

This workshop session will look not only look at mobile apps but also the mobile alternative to apps – when is it a good idea to use mobile? What are it’s strengths and weaknesses in the context of learning? Using these as starting points, we’ll explore how to go about creating mobile experiences that support learning, where to start, how much they might cost and whether they are worth the money. This is a chance to find the answers to the specific questions for you and your organisation have about using mobile to support learning.

Alyson Webb and Lindsey Green
Frankly Green + Webb


‘How can we re-align museum practices to make more of changing technologies?’
Technology moves fast, but museums move slowly. This session features case studies from MOSI and York Museums Trust and group discussions about ways forward in this area.
Pauline Webb, Collections Manager, Museum of Science and Industry

Michael Woodward, Commercial Director, York Museums Trust


2.45-3.00 Unconference ideas


3.00-3.30 Break


3.30-4.15 Unconference


The unconference is your chance to start up-to-the-minute conversations about the hottest topics in the digital museum field. Find out how others are managing the issues that affect you.


4.15-4.30 Unconference wrap up Chairs:
Mia Ridge, Juno Rae and Linda Spurdle


4.30-5.00 Closing plenary/round up Mia Ridge and Claire Ross

Follow @ukmcg or @dlnet on Twitter for updates.

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Posted in Archived Events
4 comments on “Engaging digital audiences in museums, 11 July 2012, University of Manchester
  1. Hello,

    I’m very much looking forward to this. Any idea what the cost for attending might be? My department want to know.

    Many thanks

  2. Hi Nadine. I’m glad you’re looking forward to it. I have added the ticket prices to the page – thanks for the suggestion. They are as follows:
    Members of MCG or DLNet £45.00
    Non-members £90.00
    Student / unwaged £25.00
    Existing corporate members of the MCG can register up to FOUR delegates for free.

  3. I’m very interested in the topic of this event but am enable to attend on the day. I am working on a project which is developing a system to facilitate users’ engagement with digital cultural heritage collections. Are the presentations/papers being published in proceedings, and if so, would it be possible to buy these?

    • mia says:

      Hi Jill,

      we’ll be publishing speakers’ slides soon, and while we don’t publish formal proceedings we have an event blogger who’ll be reporting on the day. In combination with the blog posts from other attendees, you should be able to get a good sense of the discussions on the day.

      Cheers, Mia

6 Pings/Trackbacks for "Engaging digital audiences in museums, 11 July 2012, University of Manchester"
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  2. […] July I’ll at Engaging digital audiences in museums, 11 July 2012, University of Manchester then in Hamburg for Digital Humanities 2012, where I’m running a workshop on hacking for […]

  3. […] 11 juli 2012 bezocht ik in Manchester de conferentie Engaging Digital Audiences in Museums , georganiseerd door de Museums Computer Group en Digital Learning Network. De dag zat bomvol […]

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  6. […] joint Museums Computer Group (MCG) and Digital Learning Network (DLNet) conference, ‘Engaging digital audiences in museums‘, which was held on 11 July 2012 at the University of Manchester.  I’m the Chair […]

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The MCG is for technologists, curators, educators, marketers and more in and around museums. Posts and event news by Mia (Chair), Jess, and the Comms team