A visit to the Museum offers many learning opportunities for students of all ages, but we can’t do it alone. The extent of the lasting impact a visit has
to the Museum is dependent upon teachers. In other words, how closely does the field trip experience integrate into the classroom?
Last year, we began to expand the resources the Museum offers teachers with a revamped Educator Resources section of
our website. This introduced new materials to support all of our current school programs as well as provide access to source materials for classes
not able to visit as well as informal learners.
What is still lacking however is access to the full content of the programs themselves.
If we could provide the program content online, teachers would have the ability to become more familiar with program content and tie it into their own
lesson plans. The question however, is how to do it?
Teachers are busy enough as it is. Providing lengthy written program materials would potentially demand too much time. We need a way to provide easy access
to the program content that works for teachers. This is one of the things we are currently working on.
The first two parts of the programs we are looking at releasing online are enhanced versions of the interactive story from ‘Live, Work, Play’ and the game
‘The Bigger Picture’ from ‘Mining Then and Now: The Bigger Picture’.
We are also examining ways in which we can provide online tools to familiarize teachers and students with our site.
These tools are not just for teachers and students visiting the Museum, however. It is also about making our resources accessible to everyone.
It is also about collaborating with teachers and students in shaping our future on-site and online programming. One of our goals is to develop programming
that grows through student input. As we are just at the beginning of exploring this, there is not much to report on it yet. What I can say however,
is one idea we are looking at is developing a student driven exploration of the Sea-to-Sky corridor similar to a geocache, but focused on the geological
history of the area.
With the concepts mentioned in this post, we are also aiming to release the content into the public domain. We want teachers and students to use our resoruces to further develop our programs and release their versions and additions into the public domain as well.
As always, we welcome input from teachers and students as to what you would like to see in our programming and support materials. Please send your thoughts
to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Picture Source: O’Dea at Wikicommons