Milwaukee Art Museum Launches its First Online Course

Museum staff members Laci and Nate participate in the "Object Story" activity.

Museum staff members Laci and Nate participate in the “Object Story” activity.

I’m thrilled to share that the Museum launched its first online course this month! Hangout with Art is a completely free MOOC (massive open online course) whose goal is to help participants find new ways to engage with art and get more comfortable visiting museums. The course went live earlier this month and I thought this might be a good moment to share more about the MOOC here on our blog.

In late 2013, we received a grant from Google to support the creation of a MOOC that made use of the Google Art Project. We were so excited to be able to partner with them for this MOOC. I’m thrilled to say you can also now find works from our collection on the Google Art Project website.

Families participate in the "Token Response" activity.

You’ll find a LOT of video content in the MOOC! We wanted videos to be a major component of the course. You might remember reading about my summer intern’s experience assisting in video production. Here’s the trailer/introductory video for the course:

(And before you ask, yes, it is extremely weird to suddenly have your face all over YouTube.)

The course has two parts: first, we offer lots of different activities participants can use at museums (or online, on the Google Art Project). Second, we are holding a series of live Hangouts on Air, mostly in April 2015, featuring conversations with Milwaukeeans who are using art in their daily life and work in exciting ways.

So far, we have had nearly 500 participants from all over the world sign up for the course, hailing from all over the US and countries such as Russia, Switzerland, the UK, Mexico, Kazakhstan, the Netherlands, Germany, New Zealand, France, and more.

A major way we’re highlighting participant work in the course is via Twitter. You can follow along (with or without a Twitter account) at @MAM_Courses. Already, folks have been sharing their responses to the first activity in the course–introducing yourself through a work of art. Here are a few:

We welcome you to sign up for the course too–just visit courses.mam.org!

Chelsea Emelie Kelly is the Museum’s Manager of Digital Learning. In addition to working on educational technology initiatives like the Kohl’s Art Generation Lab or this very blog, she oversees and teaches teen programs. Say hello on Twitter @MAM_Chelsea.
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