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Behind the Scenes

Tech Talk: What’s On Your Phone, MAM Staff?

Michelle Bastyr, Kohl's Art Generation Community Relations Coordinator, uses her iPhone in the Museum's Windhover Hall. Photo by the author
Michelle Bastyr, Kohl’s Art Generation Community Relations Coordinator, uses her iPhone in the Museum’s Windhover Hall. Photo by the author
It’s no secret around the Museum that I’m a huge tech nerd. One of my favorite things is finding out what apps, websites, and programs people use to get their jobs done. I’ll admit it, I’m a little bit nosy (or nebby, as the native Pittsburgher in me would say), so I find it fascinating to see how folks in any industry organize their lives and make things happen.

So it’s about time I asked staff here at the Milwaukee Art Museum what tech they use to get stuff done. You might think we museum people are all about “old stuff” (and, of course, we do love a good 500-year-old painting), but we here at MAM are pretty techie indeed. Today, I’m sharing some of our staff’s favorites apps and websites with you. You don’t have to work at an art museum to use these apps in your work or life–I guarantee it!

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Behind the Scenes Education

Beyond Digital: Open Collections and Cultural Institutions, Part 2

View of the author's Beautiful Data Final Project installation. Photo by the author
View of the author’s Beautiful Data Final Project installation. Photo by the author
This is part two of two posts about my experiences at the Beautiful Data: Telling Stories with Open Collections workshop at Harvard University’s metaLAB. Read part one here.

When my teen program started up again this fall, I brought my students into the Milwaukee Art Museum galleries to look at a single work of art for an hour (you can read more about this processhere.) As usual, I noticed the high schoolers opening up to each other, to new ideas, and to finding ways that art relates to their everyday life—whether a photograph of Milwaukee or a landscape by a Baroque Italian painter. These discussions are guided by the students—I might throw in some useful facts to open up the conversation, but they take the lead. As a result, on any given day, we might relate artworks to religion, politics, narratives, families and friends, or even moods and feelings.

Categories
Behind the Scenes Education

Beyond Digital: Open Collections and Cultural Institutions, Part 1

View of the author's Beautiful Data Final Project installation. Photo by the author
View of the author’s Beautiful Data Final Project installation. Photo by the author
This is part one of two posts about my experiences at the Beautiful Data: Telling Stories with Open Collections workshop at Harvard University’s metaLAB.

This past June, I participated in a two-week workshop at Harvard University’s metaLAB called Beautiful Data: Telling Stories with Open Collections. Thanks to a grant from the Getty Foundation, the metaLAB brought together over twenty curators, technologists, educators, and scholars to grapple with how we might use publicly available data from museum collections in our work. In the first week, speakers as varied as digital museum specialists to experience designers to scientists who study vision all pressed us to think of our work in unexpected contexts. In the second week, we took what we’d discussed and applied them to projects of our own.

Categories
Behind the Scenes Education

Reflective Evaluation: How Can Museums Change Teens–and Vice Versa? Part 3

The Satellite High School Program Teens, 2013-14. Photo by Front Room Photography
The Satellite High School Program Teens, 2013-14. Photo by Front Room Photography
In my previous two posts in this Reflective Evaluation series, I detailed all the ways we found and evaluated data to show teen participants in the Satellite program became more reflective. So: did the interviews, exit slips, readability tests, and final projects all add up to a full image of the impact that a year’s worth of reflective practice can have on students?

Categories
Behind the Scenes Education

Reflective Evaluation: How Can Museums Change Teens–and Vice Versa? Part 2

Liz and Justine watch the final project videos. Photo by Front Room Photography
Liz and Justine watch the final project videos. Photo by Front Room Photography
In part two of my three posts on this year’s Satellite teen program, I’m sharing the unexpected data that helped me see the bigger picture about my students’ ability to reflect thanks to being in the program.