Reinventing Museums and the Way to Tell Stories

01/06/2021 12:00 am

One of the first steps and activities in our DREAM project was to implement coaching circles with representatives of schools and museums to understand what are their thoughts, ideas and emotions on crowddreaming methodology and museatar performances that we will develop during our project.

Museum

A lot of question marks???

You probably have a few question marks above your head – What is a coaching circle? What is crowddreaming? What is a museatar? That were the same questions that most of the partners had when they first heard of them and of course for the participants of our coaching circles. So, let start explaining 😉

Crowddreaming is an Italian good educational practice, developed by our project coordinator Stati Generali dell’Innovazione, that helps learners to valorise their cultural heritage and to become an active creators of digital culture. The methodology was already piloted in Croatia, Greece and Latvia with great success and acceptance by teachers and students from 13 to 19 years old in the project „Crowddreaming: Youth co-create digital culture“.

Museater, is also the idea that came from our project coordinator and it is also connected to culture. But this time in museums, as you could already guess from its name. A museater performance is a visit to the museum, based on a predefined script, where the guide uses immersive technologies to interact with the digital dimension invisible to the naked eye, revealing contents that are not bound by the limits of the object space, or interacting with “digital ghosts”, which tell stories related to the objects in the collection.

And last but not least, what is a coaching circle? We can’t address it to our coordinator, but we can say that they love the coaching circle as a tool to generate ideas. It is a case clinic developed by the Presencing Institute of MIT to evaluate the rational and emotional positioning of an individual within a process of change through the use of coaching circles. It is derived from Otto Scharmer’s Theory U and adapted to the specific case – in which a structured process guides a peer group – in which one member (the case-giver) presents a case and a group (the coaching circle) of 4-5 people acts as a coach – in exploring a particular issue. In short, it is a process of exploring the idea(s).

Thoughts that came out of the coaching circles

And that’s what we have done during February in Croatia, Italy and Portugal. Through seven coaching circles 12 school teachers, 18 museum heritage professionals and seven case givers shared their insights about interests, fears, intents and thoughts about the museater and crowddreaming methodology.

High school kid

In terms of technology there is a need for feedback since digital content is mostly individual work. This could be a possibility to reinvent the museums and the way the stories are told. The role of heritage needs to be reviewed in the education. When it comes to implementation of methodology that will be used in the DREAM project teacher or museum operator need to be the first ones to be able to use the tools in a competent way and to transfer the methodology to the students. It is then necessary to use the knowledge that youngsters already have regarding a certain topic as the starting point. Youngsters are more natural with some programs, mostly games, but they have to learn how to use softwares for photo and text processing.

Last though that is very important and summarises the idea behind our project is that digital and analogical can boost one another. When doing activities in museums these two entities should not be separated, moreover creativity should always be encouraged and stimulated. The visitor should never be passive.