Week 9 – MOSI ‘mi-guide’ – Developing and Evaluating a handheld multimedia guide

Hola!

Great to see everyone after the Easter break.

My first ever blog…here goes…

Todays presentation by Pauline Webb (Head of Collections at MOSI) and Professor Nigel Linge and Dr Duncan Bates (Salford University) was particularly interesting as it provided a real example of digital technology being used in a museum and an examination of the problems and also benefits which come with devices such as the mi-guide (handheld multimedia guide) for more info visit www.msim.org.uk/get-involved/partnerships/engaging-with-communications and www.salfordphonesproject.co.uk

It was interesting to learn that many of the problems which we had observed with using the device were influenced by numerous practical issues such as staffing, the removal of reception desks for example which had a significant impact on each persons visit; highlighting the fact that the success of a device such as the mi-guide is interdependent on so many other factors. As was highlighted by the discussion of our findings – the mi-guide when working properly certainely added to interpretation of the gallery but when it wasn’t working properly became extremely frustrating.

It seems that the pace of developments within digital technology, whilst promising potential ways to revolutionise communication inside and outside of the museum can also be problematic for museums in terms of knowing which technologies will be embraced en masse and which will quickly become obsolete. This lack of certainty has very practical implications for the museum in terms of cost and maintenance.

This seminar highlighted the importance of taking the theory out of the classroom and into real scenarios – providing the opportunity to talk to museum professionals about the current realities of using digital technology in museums today.

See you all next week.

PS by Kostas: and here is the photo we’ve taken at the Museum!

The digital heritage class of 2008 (minus Chris and Alex) at the Museum of Science and Industry

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