Notes from 2009 AAM Roundtable on School Programs

Notes from a roundtable brainstorming discussion for AAM 2009 attendees involved with museum school programs. They shared ideas, solutions, concerns and questions about ways to work effectively and efficiently with schools, teachers and home school groups.
Facilitated by museum educators, school teachers and administrators, participants selected from topics related to factors involved in working with school groups (i.e. “what schools really want from field trips,” “forming effective teacher advisory committees” and “using museum web resources in the classroom”). As the group discussions were designed to provoke thought, generate new ideas, and develop creative solutions to challenges that participants faced, attendees had the option to join several groups or stay with one for in-depth exploration.
Impact of “No Child Left Behind” and other Benchmark Testing
Yes, NCLB does have a negative effect on teacher’s abilities to bring students on field trips to Museums

Top Reasons:

Several weeks before and during testing week are blacked out for school trips at many schools.
NCLB testing is not scheduled at the beginning of the school year so conflicts occur with pre arranged trips and trips have to be cancelled.
Funds that were formerly used for field trips are now used to remediate students so they will do better on the tests.
Teachers and principals are afraid of not keeping students “on task” in preparing for tests so trips are not taken at all or deferred till after all testing is completed. Then it can be hard to get an appointment.
What can Museum’s do to help teachers bring students on field trips?

Top Suggestions:

Connect Museum lessons to state standards in a variety of curricula areas, and especially literacy. Publish the connections so that teachers can show them to their supervisors and get trip permission.
Consider creating programs that work directly with benchmarks to help teachers accomplish what they need to and have students visit museums.
Offer in-service programs that help teachers and administrators see how experiences offered at museums can enrich and promote learning, especially in NCLB skills such as language arts so you reduce their reluctance to having students attend school trips.
Establish teacher and school administrator advisory groups to help you make curriculum connections and to develop stronger ties with your areas schools.
Impact of “No Child Left Behind” and other Benchmark Testing on School Trips

Philadelphia School District Arts Administrator
NCLB impact on field trips:

NLCB has had a direct impact on schools due to the high stakes tests the law mandates.

Principals are fearful that any time perceived of as “off task” will negatively impact on student scores in the exams.

How can you help us work around this:

To enable principals to feel more comfortable, I would recommend that they offer a kind of Art Speaks program where visual art is a catalyst for language exploration.

The language arts activities can extend to include vocabulary lists related to the artists, genera of works studied, time frames and histories of the artists, to thank you letters for the tour offered.

From these activities, standards related to aesthetics in the arts can be addressed when students address what they liked about paintings and why they like one piece more than an other.

Having the museum educator facilitate guided questions related to the works of art empowers students to express their observations and opinions.

Each of these activities relates to various reading, writing, and speaking standards which frame the language arts curriculum.

Helping principals understand how a rich experience in art exploration can empower students use of language will reduce their reluctance to having students attend school trips to art museums

Philadelphia School District Teacher
NCLB impact on field trips:
I literally retired from teaching because of the barriers put upon teachers because of NCLB. Even though I tried to work around it, it takes away a teacher’s ability to be creative, to find themes in which to engage her students. Curriculum is dictated- when, where, how etc. Even your classroom must reflect the rubrics without decor reflecting the arts and interests of students.

How can you help us work around this:
All trips must address the state standards. Even though there are standards in the arts, the arts must be brought across the curriculum incorporating #1 language arts- reading and writing, math, science, social studies- in that order. A curriculum guide should be included for each theme of a trip addressing the state standards so that a teacher can rationalize to the school administration that this trip will not be frivolous but address specific skills.

Camden NJ Public School Teacher
NCLB impact on field trips:
Testing precedes everything – even actual learning – learning is geared to the tests. Our school does include field trips but we have only been able to take one grade level a year to the art museum. We originally took the trip with 4th grade before testing (of course the children saw and heard things that may have contributed to their own knowledge) -but since the first year of testing, we are usually required to go to the art museum after testing has been completed

How can you help us work around this:
Present programs (after school) to the faculty and administration demonstrating how enriching and related the learning environment is at the art museum. We can’t always afford distance learning.

Suburban Public School Teacher
NCLB impact on field trips:
NCLB testing and other testing do impact upon teachers’ and school districts’ perceptions of and willingness to take fieldtrips. Why? Fieldtrips do take students away from the school classroom; therefore, teachers and districts fear that specific curriculum will not be covered. Second, tests days are mandatory and therefore reduce the number of days available for fieldtrips. In addition, even if a teacher is working with students who are not testing, he/she may not be allowed to take a fieldtrip because the school may require that teacher to assist in proctoring the test. Finally, some teachers are so intimidated by the tests that they are afraid or at least reluctant to take fieldtrips for fear that they will not be able to cover all the assigned curriculum. If that occurs, they fear their students will perform poorly and that they will be held accountable for those low scores. This mindset has made it easier for some school districts to either ban all or severely restrict fieldtrips. Of course, part of the hidden agenda for some districts is that no or fewer fieldtrips are seen as money savers.

How can you help us work around this:
What can museums do to help teachers work around (or a better word, perhaps, WITH ) these issues? First, keep up your current GOOD work! Keep offering weekend, afternoon and evening workshops and great opportunities like VAST!!! Second, museums could “adopt” local schools, establish close relationships with those schools through interested teachers and curriculum coordinators, study the school curriculums, and identify areas where trips to the museum compliment the school curriculum and most importantly the state standards covered by the NCLB testing. Show ’em that your facility and these trips will better prepare the students for the “sacred testing rituals!!!” This is NOT wasted time; it is time WELL spent! If the PMA’s teacher board of directors still exists, this group could conduct a study of the state standards and individual school curricula, as stated above, and develop and print a list of museum offerings that AGAIN compliment the NCLB test content, state standards for specific fields of study such as English and the social studies, and specific school curricula. If no such group of teachers and museum staff exists, FORM ONE! Finally, keep advertising the wonderful things museums have, do, and WILL do!

Suburban Public School Teacher
I hope it isn’t too late to answer your request. We are doing the state tests this week and since I am in the extended time setting, I didn’t get a chance to answer my email or have a prep or lunch with adults.

In my opinion, the testing has completely reshaped instruction. Everything we do, whether anyone is willing to say it out loud or not, is teaching the test. There is a price on that – the creativity we bring to the art of teaching. We go lockstepping through the tested objectives. In English, we teach less poetry so that we can teach more essay writing. Across the curriculum, the emphasis is a written essay type product. When I started teaching seventh and eighth grade, the students had home ec with the opportunity to design a pillow, metal and wood shops – hands-on artisan type classes, as well as 3D art, drawing and ceramics (we have a kiln), and music. Now, that exploratory cycle of 12 days includes extra math, communications (writing and media studies), computers, music, and general art. Three years ago, I was asked not to teach American history for a marking period so the kids could get another period of math. At the high school, the students who don’t solidly pass the tests lose their electives and are mandated to take another math or English class instead. There are fewer choices in the arts available to them and fewer opportunities to take those electives.

Suburban Public School Teacher
NCLB impact on field trips:
In short yes. The district does not have funds for field trips. The money seems to be spent “remediating” students who are at risk for not meeting the standards of NCLB. We have become a district that is driven by NCLB. High standards are good, but the requirements in this case go with unrealistic expectations as to the ability of some of our students.

How can you help us work around this:
I wish I had an answer. I feel with the increased requirements of NCLB and the down-turn in the economy (resulting in budget cuts) schools look at trips to the museum as unneccessary. The PMA has been especially helpful in providing plans to help with reading, writing and observation skills. Students come away with more than just a field trip when they get to a place like the PMA.

Suburban Public School Teacher
As you probably know, we as classroom teachers, are being pressed to meet state assessment goals. It’s pretty much all that we do. Personally, I think that it’s over the top. We don’t often have the opportunity to explore topics of interest, but are driven by what is thought to be on the assessment. That means that class trips are often put to one side. And it may mean that classes are not as well prepared to visit a site as they might otherwise be.

Our 5th grade will not be visiting Phila. until after our testing. As a result of the late date, we are unable to get tickets for Independence Hall, etc. (Some of that is our fault for planning too late.) Our 5th grades may not be as well prepared to understand what they may see, simply because the time that we might have used to prepare has been overtaken by test prep.

Suburban Public School Teacher
NCLB impact on field trips:
NCLB has made it more difficult to schedule field trips, especially since I schedule all my trips for the school year in September. NCLB testing, at least in my school is scheduled as we go. This year a testing days hit one of my pre-scheduled trips and none of my juniors could come to the museum. Scheduling around all the blackout days and events already on the school calendar is already difficult, NCLB is one more obstacle. The next hurdle, however, is going to be budget and the interference of NCTB testing will be mild compared to that

How can you help us work around this:
I don’t think there is much the museum can do. If field trips survive the budget cuts, our PMA trips will have an excellent chance of making the cut.

Suburban Public School Teacher
PSSA testing has had an impact b/c we have designated “study weeks” where no one can take a trip (unless it’s something previously scheduled by the Central League). What tends to impact us more is transportation: we have to wait for school busses to finish their runs.

Private School Teacher
NCLB impact on field trips:
Although The School in Rose Valley is a private elementary school, NCLB has certainly had an effect on education across the board if only to increase enrollment in private schools as parents look for meaningful alternatives to education and NCLB. Our ability to take field trips is more limited do to economics, and even that we work hard to work around.

How can you help us work around this:
PMA might consider programs that directly link to benchmarks, taking the onus off of otherwise encumbered teachers while fulfilling NCLB requirements. Personally I feel like PMA should be proud of the educational programs offered, especially VAST. Maybe PMA should actively work against NCLB- but that is another story. The problem is quantifying a trip to the PMA, and explaining how important it is for children!! You all touch young children in ways that are only evident with time.
Teacher Advisory Committees
1. Process of Selecting

a. How important is it to represent different grade levels and disciplines?
i. It was mentioned that it depends on what you are forming the committee for. This brought up a major question: What is the purpose of the committee? It was decided that the make-up of your committee can vary. For example, if you are forming a teacher advisory committee about a specific topic, then you can target a specific discipline or grade level. If this is more for general purposes, then you should get a variety of disciplines and grades represented. Also good to have some administrators on your committee. If the disciplines represented are not “normal” for your subject matter (i.e science teacher for an art museum) make sure they feel like there is value for their attendance and make connections between the museum’s topic and their discipline so they feel included and valued.
b. Some voiced concern about getting non-contributory members or teachers who were not “good” for the committee. Most agreed that if a teacher is going to commit to this voluntary board then they are usually vested in the institution and teaching so they will most likely be “good” members of the advisory committee. Also, set limitations in the beginning for service (i.e. you must serve at least one year but no longer than three years. This helps with rotating new blood through the committee).
c. It’s important that you select people who have validity in the school systems and with other teachers. That will help when spreading the word about your programs. If someone isn’t well respected by their peers, then their words won’t go very far.
d. One great idea was to look into pre-service teachers to serve on your boards. They are new and will be eager to recruit new people to your events. They are also fresh so they will have new ideas.

2. Why would a teacher want to sit on a teacher advisory board? How do you compensate these teachers?

a. Resume builder for teachers
b. Vested interest in your institution and it’s their way of “giving back”
c. Some museums compensate their teachers for their service by giving them a membership to the museum plus other perks. Other museums do not have the capability to do this so what are other ways to attract and sustain teacher advisory committees?
d. Teachers get to learn more about how museums function
e. Teachers want to be heard and they are representing all teachers by serving on your committee.
3. Do other departments in the museum use your board and if so how?

a. It was mentioned that sometimes curatorial and exhibitions departments could use this committee to help with feedback.
4. How do you use the teacher’s feedback while still maintaining museum policy?

a. Get teachers involved early in the planning process. This way you can use their ideas early on in development.
b. Explain the process that you are going through when planning a project. This way, they understand the constraints you are under (i.e. budget, space, etc.). This will help them to understand how the museum functions and also will encourage them to consider limitations when planning ideas.
5. How have teachers developed communities of learning with one another and the museum?
6. What model do you follow for meetings?

a. Some museums have regular meetings – 4 times per month and then consult with the group as needed via email.
b. One museum mentioned a different model where they just contact a group of teachers on an as-needed basis via email and they never meet in person.
7. How do you control the conversations in the meetings?

a. Send out a list of agenda items before hand as well as a set list of questions that you would like to address.

Professional Development for Classroom Teachers
Art teachers: What do they want from museum PD? What’s worthwhile, helpful, interesting, applicable…

Hudson Valley Museum spoke about their long term partnerships w/ the city of Yonkers (NY). They’ve gotten involvement because there is buy-in from the bottom up as well as the top down. Grade level planning for multi-visit program as well as teacher PD. Also thematic integration of the arts and math and the arts and science. HVM does have funding from the NYS Council on the Arts Arts-in-Education multi-year funding (pays for 50% of all grant programming through their Empire State Partnership program).

Archeological Museum at UPenn: They work w/ museum educators in planning moments. Then the museum educators are the school contact to the curator.

One state (Ill? Ind?) partners w/ local colleges for teacher recertification.

Texas (Dallas): His museum has a lot of success w/ Spanish language programs. Teachers use the exhibits as a focus on their language needs (outside of city schools).

Indiana & Purdue Universities are engaged w/ museum education for pre-service teachers training through their Schools of Education.

Another has PD as part of teacher membership benefits.

In addition to our inquiry question of whether the type and content of PD offered by the museum was teacher generated or administrator generated, one participant added, was it:

Institutional Goals (i.e. whole school PD plan)
Team Goals (i.e. w/ emphasis on interdisciplinary)
Individual Goals
Making decisions re: PD is relationship building
Most want good, immediately usable, easily adaptable ideas and materials

K-6: Some give a piece teachers can link into different disciplines
7-12: More in-depth w/ curators or the museum guide
All lessons revolve around making the teacher feel comfortable and confident in the museum environment

Smithsonian does a poster series, giving content and artwork along w/ inquiry and object-based lessons

Some teachers like learning the new content and pedagogies; others like the teacher exploration which puts teacher in a role reversal – being the learner – challenging

National Museum of History has several online PD offerings:
A tip sheet, tier of videos to see teachers implementing the new learning in the classroom and emphasizing varied learning styles

High School Programming
What type of programming do you offer for high school aged students?

The Philadelphia Museum of Art has several:

Teen Docent program: has a 5 week training program, complete with quizzes. They keep the groups smaller, find that it keeps its potency. The Teen Docents do specific talks aimed at the general public called “Teen Talks.”
High School Sketch Program: Helps the students build their portfolio, develop visual skills.
Teen Volunteers: provides skills and job training for teens.
Concerns with teen programs: traveling at night.
Follow up? They provide career counseling, and track the students after graduation.

Building Partnerships with High Schools:
Issue: creating the “buy-in” to build the relationship. It seems to require a lot of up-front investment.
There is also a disconnect: museums have content focus, whereas schools need skills focus.
Creating curricular connections seems to help; also creating a more structured visit creates a deeper more intense experience.
A teacher expressed a need for museums teaching basic skills, such as compare/contrast, analyzing, and evaluating.

Some felt that museums don’t market themselves to the fullest. They should show data that the school visit will be worthwhile, including positive teacher comments.

State and National Curriculum Standards
Schools are definitely basing what they teach in their state standards, despite NCLB.

Some schools are using the museum as a way to broaden the scope of what they can cover in the State Curriculum Standards
– i.e. can only cover art making and aesthetics, so look to museum to do art history and art criticism

Key to a real partnership is the idea of supplement or support –
Museum is there to support rather than supplant the instruction

Standards before used to be about the program – if it was a good program, kids would learn
Standards movement now (on the federal level, so related to NCLB) is towards individual learning and individual student achievement
The whole movement now is towards 21st Century Skills – the emphasis now is on cross-content, transferable skills, and contextualizing education (things such as innovation, creativity, and global awareness) see
Check also the Framework for 21st Century Skills Published by Davis Publications

Museums should think across disciplines – i.e. Artspeaks program at Philadelphia Art Museum – find points where literacy and art come together
Literacy skills driving students and teachers in schools
Think of these keywords – discuss, describe – to promote literacy skills

If your museum has an international aspect or sends traveling exhibits with curriculum, consider using National Standards, Phillips Collection provided example of how they are doing it with a curriculum that started out as regional and ended up as national

If you work in a museum, make sure your curriculum is current and meeting the standards; if you work at a school, help museum ensure their programs/curriculum are relevant to changes in standards

Not all standards are testable – is it better to focus on standards that are testable or not?

Hard to say – teachers are working on testable ones now, so try to find ways to connect your museum’s content to those standards.
States are moving to Backwards Design to revise their Core Standards – teachers are using Backwards design to plan curriculum too (google “Understanding by Design” or “Grant Wiggins” for more info)

Is it better to develop programs/exhibitions about countries kids are not learning about so that they will learn about them, or is it better to adapt into what kids are already learning?

Many things are covered at different points in the curriculum/standards, so it’s better to gear your museum program towards the target audience that studies that curriculum (i.e. maybe not ancient cultures in 8th grade, but done in 5th or 6th grade instead, so museum program may need revising)
Some helpful info on these websites:
State Education Agency Directors of Arts Education – Mission is to support the professional effectiveness of individual members and provide a collective voice for leadership issues effecting arts education.

Council of Chief State School Officers – CCSSO leads and facilitates collective state action to transform our public education system in these four strategic areas: CCSSO leads and facilitates collective state action to transform our public education system in these four strategic areas: Standards, Assessment, and Accountability, Comprehensive Data Systems, Next Generation Learning, and Systems of Educator Development.
Community Outreach
Mr. James Stanton – Director of Communication and Community Relations was an active member of our roundtable. He discussed the importance of partnerships with schools. They have an active partnership with Philadelphia Museum of Art. This charter school writes grants to support its many programs out of the school.

Corporations defer tax monies for school improvements. In Pennsylvania it is called the Improvement Tax Program. These dollars may be used to a variety of programs – including outreach to cultural institutions.
Contacting local Universities with Grad School programs – having interns
Distance Learning – becoming very important with the lack of funds for field trips. It allows the students to experience a Museum or other cultural institution without leaving the classroom. Important that there be a pre and post lesson plan regarding the distance learning program. However,should not replace a field trip, having students visit other institutions is critical to their development.
Traveling Trunks – there was a great deal of discussion about this issue – how to begin a program, cost, artifact replacement issues when something is lost or broken, lesson plans to accompany the artifacts, best methods of using the artifacts.
Educators Open House – viewed as important for teachers to be able to preview an exhibit in order to properly plan for an upcoming trip including the pre and post lessons to reinforce the experience.
Career Days – a method of exposing students to different career paths, broadening their horizons.
Institutions having monthly newletters which are mailed or emailed to participating teachers. Ask teachers to contribute their observations as part of the newletter.

The need for Institutions to maintain Websites that allow teachers to electronically schedule field trips. This allows teachers the freedom to plan field trips without repeated phone calls.
Planning for Homeschool Programs
What subdivision in Education Departments do Homeschool (HS) programs tend to fall under?

School & teacher, outreach, or family programs Note: one participant was developing HS programs/activities to be packaged with an upcoming traveling exhibition.
Outreach – Sometimes HS co-ops coordinate outreach (note: museums may or may not have active co-ops in surrounding area)
Family Programs – gateway programs for HS families; however homeschoolers are looking for educational programs – not entertainment.
Limited staff and time hinder program offerings to homeschoolers.

Educators may want to consider how they can adapt school program formats to HS groups.
HS co-op groups may schedule a group tour for a wide-age range of children or a leading parent in the HS community may schedule a tour and have homeschoolers sign up to attend.
Family Events –Though homeschoolers prefer educational experiences over entertainment, family programs and workshops can be customized and offered during the week to meet those needs.
Keep costs low!

For the most part, HS families live on a single income and have multiple children. Connie Newby referred to the following pricing guideline she uses to decide whether or not to participate in a program:
$5 per child, each class (Bargain!)
$7 per child, each class (If they are interested, they’ll do it. Otherwise they might opt out)
$10 (They will question it’s worth and might sign up based on quality of content and activities)
When putting a price on the program, compare cost to other programs you offer as well as the duration of each class/session (How much do you charge per student for a 2 hour long school tour? Will your HS program be an hour long, a daylong, or an hour long for 4 weeks?)

Consider offering a members & non-members price or discounts on the total costs for families with 3 or more children (for example discount, see Homeschool Programs at ).

Parents: Is there a charge for parents attending HS programs with children

Some museums fold reduced admission into registration fee or consider a parent a chaperone and waive admission.

Examples of HS Programs
One Day Program and Seasonal Series
The Franklin –

Weekly Series Program
Delaware Art Museum –

Workshops & Monthly Series
The Walters –
Revenue & Expenses

HS programs may or may not be revenue builders for museums. Treat HS programs as you would pre-registered program.
Set min & max enrollment to determine whether or not you should run the program
Budget for consumables.
Parents & Siblings
HS parents are their children’s teachers and will often follow along with their children during programs so they can expand on their learning at home. Some parents even assign children homework based on their museum experience.
If parents are restricted from attending the program, have pre & post visit materials available – they are helpful resources for HS parents to utilize back at home.
HS families often have younger siblings tagging along in strollers.
Best advice: Be flexible and patient or direct parents to a children’s area. You may also want to set up a small self-guided activity for the parents and siblings to do.

Designing HS Programs
Frame programs to meet HS state requirements and standards.

Research requirements and state standards for homeschoolers through
contact person at state’s DOE (homeschoolers may register with state)
or Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) (national advocacy groups with links to state requirements and laws)
Homeschoolers do not have national standards and states vary on their requirements.
Some states require parents to be certified teachers or that a certified teacher evaluates portfolio
Homeschool high schoolers may need evaluations (Who will provide evaluation of HS participant at your museum – docent, educator, instructor?)
Design for all ages!

Is your museum conducive to serving a wide age-range of children simultaneously?
Historical houses may be limited in the age groups they can serve.
HS parents want to participate in programs that accommodate all their children. Consider breaking up groups into age ranges (e.g. 3-6; 7-9; 10-13; 14-18) Remember: Homeschoolers are use to learning around kids different ages.

Max amount of participants will depend on the format of the program you are offering and the activities.
• Orchestrating HS programs can be challenging if you are serving a wide age range and have limited galleries.
o Add hands-on activities
o Add interdisciplinary activities*
*Note: Connie warned that writing components can sometimes be intimidating for HS kids because their writing levels vary. HS parents encourage their children to learn through different means (multiple intelligence). One participant offers an activity packet that kids could fill out during their tour that gives several options for how kids can approach their learning (drawing, writing, puzzle, etc.).
Promoting & Finding Homeschoolers

Where do we find homeschoolers and what is the best way to reach out to them?

• Homeschool Fairs/Conventions
• Blogs (e.g. Connie’s Blog )
• Yahoo groups
• Churches
• Through our family programs & workshops
• Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA)
Google homeschool and state – listings come up and support groups. Lead person for group will be listed and law will be listed.
Museums should include a tab under Education on your institutions website for Home School Programs.
• Program description – Be clear and state what standards will be met. Speak HS language.
Homeschoolers are:
• individual families
• co-ops
• homeschool schools (private schools that hire teachers and offer programming for homeschoolers)

Training Staff to Work with Homeschoolers
Many docents are retired teachers and used to touring organized groups and tours. Here are some things to prepare them for:

• Homeschoolers are always late – have docents read the article below and prepare back up schedules for starting late.
Richter, K. “Homeschoolers Are Always Late – What every museum needs to know about alternative learners” American Association of Museums – Museum News [Online], March/April 2007. Available at .
• Homeschoolers can be socially awkward and may not be responsive on tours. Encourage participation, but do not put them on the spot or create activities that require social interaction and collaboration. Also, use names! It makes the group dynamic more intimate when you are able to use names.
• Parents can be distractions – how should docents deal with them?
Parents are there to learn what their children are learning so they can extend their experience outside the museum. It’s okay to include them in the conversation as long as they don’t distract the main audience. If they do, remind them that you would like the kids to respond and that if they have any questions, they can speak to them afterwards.
Other Issues Raised
Has anyone adapted teacher workshops to HS parents?
Conflicting approaches to teaching and fundamentalist Christians versus unschoolers

Homeschoolers that attend structured programs at museums tend to fall in the middle of the two extremes unless subject matter or approach is appropriate for a particular group.
Remember: You cannot please everyone.

Online Resources in the Classroom

1. What are teachers looking for in online resources?
a. Groups discussed whether or not teachers want structured lessons from museums or general activities to choose from. Some felt that teachers are looking for structured, formal lessons with correlating state standards, while others felt that teachers are looking for a wide range of offerings where they can extract what they need.
i. International Spy Museum
International Spy Museum has a mix of sources for teachers to choose from. In addition to educator guides, e-blasts and activity sheets, they also offer podcasts, which are inexpensive and easy to produce (they have become the number 1 history download). With more time there will be full curriculum packages.

ii. Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, Museum of Art & History (award winning site)
Educational Database
Interactive presentations
b. Use teacher advisory groups to acquire information on how teachers are using online resources.
i. The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History recently re-launched their Education page, and an advisory group helped with the new format of the site. It includes an extensive online catalog, lessons, web activities, featured artifact, and e-newsletter. The Museum also benefitted from reports conducted through their Office of Policy and Analysis.
Education website:
Office of Policy & Analysis website:

ii. ArtsConnectEd (Walker Arts Center and Minneapolis Institute of Arts) WAC and MIA began to improve and expand ArtsConnectEd in 2006, and their group of teachers/”Power Users” particularly emphasized that the ‘Art Collector’ function of the website remain.

2. How are museums using social networking to connect with teachers?
a. Museums are adding teacher blogs to their websites so teachers have a community where they can share lessons, activities, and ideas relating to a museum’s collection.
i. Social Network – Ning –
ii. Exploratorium, San Francisco – Learning Studio Blog
iii. Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum – Educator Resource Center

Additional Resources Handout
Online Publications/Journals

Bazley, M. (2007). Developing and Evaluating On-line Learning Resources – Guidelines and examples of good practice. Museums Galleries Scotland. Available at .

Dowden, Robin, Sayre, Scott, and Dietz, Steve. “ArtsConnectEd: Collaboration in the integration and access to museum resources” First Monday [Online], Volume 5 Number 6 (5 June 2000)

Marty, Paul, and Twidale, Michael. “Lost in gallery space: A conceptual framework for analyzing the usability flaws of museum Web sites” First Monday [Online], Volume 9 Number 9 (6 September 2004)

Varisco, Robert, and Cates, Ward. “Survey of Web–based educational resources in selected U.S. art museums” First Monday [Online], Volume 10 Number 7 (4 July 2005)

Smithsonian Institute Office of Policy & Analysis. Classroom Realities: Results of the 2007 National Survey of Teachers, April 2008.

Museums and the Web Conference Archives

Leftwich, M. and M. Bazley, Pedagogy and Design: Understanding Teacher Use of On-line Museum Resources. In J. Trant and D. Bearman (eds). Museums and the Web 2009: Proceedings. Toronto: Archives & Museum Informatics. Published March 31, 2009.

Adsit, M. et al., “Learning@Whitney: Developing A Useful Teaching Tool”, in J. Trant and D. Bearman (eds.). Museums and the Web 2007: Proceedings, Toronto: Archives & Museum Informatics, published March 1, 2007.

Horwitz, R., and C. Intemann, We Are Your Audience, in J. Trant and D. Bearman (eds.). Museums and the Web 2007: Proceedings, Toronto: Archives & Museum Informatics, published March 1, 2007 Consulted

Arbach, N., A Multiplicity of Voices: Encouraging And Developing On-Line Collaborative Projects For Schools, in J. Trant and D. Bearman (eds.). Museums and the Web 2006: Proceedings, Toronto: Archives & Museum Informatics, published March 1, 2006 at

Copeland C., Out of Our Mines! A Retrospective Look at On-line Museum Collections-Based Learning and Instruction (1997-2006), in J. Trant and D. Bearman (eds.). Museums and the Web 2006: Proceedings, Toronto: Archives & Museum Informatics, published March 1, 2006 at

Newman, D., P. Barbanell and J. Falcon, Achievement of Student Cognitive Growth: Results of Integrating Interactive Museum Videoconferencing, in J. Trant and D. Bearman (eds.). Museums and the Web 2005: Proceedings, Toronto: Archives & Museum Informatics, published March 31, 2005 at