In this section you will read updated contents and news about our project and its implementation.
Empowering Learning with Augmented Reality - EMM’s 3rd Living Lab workshop
EMM’s third Living Lab workshop took place in Laulasmaa, a peaceful seaside resort near Tallinn, on 17th and 18th August.
The workshop was called Empowering Learning with AR, and it focussed teachers' involvement in the work of the museum. EMM set out to chart the needs of teachers and collectively generate ideas for an AR (augmented reality) solution that could bring museum content into the classroom in captivating and educationally effective ways. The goal of the EMM Living Lab pilot is for museums and tech companies to co-create educational digital content that would enhance museum education and that teachers could use in class.
The main idea developed in the workshop was using an AR solution to add virtual layers of visual information into any physical space (e.g. classroom). Available on most devices, the solution constitutes a highly usable and practical path to transmitting educational content, and makes for an exciting user experience, where pupils can actively create and contribute, as opposed to passively receiving content.
Group sessions saw teachers brainstorm around which content could best match teaching programs, museum offerings, and a participatory AR presentation, rendering historical information more “alive”, relevant and emotion-inducing to pupils. The participants discussed and sought for the best “overlap” – in theme and form – between museums, school curricula and pupils’ interests.
The thematic content available at the Maritime Museum provides for ample opportunity to engage in playful learning, e.g. via role play or reenactments of historical events. Teachers made for enthusiastic participants and generated a wealth of ideas. The group included: teachers of history, social studies, natural sciences, plus education and communication specialists from other GLAM institutions, representatives of the Reality Maker AR platform and Creative Lab, and, of course, the Maritime Museum’s RECHARGE team as well as the curator of the museum’s education programs, two visitor experience specialists and guides.
Teachers noted that:
o Museum classes as they exist in the museum’s offering are universal and broad, but teachers would like to employ more specific content
o The new school curricula valorize skills and capacities
o The highest satisfaction rating is enjoyed by museum classes that are essentially needs-based
o Some schools integrate museums into their study plans by covering the cost of pupils’ visits to museums
o Museum education has grown and developed exponentially since 1993, but one must note that schools have remained essentially the same
o Using own devices might strenghten pupils’ active participation in museum-related school classes
Teachers’ expectations for museum education were revealed. They would like to align teachers’ needs with the museum’s offer, and ensuring that what is delivered is of high quality; develop digital experiences to avoid travels, maybe considering independent visits and then work in the classroom; museum classes to be complemented with “before” and “after” work sheets, to measure learning outcomes; digital competency is vital to ensure that teachers know how to support the learning experience
The value of an AR tool in the museum education setting would be in bringing content closer to the new generations, tearing down walls from between the museum and the “real world”, and offering a combined study experience involving classroom use and physical museum visits. Ideas for captivating content ranged from bringing historical events to the classroom, maritime battles, marine archeology, searching games, simulation games, escape rooms, chronology challenges. The highest praise for a teacher – and thus the goal of our solution – is when a pupil remarks at the end of the class: “This was really interesting!”.
The next step in the project for the Maritime Museum is to complete a pilot by creating an AR solution that supports learning and thematically links to physical objects in the museum, thus also inviting pupils to continue their exploration in the physical museum space at a later time.