Sunday, January 17, 2010

Going Mobile: Planning For Audience, Content And Technology In The Museum > Feb 16-17 2010

The past decade has seen a great increase in mobile options for museum interpretation: cell phone tours, podcasts, audio tours, text-message tours and audio, video and text Smartphone applications. Learn how to implement and leverage these technologies from mobile media experts Nancy Proctor and Titus Bicknell in a special 2-day seminar presented by the Balboa Park Online Collaborative []  and Balboa Park Learning Institute:

Going Mobile: Planning For Audience, Content And Technology In The Museum

Tuesday, February 16 / Wednesday, February 17 2010  > 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

San Diego Hall of Champions Sports Museum / 2131 Pan American Plaza / Balboa Park /  San Diego, CA

What >

This two-day seminar is for museum professionals who want to explore the value of mobile devices and portable computing for their institutions, patrons and learners with renowned leaders in the new media field. Attendees will learn how to evaluate technology platforms and options, create interpretive content and deploy systems for supporting them. Day 1 will emphasize content and strategy and Day 2 will focus on technology and strategy. [snip]

Who >

This seminar is cross-disciplinary and appropriate for executive, content (education, marketing, etc.) and technical staff. We encourage people to attend in cross-functional teams. (Special group rates apply.)

Cost >

Special price! $45 for one day, $75 for both!

Note-1: Tuition fees are waived for members of the Balboa Park Online Collaborative; registration is still required.

Note-2:  For information on student discounts, group rates, or, hotel information / Contact

Note-3: Please pay on-site with cash or checks made payable to the Balboa Park Cultural Partnership; we are not able to accept credit card payments.

Note-4: Lunch is included in the cost of the program for all participants.

Register by Thursday, February 11, 2010 at ; please include your name, title, organization and email address.

This program is co-presented by the Balboa Park Online Collaborative and the Balboa Park Learning Institute. The Balboa Park Online Collaborative is a collaborative technology project of The Legler Benbough Foundation. The Balboa Park Learning Institute is a collaborative professional development program supported in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture, and the 24 members of the Balboa Park Cultural Partnership.


February 16 2010 > Led by Nancy Proctor, Head of New Media, Smithsonian American Art Museum

Day 1: Mobile experience & content design

Why mobile? What is mobile? Why is it growing so fast? How this will impact museum interpretation and education in the short, medium & longer terms. Overview of the design methodologies that will be used today.

Identifying your audience(s) both on-site & online. Know your audience in order to build a successful program. The evolving nature of audiences: consider John Falk's new way of describing & categorizing audiences: what does each of these audience segments require from their mobile experience? what about non-visitors? Identify & prioritize the target audience(s) for the mobile interpretation program.

Translating aims & objectives into key messages 45 min: ensuring your mobile interpretation program supports your organization's mission.

Introduction to Question Mapping & the 'SmartHistory' conversational approach to interpretation

Question Mapping

Hands on, on site: on maps of each Balboa Park sites, plot the questions that come to mind when visiting, at the locations where the questions occur. Consider ways of including actual visitors from different target audience segments in this survey. This will require participants to be on-site so will require 2-3 hours depending on transportation time.

Question Map analysis; finalize interpretive plan Short presentation of methodology for translating the question maps into an interpretive plan; introduction of worksheets.

Optional content production session > Using the Woices iPhone app, record audio commentaries (soundtracks or sound bites) for selected points of interest according to the site's interpretive plan.

February 17 2010 > Led by Titus Bicknell

Day 2: Mobile Platforms And Delivery

Choosing a platform: what the content/audiences require vs. what the infrastructure & business model demand.

Which train(s) are you on: choosing platforms that suit your venue, content AND audience - web, kiosk, audio tour, cell phone tour, MM tour, podcast, webcast, vodcast, catalog, wall text, label, docent NB the best answer may be the least technical.

CMS vs CAT: are you authoring content or assembling it from existing sources and how that affects decision about data and meta data management.

API and ROI: it is a nice idea to pull data from existing sources but it might not be cost effective - how to assess ingestion, synchronization or double data entry options

Front end/back end, couture vs pret a porter: what to customize and what to use of the shelf even if it seems limiting

In-house vs outsource: where control is valuable, where participating in extra-organizational economy of scale adds value

Scale and scalability: how to avoid being a victim of your own success a la Jane Austin


Nancy Proctor, Head of New Media, Smithsonian American Art Museum []

With a PhD in American art history and a background in filmmaking, curation and art criticism, Nancy Proctor is Head of New Media at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. After co-founding art listings portal,, in 1998, she headed up New Product Development at Antenna Audio for nearly 8 years, introducing the company’s multimedia, sign language, downloadable, podcast and cell phone tours. She also led Antenna’s sales in France from 2006-2007. When Antenna Audio was acquired by Discovery Communications in 2006, Nancy worked with the Travel Channel’s product development team and subsequently headed up research and development for the nascent Discovery Audio brand. She now works cross-platform again as Head of New Media at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, where she continues to teach, lecture and publish widely on museum interpretation for digital platforms. She also manages and its wiki and podcast series on mobile interpretation content and technology for cultural sites. Nancy was recently appointed Digital Editor of Curator: The Museum Journal.

Titus Bicknell, Director Information Technology []  

Apart from a fascinating stint at NBC Universal in 2007-8 working on the big screen, Titus has spent the last 10 years exploring the small screen both web and hand held. As Chief Engineer at Antenna Audio and subsequently Head of Mobile Technologies at Discovery Communications, He was fortunate to participate in ground breaking handheld projects at Tate Modern, the Louvre, Pompidou, the Intel Museum, and the Getty, among others.


Please contact: Paige Simpson, Director  / Or /  Katherine Sanford / Program Coordinator / Balboa Park Learning Institute  > A program of the Balboa Park Cultural Partnership > 619.232.7502 > []




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