It’s All in the Confidence: Co-designing the Future of Museum Digital Literacy

Professional Forum
Ross Parry, University of Leicester, UK, Carolyn Royston, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, USA, Dafydd James, Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales, Wales, Jane Finnis, Culture24, UK, Vince Dziekan, Monash University, Australia

At MW2014 training providers from around the world attempted to frame the ‘Baltimore Principles’, articulating the step changes needed for the next generation of digital training provision in the museum sector.

The ‘Baltimore Principles’ were unequivocal in their call for a shift in the way we think about digital training. They asked for a move from thinking about ‘technical skills’ around specific forms of technology, to thinking instead about ‘digital literacies’ and forms of creative thinking; a move from digital training being ‘about technology’, to being ‘with technology’. They encouraged a switch in emphasis from ‘reactive training’ within an institution (where skills can become siloed), to ‘strategic improvement and professional development’ for the whole institution where literacies and ways of thinking and making can, instead, become both pervasive and naturalised. And they challenged education providers to think about a training offer that was less didactic, and more discursive; about an evolving collective expertise, rather than about a set of specific experts; outward looking rather than just inward looking; on-going, and not just time-bound; and for everyone in the institution, not just an IT few.

Moving forward from that landmark discussion, this Professional Forum will reconvene MW delegates around these principles to consider – and then actively design together – a new practical model to help museums better define, improve, measure and embed the digital literacy and digital confidence of their staff in all roles and at all levels.

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