Barbara Capel

Barbara Capel


Museum learning for the future?

With digital technology permeating every aspect of life, museums do not want to miss out on this digital transformation. Over the past decade, the digitisation of and increased access to collections has been a primary focus of heritage institutions in the Netherlands. That focus has more recently shifted to the accessibility of digital collections: what do various users look for in the digital provisions of heritage institutions? One of the important user groups for museums are schools. This thesis therefore asks whether Dutch museums can, through the opportunities offered by the digital domain, increase their educational role in schools and under what circumstances.

In the thesis the three main stakeholders identified in the Dutch educational field are schools, museums, and educational publishers. All grapple with the effects of digital technology: it affects how people and organisations are increasingly connected in networks; how people handle the free availability of content; and how we learn in formal and informal settings. In these shifting times museums need to determine their digital strategy for the educational sector: as content providers, preferably in strategic partnerships, or as facilitators. Then they can review the digital learning activities and tools that fit that role, consider the various business models, and – last but not least – review the knowledge and experience that museum professionals need for this strategy to develop further.

Keywords: museums, digital learning, formal education, publishing

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