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Tuesday, December 3 • 3:30pm - 3:45pm
We need to talk about school trips to museums: Exploring social and mobile technologies in formal learning programmes in museums

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School trips in museums are important in introducing young people to museum collections and may have long-term learning impact. At the same time, activities in museum spaces can be challenging for students, who are engaged in complex meaning-making processes. Recently, Charitonos et al. (2012) showed that the use of social and mobile technologies in a school trip - and particularly online interactions - helped in the negotiation and exchange of meaning making among the students and shaped their collective experience at the museum. However, despite the view that mobile technologies are well-situtated to provide links with other contexts and resources for learning, alongside a growing evidence indicating young people’s increasingly pervasive everyday use of digital media (Lenhart et al. 2007; Nielsen, 2011; Livingstone et al. 2011), museums seem to be reluctant to embrace social and mobile technologies in the development of their formal learning programmes. This paper will contribute to the discussion about the role of social and mobile technologies in supporting school trips in museums and engaging young people. 


The paper explores use of social and mobile technologies (Twitter/iPhones) by a Year 9 History class (13-14 years old) from a secondary school in Milton Keynes during a trip to the Museum of London (http://www.museumoflondon.org.uk/). Informed by sociocultural perspectives of learning and based on interview data collected from a number of students (n=11) and their teacher, as well as visitor generated content this paper shows how such technologies can best support young people’s attempts to make sense of their visit experience and extend it beyond the museum. Evidence is provided to show how introduction of social and mobile technologies in a school trip transformed students’ expectations from this visit, as well as their practices in the museum, resulting in diverse experiences among students. These findings enhance our understanding on the role of technologies and draw our attention to the design of technology mediated school trips in museums. 

avatar for Koula Charitonos

Koula Charitonos

Doctoral Student, The Open University, UK

Tuesday December 3, 2013 3:30pm - 3:45pm PST
Hilton Stockholm Slussen Hotel, Eros Guldgränd 8 Box 15270, Stockholm, 10465, Sweden

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