From Now On
The Educational Technology Journal


Vol 5 . . . No 5 . . . January/February, 1996

Roles of Students

The most important issue for schools to address when considering either virtual galleries or virtual museums is the roles students might play in the design, development and ongoing management of those sites.

Virtual museums offer greater opportunities and more challenge than galleries as students may play a variety of roles (with staff supervision) analogous to those who work in traditional museums. They may wear the hats of curators, archivists, researchers, artists, educators and permissions specialists, among others.

Virtual museums are "high maintenance" compared to galleries. Once a gallery is designed and established, it requires little more than additive installations.

Because museums may be organized around themes and topics which are complex and difficult to embrace, the development process may extend over more years than any of the students will stay in the building. One can keep opening new "wings" and providing alternative paths for the virtual visitor to explore and experience the exhibit.

The development of virtual museums is an excellent introduction to the workplace realities of the Information Age, as teams and committees will be required to manage the work flow and collaborate on a creative, yet efficient process.

For an extended, step-by-step description of how school museums are constructed, Go to the article on Museum Building at Oldies & Goodies.

The best argument for selecting museums over galleries is their superior value as constructivist ventures.

What's the Difference? --- Examples of Virtual Galleries --- Examples of Virtual Museums --- The Roles of Students in Each

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