Leaners' digital literacies: a challenge for teaching?
Unlike in the past where the museum served the elite of the society today a shift has happened regarding the museums’ attitude towards their audiences with an emphasis on terms such as ‘the including museum’, ‘the engaging museum’, and ‘the participatory museum’. The museums are taking initiative to become more responsive to their surroundings and within the last decades, internationally, the museums have increasingly taken in the new digital media. These new means of technology provide the museums with new opportunities to reach their audiences in new ways as this Ph.D. is exploring. Even though distance learning is not new to media studies and a vast number of museum education projects these years are presented online, still little research is found in the museum field as the studies here mostly concern digital outreach projects outside a school context. Thus, the aim of the Ph.D. is to investigate how Danish secondary students (15-19 years old) and their teachers perceive and use digital museum learning resources in their classrooms when the museum is not physically present. The Ph.D. has particular focus on what challenges the teachers and the students might face in this capacity regarding digital literacy among other areas. The two museums taking part in the Ph.D. project are Louisiana Museum of Modern Art and the Natural History Museum of Denmark as both museums have developed digital museum resources for the Danish upper secondary school. Although the two museums do not fall into the same ‘museum type’ category, still the project’s outline is the same for both museums as the research takes its point of departure in media theory, learning theory, and sociology. Methodologically, the Ph.D. will have an overall qualitative framework using interviews and participant observations to see how the students and the teachers interact and engage with the learning resources online. The hope is to develop a best practice as to how Danish museums can offer digital learning outreach education to secondary schools not able to visit the museums due to different factors such as geography, economy etc.