Title:Using Interactive Broadband Multicasting in a Museum Lifelong Learning Program
Authors:Leonard Steinbach
Publication:MW2001: Museums and the Web 2001

The Cleveland Museum of Art has embarked on an innovative approach for delivering high quality video-on-demand and live interactive cultural programming, along with Web-based complementary material, to seniors in assisted living residence facilities, community-based centers, and disabled persons in their homes. The project is made possible in part by a grant from the Technology Opportunity Program [TOP], National Telecommunications and Information Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce totaling more than $500,000. The purpose of the grant is to demonstrate how emerging broadband telecommunications technology can deliver "lifelong learning and the arts" to populations for whom direct involvement with cultural institutions would otherwise not be possible. The approach uses Cisco IP/TV interactive video archive/broadcast servers and broadband multicast technology in a controlled public infrastructure environment, rather than the closed corporate or campus network environment for which it was designed. In addition to describing the program design and operation, this paper analyzes how this Museum, whose core competency is not, nor should be, advanced technology development and management, mustered the expertise to achieve technological innovation in pursuit of programmatic goals. It also focuses on the process of convening outside individuals, organizations, and expertise to complement each other to achieve a common goal.