Title:Reaching School-Based Users with Museum Digital Content: A Comparative Analysis of New Initiatives in Australia and Canada
Authors:Darren Peacock, Corey Timpson, Stuart Tait
Publication:MW2009: Museums and the Web 2009

School-based users, both students and educators, have always been a primary target audience for museum on-line content. Museums and other cultural organisations have made significant investments in developing and disseminating content on-line to reach and engage these users. Yet despite the obvious logic of this connection, in practice it has proven difficult to build effective permanent bridges between the wealth of museum digital content and the classroom environment. While many individual institutions host outstanding educational content on their individual Web sites, this material may remain inaccessible or under utilised in a classroom environment due to technology and security constraints, or simply through lack of awareness or discoverability. We are yet to develop effective and sustainable supply chains of museum digital content from multiple institutions for use in classroom environments. In Australia and Canada two new national approaches to solving the supply chain problem have been developed by two agencies working with museum organisations to facilitate the flow of content into classroom environments. This paper examines the imperatives driving these initiatives and the lessons learned in creating an integrated national approach to developing digital supply chains for school-based users of museum content.