Title:Musing, media, and mediation: Social media and museum learning.
Authors:Narelle Lemon, Jan Molloy, Cameron Hocking
Publication:MWA2015: Museums and the Web 2015

Social media enables possibilities for museums to engage with ideas and with audiences who want to participate, who can generate content, and who would like to create a community (Boches, 2013). This is a challenging space. But worth exploring and unpacking further. In this paper we offer the chance to discuss what social media can bring to the museum space, but particularly the museum education space. We share innovative practices in the Australian context that demonstrates what is possible. Focus is on connecting teachers and the museum using social media to begin, continue, and extend connections and conversations.

The focus of the paper will be to share a variety of case studies. We discuss the development of an accredited teacher education subject located within a postgraduate degree at La Trobe University and delivered in partnership with Museum Victoria and National Gallery of Victoria. This subject integrates a variety of social media platforms to engage future teachers with cultural organisations as resources for learning. This case is then juxtaposed with how Museum Victoria is utilising social media with teachers. Specifically we share the Twitter profile of @MVTeachers and the development of ongoing connections to the Museum’s humanities and sciences education programs and resources through #TwitterTours. A community of learners underpinned by building and supporting relationships, making new connections, sharing and modeling, and connecting future ways of working is demonstrated in all these cases. Central is the engagement with museums, collective and multiple voices as well as technology. This is modeling the future of learning in cultural organisations. This way of working focuses on participatory cultural communication (Russo et al., 2008; Simon, 2010) and enables a social constructive approach to communication. Most importantly access, contribution and learning is contemporary and future proofed.