Title:Museums without walls: Breaking across the borders of organizational structure and preparing the next generation of museum professionals in the digital age
Authors:Adrienne D'Angelo
Publication:MW17: Museums and the Web 2017

A question museums face in the digital age, inherent to their mission, is how can we not only address and increase access to the institution physically, but also virtually? This session aims to share dissertation research and findings of the qualitative research study "Museums without Walls: The Google Art Project and Smarthistory—A Mission Possible Prophecy." The results highlight the potential changes in pedagogy for those that prepare future museum professionals, from the words of leaders in the fields of art museums and academic art history. Our discussions with art historians, museum directors, educators, and curators reveals how they think and feel about using digital resources, specifically the Google Art Project and Smarthistory, in their own research and learning practices, as well as for those they teach and their audiences. The data collection of 14 interviews includes representatives from these roles and those who created both the Google Art Project and Smarthistory. This lens on both those in the field and those who created these entities draws a parallel between museum professionals and those that use or participate in either of these digital resources in their practices. Participants in the session will walk away with information on how leaders in the field feel about the shared content and interactive experiences that are available to those that prepare and teach future museum professionals, and how in the future, digital resources like these, aggregators of content, may offer increased access to content across institutions and organizations offering infinite educational possibilities. Most evident will be the impact that advances in digital technology are having on museum professionals, on the roles that exist within museums today, and the way that teaching emerging professionals in the digital age is changing.