How much is too much technology in a science center or museum, or is the sky the limit? Does it engage or distract?December 19th, 2013 - Posted in 2014, Dimensions, Viewpoints by Emily Schuster
This is an extended discussion of the question that appeared in the Viewpoints department of the January/February 2014 issue of Dimensions magazine.
Good examples of technology gone bad can often be traced to poor design. Does the design of an interactive cause visitors to isolate from others, or does it support social engagement? Does the design of a mobile app focus visitors’ attention away from an exhibit, or does it deepen the awesome moment of that particular time and place? We can never escape the potential for digital media to engage or distract. That struggle is unavoidable, especially when visitors can carry in their own devices. But we can support visitors to develop an intentionality in their use of technology and support them to mediate their visit in ways that connect them with the exhibits and the social and physical spaces around them.
Barry Joseph, associate director for digital learning, American Museum of Natural History, New York City