Museum resources and mobile technology in classroom curriculum
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In the United States, both Common Core standards and 21st century learning skills are dictating educational policy, while teachers are expected to teach to standardized tests while also providing students authentic learning experiences. Creating these authentic learning experiences involves not only ensuring learning will occur, but also connecting the lesson to real world examples. These connections are increasingly made possible in classrooms through the use of mobile technology. Art museums are also taking advantage of digital tools to develop mobile applications that extend interactions with artworks beyond the museum’s walls. It is at this intersection of classrooms, mobile technology, and art museums that this study originated. The study focuses on how two elementary educators integrated online art museum resources into their curriculum using mobile technology, and what pertinent implications arise from these experiences that can be applied to developing substantive art museum resources. I prepared myself for the study by reviewing literature concerning constructivism (Hein, 1990), andragogy (Knowles, 1990), mobile technology, technology integration into classrooms, and art museum resources. Working alongside one art specialist and one math teacher, I sought to understand each teacher’s experience with bringing art museum mobile applications and iPads into their curriculum. It was important to include in the study my voice as a researcher, as well as the voices of the teachers. I, therefore, adopted a narrative approach to reporting the data that enabled our three stories to intersect. The trio of narratives reflect our experiences as I interacted with the teachers as they designed and conducted lessons that utilized museum developed mobile applications of their choice and hosted on iPads. I used the Technological, Pedagogical, and Content Knowledge (TPACK) framework (Koehler, Mishra, & Cain, 2013) to identify how each teacher’s technological, pedagogical, and content knowledge areas interacted during their teaching. Both educators’ familiarity with, and evolution of, their technological pedagogical knowledge correlated with their perceived success of the lesson. From the teachers’ experiences, I was better able to identify and understand the importance of collaborating with teachers in research, the unique opportunities for increasing interaction with art museum objects by embracing mobile technology, and the potential for collaborating between universities and art museums in digital projects.