Participatory Culture: Learning Transformed

Learning Transformed: Technology, advances in neuroscience, and research are changing our understanding of effective learning environments and experiences. The boundaries between in-school and out-of-school learning are blurring, and the importance of early and lifelong learning has been recognized. What knowledge and skills do our publics need and want, and how are museums and libraries responding to these needs? How do libraries and museums tap the knowledge and skills that their publics can bring to their institutions?

The next plenary session was centered on Learning Transformed. Pablo Andrade, Studies Department Manager BiblioRedes, DIBAM, Santiago, Chile, opened the session with a presentation on participatory management mechanisms and the thriving virtual community created for residents of Chile. A key phrase impressed me in the video above  about the community Andrade shared: “community of local content.”

Elaine Heumann Gurian, Consultant/Advisor to Museums in the US, then shared some ideas about education reform. Sharing examples that exists “under the radar” in schools across the US, Gurian forecasted six elements of a future landscape of learning:

Incremental content instruction
Group problem solving
Individual chosen in depth mastery (we all become experts)
Skills proficiency (working with hands)
Workplace experience

“In the future it will take a village to raise AND educate a child,” she said and it also will include libraries and museums playing a role as extenders of the learning process. Services become disaggregated as a result of technology and other cultural changes.

This post is a reflection/response to questions posed at the Salzburg Global Seminar program Libraries and Museums in an Era of Participatory Culture, exploring the challenges, solutions and potential for participatory services within libraries and museums.

Special Thanks to the Salzburg Global Seminar  and IMLS for the invitation to participate in this event.