Empowering Learners through the Integration of Museum Experiences and Digital Technologies

in Museum Worlds
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Chang Xu PhD, Massey University, New Zealand

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Tara Fagan Principal Advisor, Museum of New Zealand, New Zealand

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In the twenty-first century, it is imperative for museums to strive towards the dual objective of educating and entertaining audiences, while effectively adapting to rapid advancements in technology (). This pursuit has resulted in the emergence of the term “edutainment” to describe museums that amalgamate educational and entertainment functions (). Technological interventions have played a pivotal role in facilitating this convergence as they enable the integration of diverse digital resources and tools, fostering interactive and immersive learning experiences for learners while connecting to the taonga (treasures) that museums care for.

In the twenty-first century, it is imperative for museums to strive towards the dual objective of educating and entertaining audiences, while effectively adapting to rapid advancements in technology (Merritt 2014). This pursuit has resulted in the emergence of the term “edutainment” to describe museums that amalgamate educational and entertainment functions (Rahimi et al. 2022). Technological interventions have played a pivotal role in facilitating this convergence as they enable the integration of diverse digital resources and tools, fostering interactive and immersive learning experiences for learners while connecting to the taonga (treasures) that museums care for.

Digital technologies such as virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), touchscreens, 3D imaging, multimedia presentations, and mobile applications have gained global recognition for their transformative potential in enhancing educational experiences within museum settings (Fagan 2023). The popularity of international museum digital learning programs further highlights the widespread interest in leveraging technology to engage students and foster creativity (Tang et al. 2022). These programs prioritize collaboration between museums and educational institutions, utilize multimodal and embodied environments, and seek to continuously improve the overall learning experiences of visitors.

Drawing on global perspectives, the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa (Te Papa) located in Wellington, has taken the lead in implementing two educational initiatives known as Hīnātore | Learning Laboratory1 and Raranga Matihiko | Weaving Digital Futures.2 These two initiatives have been designed to strengthen digital learning and foster cultural understanding among students. By employing technology as a medium to enhance the educational experience, Te Papa aims to enable students to interact with digital platforms and resources in an immersive and interactive manner.

This article presents an overview of two museum digital learning programs implemented by Te Papa and discusses their response to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. It also provides a comparative analysis of the programs in relation to similar initiatives in other countries, while examining the digital technologies employed in both local and international contexts. Furthermore, the article analyzes the positive impacts of these initiatives on learners and explores their potential implications.

Digital Learning Programs in New Zealand

Hīnātore Learning Laboratory, established in 2017, represents a cutting-edge learning environment situated within Te Papa. Its overarching mission is to empower learners to actively engage with Aotearoa New Zealand's cultural, scientific, and artistic realms through digital mediums, thereby facilitating a deeper understanding and appreciation of the nation's heritage (Bailey et al. 2018). Through a comprehensive range of interactive exhibits, advanced technology, and educational programs, Hīnātore Learning Laboratory cultivates critical thinking, creativity, and problem-solving skills among its participants.

Hīnātore Learning Laboratory offers a diverse array of activities, encompassing virtual reality experiences, coding challenges, robotics programs, and creative digital projects. By bridging the divide between technology and cultural heritage, this unique space serves as a catalyst for students to connect with their cultural roots while simultaneously exploring the transformative potential of future advancements. This integration of technology and cultural exploration not only sparks curiosity but also encourages a critical examination of the interplay between tradition and innovation within contemporary educational contexts.

Figure 1.
Figure 1.

Students creating art in virtual reality in the Hīnātore Learning Laboratory. Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.

Citation: Museum Worlds 11, 1; 10.3167/armw.2023.110115

Raranga Matihiko, a nationwide digital learning program which operated from 2018 to 2021, brought innovative digital technologies to those who faced limited opportunities for digital learning (Fagan 2023). This collaborative effort brought together institutions from across the country: Te Papa, Te Kōngahu Museum of Waitangi, Tāmaki Paenga Hira Auckland War Memorial Museum, and MTG Museum Napier. While primarily focused on working with students, Raranga Matihiko also provided professional development opportunities for teachers to deepen their understanding of digital technologies and local histories. By utilizing digital tools and technologies, Raranga Matihiko enabled students to interact with Māori and Pasifika artifacts, narratives, and cultural practices, thereby facilitating the creation of personalized projects. The initiative emphasized the intrinsic value of cultural heritage, creativity, and collaborative efforts, developing learners’ digital literacy and cultural confidence and fostering their growth as well rounded and culturally aware citizens.

Fostering Community Collaboration

Hīnātore Learning Laboratory and Raranga Matihiko exemplify innovative pedagogical endeavors that effectively integrate technology, culture, and education, resulting in a more collaborative and inclusive approach to learning. George Tamihana Nuku, who is of Māori (Ngāti Kahungunu and Tūwharetoa), German, and Scottish descent, showcased the remarkable power of collaboration in the field of art and museum education in the exhibition Bottled Ocean.3 Through engaging various stakeholders, including community members, cultural organizations, and experts, he established a strong connection between education and the wider community. This collaboration ensures that the learning experiences provided are not only relevant and culturally sensitive but also responsive to the needs and aspirations of the local community. As a result, community involvement in the exhibition created a sense of shared responsibility and encouraged meaningful relationships between educational institutions and the broader society.

Nuku's work sets a foundation for further cross-cultural collaborations, particularly through online platforms. New Zealand museums, by establishing connections between museums in different countries, can open their educational portals to learners from around the world, enabling learners to share their experiences of working with artists, museum educators, or other specialists, and raising a broader exchange of perspectives and promoting international cooperation. Just as Nuku has extended his storytelling, art, and exhibitions to other countries like France, the UK, and the Netherlands, a global online learning resource network could gradually develop to facilitate cross-cultural collaborations and enhance New Zealand's museum education on an international scale.

The utilization of digital technology in the educational context exemplifies a commitment to learner agency, aligning with the New Zealand Curriculum4 and the draft of Te Mātaiaho (The Refreshed New Zealand curriculum).5 Both curricula encourage students to actively engage as creators, providing them with the means to share their own experiences, stories, and perspectives within a global context. Te Mātaiaho, in particular, advocates for the design and review of school curricula in collaboration with local communities, placing a strong emphasis on inclusivity and responsiveness to the unique diversity and identities of students. It recognizes the significance of students’ individual identities, languages, cultures, and strengths, thus ensuring that the educational experience is meaningful and relevant to each student's background and aspirations. The refreshed curriculum promotes the development of a strong sense of belonging and engagement among students, while also encouraging them to value and respect the diversity of others.

Responding to the Challenges of the COVID-19 Pandemic

Amidst the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, innovative initiatives such as Hīnātore Learning Laboratory and Raranga Matihiko have emerged as key players in adapting to the circumstances and ensuring educational continuity. These two programs have effectively utilized online platforms and virtual resources as a method to overcome physical restrictions and maintain access to learning.

In addition to these efforts, other organizations and associations in New Zealand have also recognized the need for innovative approaches to education during the COVID-19 pandemic. Core Education (2020) identified ten trends for further exploration, with particular emphasis on distance learning, remote learning, and virtual learning. As part of this broader initiative, researcher Esther McNaughton (2020) specifically investigated art gallery education during the pandemic. McNaughton documented three online Zoom meetings that took place among gallery educators during the lockdown period that aimed to tackle the challenges posed by the pandemic and were centered on four key themes: effective communication with schools; utilization of local resources and materials to support family and home learning; strategies for professional development; and the development of contingency plans for an uncertain future. McNaughton, in her report, stressed the urgent need for the rapid development of diverse online programs capable of catering to the different phases of the crisis. The documented meetings not only laid the groundwork for ongoing communication and development within cultural institutions but also facilitated the further advancement of online learning programs to effectively respond to contingencies.

Furthermore, Te Pū Tiaki Mana Taonga | Association of Educators Beyond the Classroom implemented a series of professional learning opportunities for museum educators during the pandemic. These initiatives were designed to enhance the skills of educators, empowering them to interact with students in remote settings and develop a greater comprehension of curriculum concepts. The suite of offerings comprised webinars, online courses, and mentoring sessions, reaching a nationwide audience of over 300 educators throughout a 16-month duration. The conclusive report (Te Pū Tiaki Mana Taonga 2022), highlighted the fact that these professional training opportunities adequately prepared educators to deliver programs that successfully integrated digital technologies.

These initiatives illustrate the proactive responses of the education sectors in New Zealand to the challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, characterized by the adoption of digital technology, effective utilization of online platforms, and the provision of continuous professional development for educators. Educators, through these measures, have demonstrated their adaptability and resilience in addressing the evolving needs of learners during this unparalleled period. The digital learning programs undertaken in New Zealand exhibit a strong congruence with the objectives of international programs, in which the utilization of advanced technological tools facilitates enriched educational experiences beyond the conventional classroom environment.

International Digital Learning Programs

International museum digital learning programs have gained substantial traction across multiple countries, indicating the growing recognition of their potential educational benefits. These initiatives revolve around the core concepts of Digital Storytelling (DST), Interactive Digital Narratives (IDNs), and Virtual Museum Tours (VMTs). Their adoption in countries like the UK, Sweden, Finland, Greece, the USA, Portugal, and Brazil reflects a global interest in leveraging technology to enhance student engagement and nurture creative expression (Aristeidou et al. 2022; Ioannidis et al. 2013; Limniou and Smith 2010; Rahimi et al. 2022; Ryan 2011). These programs establish collaborative partnerships with local museums and institutions, demonstrating a concerted effort to utilize cultural spaces as catalysts for exploration and learning. By integrating diverse disciplines and promoting collaborative learning, the programs strive to create educational experiences that allow students to shape their learning environments through user-driven design processes.

Digital storytelling (DST), which emerged as an early manifestation of digital media for the purpose of supporting education, gained prominence during the early years of the 1990s. DST integrates traditional storytelling techniques with a wide range of multimedia components including audio, video, and images (Sloane 2000). This amalgamation empowers individuals and groups to communicate their ideas and narratives in compelling and captivating ways. The applications of digital storytelling extend beyond education, finding utility across various domains such as museum education, journalism, advocacy, marketing, and entertainment (Wong 2015). Digital storytelling, in each of these domains, serves as a versatile and powerful tool for communication, engagement, and persuasion. The significance and potential of digital storytelling as an impactful technique for museum learning programs are now firmly established.

On the other hand, Interactive Digital Narratives (IDNs) go beyond linear storytelling, enabling the audience to actively participate and shape the narrative. IDNs, with branching storylines and user agency, offer non-linear experiences where users’ decisions and actions directly influence the story's development and outcome (Miller 2019). Through the integration of virtual reality, augmented reality, and gaming platforms, IDNs create interactive storytelling experiences (Ryan 2011). Multimodality is incorporated within the framework of interactive digital narratives, promoting exploration and employing adaptive storytelling techniques to deliver personalized experiences. IDNs have been applied to various domains, such as video games, interactive films, educational simulations, and training programs.

While Digital Storytelling and Interactive Digital Narratives provide collaborative and interactive storytelling experiences, Virtual Museum Tours (VMTs) have gained popularity as a convenient and accessible way for individuals to engage with the wonders of museums (Aristeidou et al. 2022; Rahimi et al. 2022). VMTs employ VR or AR technologies to create immersive digital environments that replicate the physical spaces and exhibits found in museums. These virtual experiences offer a high level of detail and realism, allowing participants to navigate through museums, view artworks, read descriptions, and even interact with certain objects or artifacts.

Despite the similarities and shared benefits of Digital Storytelling, Interactive Digital Narratives, and Virtual Museum Tours, it is crucial to acknowledge the unique contributions and considerations of each approach. It is worth noting that initiatives like Raranga Matihiko and Hīnātore Learning Laboratory programs in New Zealand offer valuable insights into the effectiveness of international digital learning initiatives while also addressing certain aspects that may have been overlooked. Raranga Matihiko, for instance, places a particular focus on integrating digital technologies with cultural heritage to involve students from under-represented communities in interactive learning experiences. The program weaves together indigenous knowledge, digital storytelling, and coding skills, providing students with a deeper understanding of cultural heritage and enhancing their digital fluency. This emphasis on inclusivity and cultural diversity sets Raranga Matihiko apart from some international programs that may not prioritize the reach into under-represented communities.

Similarly, Hīnātore Learning Laboratory offers an interactive digital space where students can explore, create, and collaborate using cutting-edge technology and collections. This integration of state-of-the-art technology within a museum setting creates a holistic learning experience for students to engage with both digital tools and tangible artifacts. The emphasis on hands-on creation and collaboration distinguishes Hīnātore Learning Laboratory from certain international programs that may primarily focus on virtual experiences and may not offer the same level of interactive engagement.

In summary, the international initiatives showcase a variety of approaches and advantages, such as virtual museum tours, interdisciplinary connections, and student involvement in design processes. They highlight the importance of collaboration with museums, the utilization of multimodal and embodied environments, and the improvement of learning experiences. Raranga Matihiko and Hīnātore Learning Laboratory, in particular, address the need for inclusivity and cultural diversity, actively engaging underrepresented communities, and provide hands-on and interactive experiences that bridge the gap between digital technology and tangible artifacts within museum settings. These unique aspects contribute to the effectiveness and success of the New Zealand programs and provide valuable considerations for the ongoing development of international initiatives.

Digital Technologies Utilized within New Zealand and International Programs

The initiatives in New Zealand profiled here employ a range of digital tools, resources, and platforms to enhance educational experiences for students, strategically incorporating innovative technologies such as coding platforms, virtual reality studio, 3D printers and scanners, and touch tables to improve students’ hands-on learning experiences. For instance, the “ShakerMod” project implements a comprehensive strategy to expand students’ comprehension of earthquake generation processes and cultivate their proficiency in diverse skill sets, encompassing animation creation, interactive game design, and problem-solving (see Figure 2). The project actively involves students in developing a profound understanding of the underlying principles behind seismic events, and simultaneously fosters their capacity to employ logical thinking in formulating strategies to alleviate the detrimental impacts of earthquakes. The project's focus on digital fluency enables students to acquire both foundational theories and practical abilities that are essential for future career prospects in scientific and technology-related fields.

Figure 2.
Figure 2.

Students playing “ShakerMod.” Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.

Citation: Museum Worlds 11, 1; 10.3167/armw.2023.110115

The deliberate use of these digital tools and technologies in Hīnātore and Raranga Matihiko exemplifies the commitment to digital fluency and enhanced educational outcomes. The incorporation of programmable robots, coding platforms, and virtual reality technology showcases the programs’ efficacy in providing students with practical experiences that foster critical thinking, problem-solving, and a deeper understanding of diverse subjects.

When examining the digital technologies adopted in these New Zealand museum programs and comparing them to the international programs, several key differences and similarities emerge. Programs employ a diverse range of approaches and tools, some focus on advanced VR and AR applications, allowing students to virtually explore museum environments and interact with artifacts, while others leverage online databases and multimedia presentations to provide comprehensive information and engage learners through interactive elements. The use of mobile applications also facilitates active learning and encourages student participation through quizzes, challenges, or gamified activities. However, in some international programs, challenges are observed regarding student participation and comprehension. Studies have revealed that students exhibit limited involvement in actively commenting on their peers’ videos, despite enjoying viewing them (Niemi et al. 2014; Tang et al. 2022). Additionally, difficulties in comprehending specialized subject knowledge have arisen (Liguori and Rappoport 2018; Wong 2015), requiring educators to employ pedagogical strategies to ensure students grasp the intricacies of the topics explored.

Figure 3.
Figure 3.

Students learning how to use green screen to create news bulletins under the guidance of museum educators. Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.

Citation: Museum Worlds 11, 1; 10.3167/armw.2023.110115

In contrast, New Zealand programs have found ways to address these challenges. A study conducted by David Bell and Jeffrey Smith (2020) from the University of Otago investigated Hīnātore's digital program at Te Papa. The researchers observed students across different age groups, specifically primary school years five to seven, engaging with a range of digital mediums that included virtual reality, augmented reality, 3D imaging, and stop/start animation to learn natural history and mathematics during their visits to Te Papa. The students were encouraged to collaborate and explore the various functionalities of these digital tools. To collect comprehensive data on the students’ digital learning experiences, the researchers conducted interviews with museum educators, classroom teachers, and selected students, seeking insights into the effectiveness of the program and its impact on the students’ learning outcomes. The analysis of the data focused on key competencies regarding improved collaboration, communication, and comprehension, which are also advocated by Te Papa. Findings reveal that students derived satisfaction from creating digital narratives and engaging with theoretical concepts, as well as their increased opportunities for interactive collaboration with their peers. More importantly, the three museum educators played a vital role in facilitating students’ understanding and exploration of the digital tools by introducing each medium and actively encouraging collaborative efforts. Under the guidance of the educators, students not only developed a better understanding but also honed their skills in effectively utilizing these digital tools.

Bell and Smith (2020) found that Hīnātore deviated from conventional learning methods and complemented the existing access to digital technologies in schools. They concluded that digital technologies are sustainable, classroom-friendly, and transferable mediums for future adoption, providing opportunities for enhanced engagement and comprehension of the subject matter through interactive and immersive qualities.

Both New Zealand and international programs employ digital technologies such as VR, AR, interactive touchscreens, online databases, multimedia presentations, and mobile applications to enhance museum learning experiences. The museum programs in New Zealand are distinguished by virtue of their particular emphasis on hands-on and active learning, coupled with the effective engagement of educators in facilitating digital learning experiences, which offer a distinct approach that promotes deeper engagement and knowledge acquisition among students.

The Benefits of Museum Digital Learning Programs

Museum digital learning programs have proven to be highly beneficial for both students and teachers, offering collaborative learning opportunities, enhanced cultural competence, professional development, and access to rich educational resources.

Collaborative Learning Opportunities

Collaborative learning opportunities are a prominent feature of museum digital learning programs. Students have the chance to collaborate with their peers on group projects, utilizing online platforms for effective knowledge sharing and achieving shared goals. The Digital Storytelling (DST) program conducted by Laia Pujol and coauthors (2012) demonstrated how students through collaboration enhanced their understanding of museum exhibits. The program encouraged students to explore artifacts within an archaeological museum setting and delve into the depths of history through extensive research and the study of ancient civilizations. Armed with this knowledge, students employed digital tools and techniques to create compelling narratives that breathed life into the artifacts. One instance involved a Roman amphora, an ancient pottery vessel discovered at a nearby archaeological site. A group of students unearthed its historical background and contextualized it within the broader tapestry of Roman culture. The team examined various aspects of the Roman era including the daily lives, customs, and beliefs of the Roman people. The collaborative environment nurtured effective communication, teamwork, and the exchange of ideas.

Enhanced Cultural Competence

The inclusion of digital tools in the Raranga Matihiko program at Te Papa has been instrumental in improving students’ comprehension of indigenous cultures. Students have been able to engage in various interactive experiences, such as creating virtual marae, or Māori community meeting places, and actively participating in traditional cultural rituals. Moreover, the incorporation of digital platforms has provided students with the opportunity to interact with artifacts and narratives, further immersing them in the cultural context. This immersive encounter has been shown to cultivate not only cultural empathy but also a heightened appreciation for diverse perspectives.

Professional Development

In addition to the benefits for students, museum digital learning programs offer advantages for teachers as well. These programs provide valuable professional growth and development opportunities, equipping teachers with the skills needed to integrate digital tools into their teaching practices. Through comprehensive training and support, teachers enhance their pedagogical approaches, expand their teaching strategies, and foster digital literacy among their students.

Access to Rich Educational Resources

These programs have provided teachers with access to an extensive array of digital resources encompassing indigenous knowledge platforms and museum collections. Educators, through the assimilation of these resources within their instructional approaches, have effectively augmented the educational encounters of their students. Moreover, the expanded accessibility of diverse educational materials has facilitated teachers in crafting compelling lessons that are culturally responsive, establishing a strong connection between the curriculum and students’ lived experiences.

Museum digital learning programs have a significant impact on learners’ educational experiences and outcomes. By promoting collaboration, enhancing cultural competence, and providing professional development and access to educational resources, these programs empower students and teachers to embrace digital tools, deepen their understanding, and engage in innovative and inclusive educational practices.

Implications of Museum Digital Learning Programs

Digital learning programs have profound implications for both museums and their audiences. The first is access and inclusivity. Digital learning programs have emerged as a valuable means of extending the accessibility of museum collections and educational resources to a broader audience and transcending physical limitations associated with visiting museums in person. This inclusive approach facilitates the engagement of individuals from diverse geographical locations, varying socioeconomic backgrounds, and differing physical abilities, enabling them to remotely interact with museum content.

For example, virtual digital excursions facilitate the mitigation of challenges faced by students from rural areas when attempting to access museums situated in urban areas. In my doctoral dissertation (Xu 2022), I examined a school class's experience during a visit to an art museum in New Zealand, in which the students had to endure an arduous journey of nearly four hours from their school to reach the museum. The students and teachers were observed to be physically fatigued and hungry upon arrival. Despite these adversities, the museum educators exerted their utmost efforts to stimulate the students’ interest and engage them in the learning process. The teacher expressed the difficulties encountered in traveling to urban areas, citing time and funding as major obstacles. But by leveraging digital tools, students can overcome the limitations of physical distance and limited resources to engage in learning about art.

The second implication is that digital learning programs contribute to the preservation and documentation of cultural heritage. Museums, by digitizing collections and creating online databases, ensure that taonga, artifacts, artworks, and historical materials are preserved and accessible for future generations. Moreover, the programs often include curated digital exhibitions and multimedia content that provide detailed documentation and interpretation of the museum collections. These endeavors significantly improve the comprehension and conservation of cultural heritage as a whole.

Third, digital platforms have the potential to facilitate collaboration and partnerships across countries, enabling educators to share educational resources, expertise, and exemplary practices. The experience of the New Zealand programs examined here have significant implications for collaboration with DST, IDNs, and VR programs in various countries such as Sweden, Finland, Greece, Portugal, and England. Through strategic partnerships with these international programs, educators, students, and researchers can gain access to valuable expertise and resources, thereby enhancing and extending the current programs.

To illustrate this point, Hīnātore could establish a collaborative relationship with a DST program in Finland and Sweden aimed at exploring innovative methodologies that incorporate narrative elements into digital literacy, including diverse cultural heritage such as the indigenous Sami people. For example. by merging cultural heritage content with personal storytelling, students’ digital storytelling skills could be advanced, and their understanding of both their own cultural heritage and that of others would be enriched. Similarly, possible collaborations with IDNs programs in Brazil and Portugal present promising avenues for students and educators. Other international programs that establish a dynamic platform that facilitates cultural exchange among diverse countries include India, Brazil, China, Portugal, Germany, Angola, Turkey, and Cape Verde. The resulting intermixing of elements from these varied backgrounds may yield novel and captivating plot possibilities. These programs also create an immersive and embodied environment by adopting a multimodal approach encompassing tactile, verbal, visual, and auditory components. Embracing such an approach not only enhances the richness of the storytelling experience but also develops innovation and creativity. Additionally, partnering with Virtual Museum programs in England and Greece would grant educators the opportunity to leverage advanced technologies and techniques in creating immersive and interactive digital experiences. Through the exploration of VR, AR, and mixed reality (MR), students could engage in experiential learning, virtually visiting historical sites, interacting with artifacts, and participating in cultural events across international borders. Collaboration with these programs would facilitate the sharing of digital museum resources, curatorial expertise, and effective utilization of virtual museum platforms.

These potential collaborations also present opportunities for joint research projects and evaluation studies. Researchers from different countries could collaborate to investigate the impact of digital storytelling, interactive digital narratives, and virtual museum experiences on students’ learning outcomes, engagement, and cultural understanding. By pooling their knowledge and data, researchers could generate robust research findings that contribute to the advancement of the field. Collaborating between countries enables the exchange of innovative techniques, resources, and technologies, enhances students’ learning in digital environments, supports joint research and evaluation efforts, and fosters intercultural dialogue. The prospects for collaboration between the New Zealand and international programs offer a promising pathway to amplify the influence of the New Zealand programs, facilitate the integration of diverse cultural perspectives, and contribute to the global progress of digital literacy and cultural heritage education.

Notes

2

Raranga Matihiko | Weaving Digital Futures: https://www.rarangamatihiko.com/.

3

The exhibition Bottled Ocean opened at PĀTAKA Art + Museum in Porirua in 2016, and travelled to Taiwan, France, the UK, and the Netherlands from 2014 to 2020. https://pataka.org.nz/whats/exhibitions/george-nuku-bottled-ocean-2116/ (accessed 1 July 2023).

4

The New Zealand Curriculum is available at: https://nzcurriculum.tki.org.nz/The-New-Zealand-Curriculum (accessed 1 July 2023).

5

Te Mātaiaho (The Refreshed New Zealand curriculum) is available at: https://curriculumrefresh.education.govt.nz/te-mataiaho (accessed 14 August 2023).

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Contributor Notes

CHANG XU completed her PhD at Toi Rauwhārangi College of Creative Arts, Massey University, Aotearoa New Zealand. Her research centered around fostering greater involvement by creative practitioners in children's museum and gallery education while promoting collaboration among various roles within art museums. Chang is passionate about the realm of collaborative and interdisciplinary research, with a particular focus on digital transformation and innovation within museum education.

TARA FAGAN is the Principal Advisor Learning at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa and is responsible for enabling innovative learning experiences for learners of all ages through engagement with Te Papa's collections, exhibitions, cultural and scientific resources. Tara holds a MEd and BEd (Teach) ECE, and is an experienced project leader, speaker and author of papers. Passionate about life-long learning, she believes in innovative community learning programs that provide a wonderfully rich context that can support all teachers and learners.

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Museum Worlds

Advances in Research

  • Figure 1.

    Students creating art in virtual reality in the Hīnātore Learning Laboratory. Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.

  • Figure 2.

    Students playing “ShakerMod.” Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.

  • Figure 3.

    Students learning how to use green screen to create news bulletins under the guidance of museum educators. Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.

  • Aristeidou, Maria, Theodora Kouvara, Christoforos Karachristos, Natalia Spyropoulou, Ana Benavides-Lahnstein, Bojana Vulicevic, Alexis Lacapelle, Theofanis Orphanoudakis, and Zoe Batsi. 2022. “Virtual Museum Tours for Schools: Teachers’ Experiences and Expectations.” Paper presented at the Global Engineering Education Conference, Tunis, 21–28 March. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/9766548 (accessed 1 July 2023).

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  • Bell, David, and Jeffrey Smith. 2020. “Inside the Digital Learning Laboratory: New Directions in Museum Education.” Curator: The Museum Journal 63 (3): 371386. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/cura.12376

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  • Bailey, Dale, David Bell, Tara Fagan, Jeffrey Smith, and Miri Young. 2018. “Transforming Education at the National Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa: Innovation and Experimentation through Hīnātore | Learning Lab.” Paper presented at the International Congress for School Effectiveness and Improvement, Singapore, January 2018. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/322817378_Transforming_education_at_the_National_Museum_of_New_Zealand_Te_Papa_Tongarewa_innovation_and_experimentation_through_Hinatore_Learning_Lab (accessed 1 July 2023).

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  • Core Education (Tatai Aho Rau). 2020. Ten Trends 2020 Retrospective. https://core-ed.org/en_NZ/free-resources/ten-trends/2020-retrospective/ (accessed 1 July 2023).

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  • Fagan, Tara. 2023. “Weaving Learning and Digital Technologies at New Zealand Museums.Childhood Education 99 (1): 2431. https://doi.org/10.1080/00094056.2023.2169546

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  • Ioannidis, Yannis, Katerina El Raheb, Eleni Toli, Akrivi Katifori, Maria Boile, and Margaretha Mazura. 2013. “One Object Many Stories: Introducing ICT in Museums and Collections through Digital Storytelling.” Paper presented at the 2013 Digital Heritage International Congress, Marseille, 28 October1 November 2013. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/6743772 (accessed 1 July 2023).

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  • Liguori, Antonia, and Philippa Rappoport. 2018. “Digital Storytelling in Cultural and Heritage Education: Reflecting on Storytelling Practices Applied with the Smithsonian Learning Lab to Enhance 21st-Century Learning.” Paper presented at the International Digital Storytelling: Research & Practices, Zakynthos, 21–23 September 2018. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/327920151_Digital_storytelling_in_cultural_and_heritage_education_Reflecting_on_storytelling_practices_applied_with_the_Smithsonian_Learning_Lab_to_enhance_21st-century_learning (accessed 1 July 2023).

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  • Limniou, Maria, and Michael Smith. 2010. “Teachers’ and Students’ Perspectives on Teaching and Learning through Virtual Learning Environments.” European Journal of Engineering Education 35 (6): 645653.

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  • McNaughton, Esther. 2020. “Art Gallery Education in New Zealand during COVID-19: The Emergence of a Community of Practice.” Museum Worlds: Advances in Research 8: 135148.

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  • Merritt, Elizabeth. 2014. Building the Future of Education: Museums and the Learning Ecosystem. Report to the National Building Museum, Washington, DC. https://www.aam-us.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/Building-the-Future-of-Education.pdf (accessed 1 July 2023).

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  • Miller, Carolyn. 2019. Digital Storytelling 4e: A Creator's Guide to Interactive Entertainment. New York: CRC Press.

  • Niemi, Hannele, Vilhelmiina Harju, Marianna Vivitsou, Kirsi Viitanen, Jari Multisilta, and Anne Kuokkanen. 2014. “Digital Storytelling for 21st-Century Skills in Virtual Learning Environments.” Creative Education 5: 657671.

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  • Pujol, Laia, Maria Roussou, Stavrina Poulou, Olivier Balet, Maria Vayanou, and Yannis Ioannidis. 2012. “Personalizing Interactive Digital Storytelling in Archaeological Museums: The CHESS Project.” Paper presented at the 40th Annual Conference of Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology, Southampton, 26–29 March 2012. https://www.madgik.di.uoa.gr/sites/default/files/2018-06/caa2012_paper_final.pdf (accessed 1 July 2023).

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  • Rahimi, Farzan, Jeffrey Boyd, Jennifer Eiserman, Richard Levy, and Beaumie Kim. 2022. “Museum beyond Physical Walls: An Exploration of Virtual Reality-Enhanced Experience in an Exhibition-like Space.” Virtual Reality 26: 14711488. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10055-022-00643-5.

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  • Ryan, Marie-Laure. 2011. “The Interactive Onion: Layers of User Participation in Digital Narrative Texts.” In New Narratives: Stories and Storytelling in the Digital Age, ed. Page Ruth and Bronwen Thomas, 3562. Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press.

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  • Sloane, Sarah. 2000. Digital Fictions: Storytelling in a Material World. Santa Barbara, CA: Greenwood Publishing Group.

  • Tang, Chaoying, Shibo Mao, Stefanie Naumann, and Ziwei Xing. 2022. “Improving Student Creativity through Digital Technology Products: A Literature Review.” Thinking Skills and Creativity 44: 115. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tsc.2022.101032.

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  • Te Pū Tiaki Mana Taonga (Association of Educators Beyond the Classroom). 2022. Mid-Point Survey. https://drive.google.com/file/d/1T7jQk8wTX2dr2-aCuPQFoWrC24xq7r5u/view (accessed 1 July 2023).

  • Wong, Amelia. 2015. “The Whole Story, and then Some: ‘Digital Storytelling’ in Evolving Museum Practice.” Paper presented at the Annual Conference of Museums and the Web, Chicago, 8–11 April 2015. https://mw2015.museumsandtheweb.com/paper/the-whole-story-and-then-some-digital-storytelling-in-evolving-museum-practice/ (accessed 1 July 2023).

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  • Xu, Chang. 2022. ‘“Teaching without Teaching”: Critically Exploring the Involvement of Visual Artists in Children's Art Classes in Art Museums of New Zealand” (PhD diss., College of Creative Arts, Massey University, Wellington). https://mro.massey.ac.nz/handle/10179/17919 (accessed 1 July 2023).

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