Summer camps are a great way for children to learn about the world around them and engage in activities in a fun and informative way. The traditional way of visiting a museum, attending a summer camp and learning about history and culture has now been enhanced with the help of digitalizing museum summer camps. Technology is allowing museums to broaden the reach of their educational offerings and create an interactive and engaging experience for campers.
At first glance, museum summer camps may seem like an opportunity to replace in-person visitors and campers with digital versions. However, technology does not replace the need for in-person visits but rather enhances the experience. By allowing campers to explore a museum virtually, they are able to gain a better understanding of the artifacts, explore the museum's layout, and gain a better appreciation for the history and culture it holds. In fact, a recent study found that “the learning experience of digital museums can also enrich and improve the STEAM educational functions in offline museums .” Campers can interact with the technology in a way that allows them to engage in a more meaningful way with the museum, which ultimately enhances their overall experience.
Digitalizing museum summer camps also expands access to learners, providing a unique and engaging experience to those who may not be able to attend in-person camps. American Alliance of Museums reports that 26% of museums are in rural areas . By allowing virtual visitors to experience the same content and activities as those who visit the museum in-person, digital summer camps create an additional revenue stream for museums. This allows for museums to grow their educational and outreach efforts and reach a wider audience.
Finally, using engaging technology builds community and expands access – ultimately allowing students to experience diversity. By allowing campers to interact with one another virtually, they are able to gain a better understanding of different cultures and backgrounds. This type of technology allows campers to explore the museum in a more interactive and meaningful way, providing them with the opportunity to gain a deeper appreciation for the history and culture of the museum. The Smithsonian Institution recognized the importance of digitalizing to increase access and was among the first to adopt a “digital first strategy” in its 2017-2022 strategic plan .
Digitalizing museum summer camps is allowing museums to reach a wider audience and enhance the experience for all. By utilizing engaging technology that provides a community, museums are able to provide campers with an interactive and inclusive experience. Through this technology, museums are able to expand access to learners and create an additional revenue stream to further their educational and outreach efforts.
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