Virtual Programming Workshops: Museums Connecting to Schools at a Distance 

Posted By: Emmy Laursen TAM Blog ,

Virtual Programming Workshops: Museums Connecting to Schools at a Distance 

In response to a global pandemic reducing capacity across cultural institutions and schools for in-person educational programs, the need to rethink and revise traditional high-touch programming between these stakeholders is critical. The Texas Association of Museum’s (TAM) Museums Connecting to Schools at a Distance initiative is designed to address these challenges. Over the coming months, TAM and our partner the Mid-America Arts Alliance (MAAA) will develop a series of practical, hands-on workshops to help our members and greater cultural community learn about existing quality virtual school programming, the technologies and platforms these organizations use, and marketing techniques to increase the visibility of these new approaches, and more. Consisting of four online short-courses (skills training in a short period of time) and six accompanying online workshops, these sequential training modules will help museum educators and external relations staff develop new skill sets to introduce and advance the creation of digital, mission-based resources for schools and families. 

TAM will use focus groups to identify the specific content of the workshops, with modules addressing the following topics:

  • Virtual Tour Creation
  • Virtual Object-Based Learning 
  • Virtual Camp Development
  • Leveraging Social Media for Education

Prior to the launch of the workshops, TAM and MAAA staff will lead four regional focus groups in South Texas, Southeast Texas, North Texas, and West Texas. The targeted audiences are museum educators, museum external affairs staff, and school representatives. This approach will help ensure that the content of the four focus areas will be the most timely and appropriate for each region. 

After the conclusion of the focus groups, we will convene an advisory board, create four RFPs, and hire vetted course designers to create a series of self-paced short courses on the web between November 2020 and April 2021. While the four regional locations mentioned above are the primary audience of this work, we will be creating resources intended to benefit the entire state of Texas and beyond. If you would like to participate or keep updated about this project as it develops, then please sign up for our technology mailing list in the sign-up on our homepage.