With the majority of students returned to the bricks and mortar classroom and parents able to catch their breath, museums and cultural organisations reflect on how they have responded this unchartered territory.
This month’s DLNET Chat on Twitter explored how museums and cultural organisations have been supporting home schooling by developing resources and activities. Organisations have made a diverse range of material available from adding worksheets to existing web-pages to creating fully interactive micro-sites and hosting virtual sessions for audiences to join.
Prior to the chat, we held a poll which posed the question: “How do you hope your cultural org’s home-school activities are getting to their intended audience?” Most respondents choose via class teachers, receiving 69% of the vote From the responses to the poll, there is a sense that many resources and activities are being geared towards schools and particularly teachers.
During the chat, several questions were posed leading to exciting conversations about examples of home learning, methods for evaluating home schooling, differences between home schooling and public engagement, overcoming challenges and learning, and plans for future integration. Here are just some of the key takeaways:
- Does anybody have any home-schooling resources or activities to show us?
- Imperial War Museum -a series of videos and worksheets focusing on World War 2 https://www.iwm.org.uk/learning/home-learning-hub
- RIBA -demonstration videos and downloadable activity sheets https://www.architecture.com/education-cpd-and-careers/learning
- Ashmolean -videos, online quizzes and puzzles and downloadable worksheets https://www.ashmolean.org/home-learning#/molean
- Shakespeare Birthplace Trust-paperless activity ideas, activity sheets for crafting, downloadable content sheets https://www.shakespeare.org.uk/education/home-learning/
- Bank of England – videos and downloadable resources https://www.bankofengland.co.uk/education/home-learning-hub
A further question was posed “Do you have any evidence of who was using it or how?
One participants replied “ Not in terms of demographics but traffic from teaching pages like Google classroom is significant and engagement time on the site has done hugely above all media which speaks for learners accessing the page directly not just teachers”
Another participant replied “…we have been getting basic download numbers from GA (Google analytics) and video views but need to do more analysis. We are also getting a good amount of written feedback and received images of work created from the resources”
Another question was “what do you think differentiates something that is for home learners rather than just being public engagement? Is there a difference?
Responses included “I think there are basic lesson plans elements that help to structure content” and “we found the language used to categorize the resources needs to be different as we’re not addressing ‘professionals’”
- Have there been any problems in developing your home schooling resources and activities? What have you learned, how did you develop?
“We’ve got separate teams working on primary and post primary, so getting all the resources accessible in one place for parents to access them required establishing new workstreams. Surprisingly tricky.”
“In the early days there was a pressure to get something out to support home learning quickly. Most resources were for younger children and families initially. Later we developed ones for older children and adult learners.”
- How much time effort and money has done to providing home-schooling resources and activities at your cultural organisation?
“We used a mix of existing staff time and freelancers to create our resources”
- How do you see the resources and activities created for a home-schooling audience will fit into your usual programme and continue to be used and developed post COVID?
“They’ve helped with our geographical reach. It’s helped us got ‘out of our building’, so there is a strong reason to continue to maintain and create future resources aimed at this audience.”
“even before COVID there’d been a year on year increase in UK homeschooling from 34, 000 to 2015 to 60,544 in 2019 so there may still be a demand post pandemic”
“…home schooling families are easily forgotten, because cultural orgs don’t know how to engage them – I think post COVID will see those figures rise further. Museums will need to take notice”
Next #DLNET Chat
Join us on Twitter on Friday 9th April 1-2pm, where we are thinking about productivity for Learning teams. Follow @DLNET and remember to use the hashtag #DLNETChat