Students are changing interactions with museum exhibits, using new technology to give the public a more in depth experience. The sixth graders at Brookwood Middle School in Tuscaloosa County, Alabama, are ensuring that through a partnership with four University of Alabama museums, visitors now have access to information literally at their fingertips.
“This involves relatively new technology, which is called the physical web, which relies on little battery powered beacons that emit a low energy blue tooth signal, that if your smart device is set up, you get a little notification when you get close enough to one of the exhibits or one of the beacons, then if you click on the notification, it will pull up the web page that’s full of all kinds of information associated with the specific exhibit,” said Dr. John Friel, Alabama Museum of Natural History Director.
The students spent two weeks researching and developing entries for each exhibit. The idea for using and installing the technology began at the middle school.
“They have the opportunity to work with the museums to basically enrich the exhibits through this technology,” Friel said.
“They all had assignments, they had three to a pair, they had collaborative teams, you know in the future we’re not going to work in isolation, we’re going to work in groups, and so this was very reflective of how things will be in the future in the workplace,” said Daniel Bray, Principal of Brookwood Middle School.