“What’s that?”

Or “What’s the story behind that?”

For an interpreter learning a new resource, these can be dreaded questions?…but many times these are the moments and the questions that push us to learn more, so we have the answer…next time.

I’ve recently come across a very cool tool that has the possibility to be used in multiple ways within interpretation.  The format = Thinglink!    Photos and videos can now be interactive, and can be given an deeper understanding.  I borrowed this photo from a friend, she labeled it, “The Ranger Table”.   I gave it more context with Thinglink.

**My apologies…due to the limitations of OSU WordPress, a Thinglink embedding is not possible.  Here is the link to the interactive version of the below photo.

I could see using this at museums or historic sites as a training tool; creating an interactive educational resource to find the stories behind the artifacts.  Maybe, even creating interactive resource for visitors that may never have the opportunity to visit on person.  It also makes many resources available to those that might have mobility or accessibility issues.

What do you think?  Is anyone using similar technology?

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The Struggle is Real…

I’m pretty good at systematics of plants…UTSA Woody Plants and Biology of Flowering plants served me well!

But…and it’s a big but…I’m finding it very hard to classify and categorized digital technology.

If I’m using a screencast for training, should it be with the digital technologies or collaborative tools?   And what about Youtube, if I’ve just created a series of training videos, is that social media or collaborations?   Yes?!?   Oh the overlap!

Anyway, I just created a page for Diigo; my current favorite web site. It’s a place to bookmark, share, tag, and sort your favorite web sites, which could make it a soStar Wars Yoda Meme | REAL THE STRUGGLE IS... | image tagged in memes,star wars yoda | made w/ Imgflip meme makercial media site.   …but, I can create groups, say of coworkers, and we can share sites found while working on a project, that would make it a collaborative site.  So, is Diigo a social media site or a collaborative site?  See the struggle?

So, as I continue to explore and share, you may see links for the same tool or format in different categories, or linked to different categories, this way I don’t drive myself mad trying to make them fit into just one category.   …have patience with me…

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That’s Outlandish!

Are you fearing the future?                                                                                          (what happens when I can’t decide on a title…you get a subtitle…)

On 6 July 2016, Poke’mon Go was released in the United States.  Nearly immediately, Poke’mon trainers were seen exploring new worlds, State and National Parks, museums, historic sites, and neighborhoods across the nation in an effort to “catch them all”.  This new explorer (the trainer) has caused quite a stir…both positive and negative.

As opinions and articles began to roll in, I watched, read, and listened; opening myself to differing opinions, while trying to remain neutral.  Some voices have been strongly against this “outlandish” game that distracts and disrupts, while some proclaim it to be the key to unlocking connections to a new generation of visitors.

After a thorough research and self-evaluation, I find myself in the key crowd.  One of my ‘ah-ha’ moments, during the examination process, came when a fellow interpreter quoted one of our founding fathers, Freeman Tilden, from his 1957 book, Interpreting Our Heritage.   He elegantly writes:

“A roster of the reasons why people visit parks, museums, historic houses and similar preserves, though a fascinating excursion into human psychology, need not detain us here…..I go upon the assumption therefore that whatever their reasons for coming, the visitors are there….Now that the visitor is here, in what will be his chief interest?…The visitor’s chief interest is in whatever touches his personality, his experience, and his ideals.”

And that, my friends, settled it for me.  Many times people are afraid to embrace what they don’t understand.  We must be open to the future, it’s technology and tech savvy visitors, while building on the foundation laid by Freeman Tilden.

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…and a bonus article

14 Reasons Why Poke’mon Go is the Future of Learning is a great article, with some very valid points…plus the author makes a reference (and supplies a video) to Kung Fu Panda, which immediately gives the article legitimacy.   “Use it or fight it”.

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Self-Evaluation

How am I doing?

Lifelong learners ask this question often. This question keeps them in a constant loop of self-improvement. Wikipedia defines lifelong learning as “all learning activity undertaken throughout life, with the aim of improving knowledge, skills and competences within a personal, civic, social and/or employment-related perspective”.

Striving to be a lifelong learner is necessary to keep up with the digital advances of this century; with the interpretive goal of connecting with the next generation.

Self-assessment through Adaptive Management

So, how am I doing? …how are you doing? In Natural Resource Management, there is a management approach called Adaptive Management (AM); the approach acknowledges that we don’t know everything when making decisions, by identifying ‘uncertainties’. It is a learning-based philosophy that should be applied to all aspects of life, because guess what?…nobody knows everything!  Say it with me, “I don’t know everything!”…one more time, “I don’t know everything!” Very Good!

Now that we’ve acknowledged that we don’t know everything, I think it’s also safe to say that the future of technology and interpretation will have many uncertainties.  Applying the six AM step process while approaching digital interpretation, or my current knowledge of technologies, can be an effective way to self-evaluate and motivate me to learn new technologies for connecting with young tech savvy visitors.

  1. Assess my audience, my resource, and my own digital literacy.
  2. Design and plan appropriately while considering my current knowledge base.
  3. Implement the plan.
  4. Monitor the results. Did I effectively connect with my audience?
  5. Evaluate the results. Could I have made a better connection using new technology?
  6. Adjust by exploring new technologies that are used by and relevant to my audience.

Repeat!  You are on your way to being a lifelong learner, and discovering some very cool digital interpretive tools!

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Welcome!!

Whatever brought you by…welcome!

Recently, I’ve asked myself often, “Am I on the right track?”  Interpretation must be enjoyable, engaging, and relevant to the visitor…the basics haven’t changed. However, the advancement of technology has created a new generation of visitor; requiring the exploration and adaptation of new techniques that engage that visitor, through embracing the technology.

My name is Rhonda and I’ve created this blog as a spot for me to record my journey; learning new technologies for use in the field of interpretation. My hope is that other interp-types will hop on-board and travel this journey with me; using this blog to share successes and missteps while exploring the new world of digital interpretation.

– Explore 21st Century Interpretation to see what I have been learning and technologies I have been experimenting with, seeing how they might fit into and enhance areas of interpretation.

– Comments are welcome and encouraged!  Help keep me on the right track.

– If you have a suggestion, contact me. Collaborations challenge us to learn something new and make us better as a whole!

What once scared me now excites me! I can’t wait to see what new tool is around the bend; what new technologies are coming to help me reach a tech savvy generation…

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