The Digital Discovery Centre at the British Museum is a project aimed at putting young people, especially under 18s, into contact with historical and cultural resources on-site, via digital technology. The centre is sponsored by Samsung Electronics, which provides the software and devices used during the activities held at the museum. There are workshops aimed at children of all ages, including family events on weekends, which are all offered for free. Many of the events connect with the current exhibitions at the museum. A particular highlight is the workshop that lets children to explore stories from El Dorado, allowing them to create their own tales on a Smartphone, using digital animation software. There are also free activities that give teenagers the opportunity to meet digital designers and learn about matters such as 3D gaming and film, and the skills behind the making of music videos. More generally, but equally as rewarding and helpful, are the museum sessions offered to school groups, which enable pupils to explore the collection aided by tablets and digital cameras.
As children are now increasingly exposed to digital technology at a much younger age, the British Museum harnesses this opportunity to engage children with history and culture through new technology that they feel familiar with. Digital technology also allows for a more interactive experience to traditional museum viewing. While in the past, a children’s dress-up workshop may have sufficed to get pupils excited about history, the Digital Discovery Centre gives young visitors the chance to digitally dress-up like the Ancient Egyptians, using Photoshop and comic book software. As far as drawing upon digital apps to energise children’s interest in what their collection has to offer, the British Museum leads the way.
VIDEO: El Dorado workshop
More information: http://www.britishmuseum.org/learning/samsung_centre.aspx
(Photo: ©Samsung 2014).