When a museum readily shares assets, a case in point our recently launched Whaling Crew List Database , collaboration and engagement are encouraged.
The Smithsonian Institute’s Web and Media Strategy has been an early driving force informing our own New Bedford Whaling Museum Department of Digital Initiatives Strategic Goals.
Theme 2: Update the Smithsonian Learning Model
James Smithson wrote that “Knowledge should not be viewed as existing in isolated parts, but as a whole. Every portion throws light on all the others.” This Web and New Media Strategy seeks to update the Smithsonian’s learning model to be aligned with Smithson’s founding vision and new kinds of education and knowledge creation made possible, in part, by technology.
This strategy is based on the growing understanding of learning as a hybrid of formal education and self-directed discovery that can be brought together and enhanced by online tools and communities. Increasing online access to Smithsonian collections is part of the equation for promoting learning. (A detailed digitization strategy is under development.) The impact of online collections can be greatly magnified by highlighting the knowledge and insight of Smithsonian experts, an intellectual property policy that encourages re-use and sharing of our assets (where appropriate), and a matrix of tools, policies, and resources that allows our audiences to be our partners in the increase and diffusion of knowledge.