Yesterday I completed my last graduate course. I took Interactive Exhibit Design because I wanted to engage with a practical class, where I could take what I find exciting about history and attempt to convey that excitement to others. Last year I lived and worked in one of my faviourite cities- – London, England. I love studying British history. I love teaching. My exhibit combines all three of my passions.
It may be because I am nostalgic or having withdrawal, but my exhibit takes the viewer on a virtual tour of four historic sites in England. I chose Ely Cathedral because it’s one of my faviourite places, and I also selected Canterbury Cathedral, the Tower of London, and St. Paul’s Cathedral. The aim of my exhibit was to allow someone the opportunity to tour these places. It could be for educational purposes, or simply to satisfy their own curiosity.
I also love maps. (Honestly this is staying up as part of my office decor now). The interface, as you can see above, is clean and simple. I think it’s relatively user friendly, but if I was to do this again I may have simple instructions on the screen so users can seamlessly take their virtual tour. In reality, one would be hard pressed to see all these sites in a single day by car or even by train, which makes this map another useful tool for education/museum exhibits. I used a mini metal train connected to the earth space on the MaKey MaKey to represent the mode of transportation between one location and the next.
The videos I recorded were only about 30 seconds. I like to look at this exhibit as a prototype of something larger and more complex I could make as a teaching tool in a classroom, or at a historical site or museum. The possibility of extending the videos, making them more detailed, honing in on particular architectural features or historical spots, would make them much more interesting! I would also add audio! Audio guides at these sites, and historic sites around the world are moving towards the use of an audio guide to tell the viewer the significant facts about what they are looking at. This just adds another layer of intrigue to the tour.
I did find, due to the availability of sites in Google Earth Pro, I was limited to which sites I could include in my exhibit. The MaKey MaKey could only support four sites as well. If I was do do this again, or more realistically expand it, I would search for other avenues for the tours. Some historical sites make their own virtual tours, or tourists have posted tours they filmed, so there are other options. I have no idea if I could connect multiple MaKey MaKeys and have dozens of sites, but that would be more ideal as well!
I think what’s great about the skeleton of this exhibit is its versatility. It can be applied to any time and place. If a museum wanted an interface to provide virtual tours of WW1 battlefields, or a teacher wanted to share the historic monuments from ancient Greece, this concept can be used. If my (future) school has the financial means to purchase MaKey MaKey boards I would definitely make one of these for my students to learn from!
I really enjoyed this course. I think the projects produced are creative, and applicable when we are applying for jobs in the future. It has taught us a whole different set of technological and innovative skills that sitting at our desks researching can’t. I also enjoyed being able to hear what my peers had been working on, what tools they used to create their exhibits, and how fun and creative they were!
I hope you all enjoyed my exhibit! Thank you for sharing yours!