Kajsa Hartig

A blog about Cultural Heritage and Digital Communication

Digital skills in museums – the next generation is here #Blogg100

2 kommentarer

Blog post 008/100 #Blogg100 challenge

Women are trained as engine mechanics in thorough Douglas training methods, Douglas Aircraft Company, Long Beach, Calif. (LOC)

Young tech savvy at Douglas Aircraft Company, Long Beach, Calif. (LOC). No known copyright restrictions.

Digital skills are central to a contemporary museum strategy. It is also a topic I am particularly interested in. Bringing the museum into the digital/social era, we need to know what to expect from the staff in terms of digital skills.

This week I received a new intern at work (a new media department at a large museum). The intern is fairly young and very literate in the digital area. She studies web communication and is here to monitor our social media channels during her six weeks of internship.

After just three days I am amazed at her awareness of how to use digital and social media to communicate our museum.

I consider myself very literate in this area, compared to the major part of my museum colleagues and even compared to museum staff in general. And I realize that had I not been that literate in digital communication I would:

1) Not be able to make the most of her short internship (six weeks)

2) Not be able to try, evaluate and appreciate all her excellent ideas and suggestion

3) Not be open for problem solving using digital tools in new and innovative ways

But is it enough? I don’t think there is any museum completely ready for this change, where the entire organization is able to embrace and adapt to new communicative and digital skills or to new ideas and ways of problem solving. In my experience museums, as well as most cultural heritage organizations, are sometimes slow, lacking the flexibility needed in the digital era.

The day when digitally savvy young students graduate and enter the museum sector is here. If they are not received by a management, staff and an infrastructure ready to make the most of their skills,  they will quickly move on to other more exciting and rewarding jobs. Where this leaves the museum, I don’t even dare to think.

On the other hand, if we are able to quickly make room for this new generation of museums staff, I can’t wait to see the changes and innovation that will take place in cultural heritage organizations.

What kinds of innovation and changes? Well I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.


2 thoughts on “Digital skills in museums – the next generation is here #Blogg100

  1. Wow, you’re really opening up for the huge questions. I hope and believe, as you sort of point to when mentioning your own skills, that one of the main shifts we’ll see is a more wholistic, efficient use of the tools we still often refer to as ‘new’. As digital literacies spread in the organisations, more people with more expertise on the cultural heritage we manage will be able to take part in qualified discussions not only over ‘if’ something should or shouldn’t be shared, but also over ‘when, how, where, for what purpose’ etc. and that not the channels but the ‘stories’ will be the focus.

  2. Yes, as I just mentioned on Twitter, I believe it’s both about theoretical and practical skills, on all levels in the organization. You sum it up perfectly: Stories: When, how, where and for what purpose. And yes they are huge questions, but quite the time to start adressing them I think. 🙂



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