Museums in Hand is a non-profit organization dedicated to expanding museums’ educational outreach through digital video technology. During a time of budget cuts, consolidations and school closures, the arts and humanities are often the first to subjects to be lost. We strive to empower students to explore these independently by bringing exhibits created for them, to them, in their own classroom.
Financial cuts within school districts have limited the flexibility of teachers to take their student on field trips and experience firsthand the history and resources within their city. While most students have access to the Internet, the virtual component of museums’ educational outreach is often limited to lesson plans, and the occasional ‘blog’. Museums, committed to the “accumulation and dissemination of knowledge,” are facing increasing challenges engaging today’s youth. In a recent article from the New York Times, Glenn D. Lowry, director of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, recognized the need to close the generational gap and says, “It’s about communication in ways that people are comfortable.” For today’s students that is through technology.
The role of Museums in Hand will be to build bridges between museums and inner city public schools with popular and cutting edge technology. Docent guided video tours will be produced and distributed on video compatible MP3 players among public schools in low income areas where access to museums and technology is limited. Lesson plans developed by the museum education staff in tandem with educators and our staff, will compliment the “virtual tour” the class will go on. This project takes an innovative approach to bring museum exhibits created for students, to students.