Testing the Waters: Schools and Museums Working Together
Please note that this cookbook refers to Glow Meet using Marratech. Glow Meet is now delivered over Adobe Connect which offers enhanced functionality. To find out more about Glow Meet using Adobe Connect click here. The principles around the benefits of Glow Meet are the same regardless of the technology used for Glow Meet.
Museums Galleries Scotland works alongside the nation’s museums and galleries to achieve the shared vision of creating a welcoming museums and galleries sector that opens doors and celebrates collections, inspiring creativity, learning and enjoyment for all. It’s the lead voice of 340 museum and gallery members, welcoming 25 million visits each year and representing an industry worth up to £800 million to the Scottish economy.
This cookbook came about because Museums Galleries Scotland (MGS) were keen to explore how Glow could be used to support collaborative learning projects involving schools and museums.
Clydebank Museum was poised to develop a new learning project with Dalreoch Primary School in Dumbarton. This would build on an earlier heritage learning project which had taken place in the school the previous year. This new project would involve the use of Glow.
The key aim of the project from MGS point of view was to develop a cookbook which would provide a guide for schools and museums wanting to develop partnership working and would highlight for schools and museums the opportunities for delivery of the Curriculum for Excellence by using Glow to enhance collaborative learning projects.
Dalreoch PS have a close relationship with Clydebank museum. They had previously run an experiential, interdisciplinary learning project with their P5, P6 and P7 pupils. This ran over most of one term and culminated in an ambitious ‘showcase’ to which parents, partners and guests were invited.
The project this year focused on the science and technology aspects of the shipbuilding industry in Clydebank linking with its historical progress through the years from the First World War. It was planned by the Clyde Community (upper school) class teachers with specific IT and Glow guidance from Glow mentor Karen Scott and in collaboration with Maeve Dixon, Learning Development Officer at Clydebank Libraries and Museums.
As well as numerous cross curricular active learning activities in school led by teachers and by the staff at Clydebank Museum, the project involved visits to the shipbuilding exhibit at Clydebank Museum, to the Titan Crane at the site of John Brown’s shipyard and to the Denny Tank at the Scottish Maritime Museum, Dunbartonshire. It also involved input from many partner organisations, experts and members of the local community. One of these was ‘Mr. McDonald’ the irascible manager of the Harland and Wolff shipyard who kept the pupils in line as they designed their own cruise ships.
A Glow group was set up at local authority level (West Dunbartonshire) to hold documents and photographs provided by the museum which could be used as a resource for the Dalreoch project and for other local schools in the future.
A group was also set up at school level to hold a selection of resources from the local authority group, work created by the pupils, a discussion forum, a Glow Meet room, pictures of the showcase event and an interactive survey which was used to evaluate the project. The group also allowed the pupils to show their parents what they were doing in school.
As the project progressed, Glow Meet was used to enable Mr. McDonald to check up on the progress of the pupils’ designs. During one session he delivered the devastating news that war had been declared and that their ships would have to be converted to war work. Much discussion followed on what changes would have to be made and on the importance of weapons and camouflage in the new designs.
A Glow Meet session was also run from the storeroom of the museum so that pupils could be shown objects related to the topic and have the opportunity to ask questions about them. This allowed the pupils to see a part of the museum not accessible to visitors and to see objects not currently on display. In addition to the Glow Meet session, pupils had the chance to handle a selection of objects in a ‘handling kit’ on loan from the museum.
The project culminated in an amazing showcase event. Parents and invited guests gathered in the school hall to be welcomed with celebratory drinks and snacks. They were then led off by designated pupil guides to enjoy various activities related to the project. These included the design room, the tracing room, the floating and sinking tank, the museum room and the Glow experts. At each stop pupils explained the work of that department and parents had a hands-on task to complete. Everyone then gathered in the hall for the launch of the ship HMS. Experience. A fanfare was played, the crowd broke into ‘God Save the Queen’ and Mrs. Bance, the wife of the head teacher, spoke the appropriate words and swung a bottle of champagne against the bow. The ship then slid across the stage while the crowd waved their Saltires and gave three cheers. A recording of a ship launch was played in the background and primary one deafened everyone with their party tooters! A fitting end to a fantastic project.
If you are interested in running a similar project you can find details of your local museums by using the search facility on the Museums Galleries Scotland web site.
- Glow accounts for all participants (Glow key contact to arrange)
- access to school Glow group for museum staff (school ASM to arrange)
- a Glow group
- internet access at school and museum
- internet ready computer(s) at school and museum
- digital cameras for recording the project
- involvement of teacher and class
- involvement of museum education officer
- involvement of school Glow mentor
- joint planning involving school and museum staff and local authority
- local experts and enthusiasts
- risk assessment for museum visits (available from the museum)
Additional Ingredients for Glow Meet
- a webcam
- interactive whiteboard or digital projector
- a microphone (preferably portable)
- a digital video camera
- a good microphone
- an expert to take part in the Glow Meet
The videos below give a flavour of the project from the point of view of the class teacher, the pupils and the museum development officer.
There is also a short clip from one of the Glow Meet sessions with ‘Mr. McDonald’.
Overview of the Project (3.40)
Glow Meet with the Shipyard Boss (3.40)
How Glow Enhanced the Project (1.00)
The Pupils Talk about Glow (2.53)
The Pupils Talk about Glow Meet (2.17)
Tour of the School Glow Group 1 (4.11)
Tour of the School Glow Group 2 (3.19)
Tour of the Local Authority Glow Group (3.40)
The Ship Launch (1.46)
Testing the Waters: Schools and Museums Working Together