March 22-25, 2006
Albuquerque, New Mexico

Demonstrations: Description

Joining Technology and Community: Sierra Nevada Virtual Museum

Pam Johnson, Sierra Community College, USA
Mary Helen Fein, Sierra Community College, USA

New technologies have provided a means for the museum professional to afford significant outreach beyond the brick-and-mortar nature of most museums. In particular, the "Virtual Museum" concept offers exciting possibilities.

We propose a demonstration of the "Sierra Nevada Virtual Museum," as an example of an educational tool to foster community outreach and to develop a valuable regional resource.

Sierra Nevada Virtual Museum (SNVM) is a multimedia, interactive online museum presenting the history, culture and natural history of the Sierra Nevada. The website is designed by Sierra Community College in Rocklin, California. SNVM is a project of Sierra College students, faculty, and staff; and the Sierra Nevada regional community. SNVM is a nonprofit, educational website maintained for the enlightenment of the public. SNVM has content from many artists, musicians, and writers, including three Pulitzer Prize winners and a Grammy Award recipient. Contributions from throughout the region have been provided by the community-at-large, making this website the premier information resource in the region. This interdisciplinary approach is a hallmark of the project's overall structure and evolution. Since its debut in February 2005 (and as of today) SNVM has been accessed by over 126,000 visitors from 57 countries on six continents. The proposed session will demonstrate the value of using technology to provide an important community benefit.

The session will highlight the value of the Sierra Nevada Virtual Museum as a mechanism to develop community information and to train students for professional and personal growth. The Virtual Museum is more than just a website -- it is a versatile outreach tool that enhances the value of a special geography by providing linkage with the community. The demonstration session will be a combination of practical application, nuts-and-bolts development strategies and inspirational case study.

Demonstration: Demonstrations [Close-Up]

Keywords: museum, interactive, online, virtual, community, college