Overview of MW98: Why you should attend MW98 Learn new skills to enhance your museum site Explore issues and controversies facing Museums and the Web Experts featured at MW98 Commercial products and services to enhance your web site Organizations supporting MW98: Online interchange regarding the virtual museum experience Juried awards to best web sites in 5 categories Overview of MW98: Why you should attend MW98 Learn new skills to enhance your museum site Explore issues and controversies facing Museums and the Web Experts featured at MW98 Commercial products and services to enhance your web site Organizations supporting MW98: Online interchange regarding the virtual museum experience Juried awards to best web sites in 5 categories

Overview of MW98: Why you should attend MW98 Learn new skills to enhance your museum site Explore issues and controversies facing Museums and the Web Experts featured at MW98 Commercial products and services to enhance your web site Organizations supporting MW98: Online interchange regarding the virtual museum experience Juried awards to best web sites in 5 categories

Archives & Museum Informatics

info @ archimuse.com

www.archimuse.comArchives and Museum Informatics Home Page

published April 1998
updated Nov. 2010


Museum in the Classroom:
Integrating Museum Artifacts and Technology


Lorilee C. Huffman
Curator of Collections/Development Officer
Southern Illinois University Museum

Jennifer E. Earls
Museum Explorers Project Coordinator
Southern Illinois University Museum

LM Wood
Museum Webmaster
Southern Illinois University Museum



Illinois State Board of Education

Illinois Schools

SIUC Museum

SIUC Museum and its "Museum Explorers"

Museum Explorers Project Development

Museum Explorers: The Final Product

The Museum Explorers Project and Its Application To Other Museums



Appendix A

Appendix B

Appendix C

Appendix D

Appendix E

How To Contact The Southern Illinois University Museum


In 1995, the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) chose the Southern Illinois University Museum at Carbondale (SIUC Museum) to be one of four Illinois museums or consortia to be awarded grant funds to participate in the technology-based, "Museum in the Classroom" project. Since then, ISBE has not only added four more museums or consortia, but there are now 258 schools throughout Illinois working with these museums to integrate museum artifacts and technology into their curriculum. (See Table 1 for the names and locations of museums) For school year 1998-1999, ISBE plans to continue this grant project by offering 60 schools and three museums the opportunity to participate.

Name of Illinois Museum-Consortia
Years with Project
Adler Planetarium and Astronomy Museum
Began in 1995
Chicago Academy of Sciences
Began in 1995
Center for American Archaeology
Began in 1996
Mary and Leigh Block Gallery
Began in 1996
Southern Illinois University Museum
Began in 1995
Brookfield Zoo

Illinois State Museum


Began in 1995
Hult Health and Science Education Center

Bradley University

University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria

Began in 1996
Champaign County Historical Museum

Orpheum Children's Science Museum,

Early American Museum

Krannert Art Museum and Kinkead Pavilion

Octave Chanute Aerospace Museum

Staerkl Planetarium

World Heritage Museum

Historical Museum--Champaign

Orpheum Museum--Champaign

Early American Museum--Mahomet

Krannert Art Museum--Champaign

Chanute Museum--Rantoul

Staerkl Planetarium--Champaign

World Heritage Museum--Champaign

Began in 1996

Table 1: Museum in the Classroom Project--Participating Museums and Consortia

This paper focuses on the 35 Illinois schools who chose to work with the SIUC Museum from Fall 1995 to the present. Particular attention is given to an explanation of the project's processes and school project outcomes. An added dimension are suggestions for applications to other museums. Before we discuss these Museum-school partnerships, attention has to be given to the overall "Museum in the Classroom" project and the relationship between the several agencies involved and their own project goals and strategies.

Return to Index


Project Goals and Strategies:

Illinois State Board of Education

"Effective July 1, 1995, Public Act 89-21 created the School Technology Program and authorized the Illinois State Board of Education to increase the quantity and quality of student and educator access to the on-line resources, experts and capabilities of Illinois museums. Through the use of technology and telecommunications, learning will be extended beyond the four walls of the classroom, allowing students access to the wealth of history, artifacts and fine art of Illinois' museums. The project also advances the State Board of Education's technology policy direction." (ISBE, 1997:1) (Appendix A: Illinois State Board of Education 1995 Technology Policies) The "Museum in the Classroom" grant project is a product of the School Technology Program and was developed to:

--Use the unique resources of Illinois' museums to enhance classroom instruction through authentic and engaged learning. Students are encouraged to explore their world through interactions with museum collections and subject matter experts (i.e., authentic learning). Through this interaction students take an active role as researchers (i.e., engaged learning) exploring the arts, sciences and humanities using higher-order thinking skills (e.g., problem-solving, inquiry, analysis, reasoning and invention).

--Use the Internet as a means to share museum collections for effective classroom use. Emphasis is placed on the use of museum collections as the primary resource for enriching curriculum and developing project Websites.

--Use computer technology to develop project Web pages that include on-line digitized images and documents. The final on-line projects reflect the incorporation of technology-related components achieved through technological literacy and hands-on practice.

--Allow schools to obtain connectivity within the classroom. A connectivity grant is available for those schools who have inadequate (at least a 56 kb connection) or no connection to the Internet.

Return to Index

Illinois Schools

"'Museum in the Classroom' projects are intended to enable museums or consortia of museums to share via the Internet those collections that can be used effectively in Illinois classrooms. The resulting projects would not only present on-line digitized images and documents, but also should include coherent learning objectives, effective lessons plans, and thoughtful and logical organization." (ISBE, 1997:2)

--Offers students and teachers alternative approaches to learning and teaching curriculum. Museum artifacts, resource files, and subject matter experts become a primary resource for discovery learning and curriculum enhancement.

--Students and teachers learn computer technology and discover methods for use in the classroom. Each participating school is given hardware and software for project completion. In addition, technical training is provided for technology use by ISBE Technology HUBs, and museum use training is provided by the chosen museums.

--Schools obtain connectivity within the classroom. Schools are able to realize goals they have towards connectivity enabling them to strengthen their use of technology and telecommunications in the classroom. 

Return to Index

SIUC Museum

The University Museum became involved in the "Museum in the Classroom" project to facilitate the responsible use of the Museum's collection in supplementing and strengthening the curriculum brought forth by the students and teachers involved in the project. The "Museum in the Classroom" project has allowed the Museum to create relationships with public schools from all parts of the State of Illinois through the collaboration with teachers and students on the content/subject matter areas of their Web projects as well as through technical and Web design instruction. To differentiate from the overall ISBE project and to develop a sense of community among our schools, we call our participating students and teachers, "Museum Explorers." This project name embodies the project's focus, which is to allow students of all grade levels to become researchers as they explore selected subjects or topics such areas as geology, anthropology, ethnobotany, paleontology, archaeology, fine arts and history while making use of museum materials, expertise and research facilities. The final product is an interactive, creative, academic and informative Website.

--Give students access to object-centered or authentic learning to stimulate diverse problem solving learning situations. The project offers the Museum a means to add a new dimension to collection usage. As researchers, students are able to augment traditional methods of research using primary sources--artifacts, information and subject matter experts. This type of educational situation lends itself to student and teacher participation and is referred to as engaged learning. The Museum's main educational objective for the "Museum in the Classroom" project was to create engaged learning opportunities for the students and teachers involved as Museum Explorers. This meant that the Museum had to create an environment where there was student-teacher interaction, collaboration, and emphasis on using technology as a tool for learning. Some indicators that engaged learning is taking place among students include collaboration, strategic thinking, as well as responsible learning (students take responsibility of their own learning) and energized learning (students seem to be energized by the act of learning.) While visiting the Museum, students and teachers were asked to work together toward focusing their topic for the project as well as choosing artifacts to be digitally photographed and used on their project Website. This type of collaboration between students as well as students and teachers was conducive to much creativity. This collaboration allowed the projects to take shape through student driven exploration of artifacts. All involved took part in strategic thinking by walking through the basic development of their Website. Teachers were encouraged to allow students to take responsibility for the choice, research and photography of artifacts as well as the creation and follow through of the school project. The energy was contagious - even the Museum staff became energized by this engaged learning process.

--Demonstrate creativity across disciplines. The SIUC Museum views the "Museum in the Classroom" project as a chance to share its diverse collection. The arts, humanities and sciences are available for integration into projects determined by participating schools with an emphasis on cross-discipline usage.

--Produce Web pages for the Internet that reflects curriculum. The Museum allows the students and teachers the flexibility to integrate our resources into their existing education programs allowing for a "good fit" between the school and the Museum.

--Extend Museum outreach to a "cyber-audience" through a Museum Website, school projects, and the development of an on-line catalog. The Internet allows the Museum the means to post information on Museum programs and services, and collection information obtained through school Web projects. An added information source will be our on-line catalog that is currently being compiled.

--Revitalize the use of Museum Loan Program materials. Since the 1970s, the Museum has had a collection of loan kits available for use by schools and community groups. The "Museum in the Classroom" project has allowed us to revitalize their use by extending the lending of the materials throughout Illinois to our partner schools. Students are able to use these information resources that have holdings in the arts, humanities and sciences and include actual objects and/or slide programs.

Each of these organization's goals were identified through the granting process. ISBE delineated their project goals through the Request for Proposals (RFP) that has been sent each year since 1995, to Illinois school district superintendents and public schools principals, as well as museums. Illinois schools and museums were able to express their project goals through completion and submission of the RFP, and had the opportunity to realize their goals if funded.

Return to Index

SIUC Museum and Its "Museum Explorers"

Since November 1995, the SIUC Museum has worked with 35 Illinois schools to assist students and teachers in curriculum enrichment. Originally, 23 schools chose to work with the Museum in Year I (1995-1996), but in fall 1997, 12 additional schools were added as partners. Figure 1 shows a map that places these schools throughout Illinois.

Figure 1: Illinois map

When the original grant was submitted in 1995, the Museum worked in partnership with SIUC's Broadcasting Services. The Museum's role was to concentrate on subject matter development, and Broadcasting's role was to focus on technology issues. For subject matter topics, the Museum decided on three areas: 1. Fine Arts, 2. Paleontology, and 3. Illinois History. However, at the first meeting when all 99 funded schools were trying to decide who they wanted as their museum partner, we felt our original topics had to be modified to meet each school's needs. This reasoning was based on the following: 1. The learning of the new technology was perceived to be so intense that to have a school/teacher develop a new curriculum to meet our topics would be an overload., and 2. To truly be a partner with each school, we needed to work with them to integrate resources into existing or already planned curriculum. This shift in the Museum's original focus allowed us to adopt the use of engaged learning as a means for schools to develop their projects with the Museum. Fexibility became the key word for the project and continues to be the guiding concept as we work with old and new schools to develop projects that integrate artifacts and technology.

Table 2 shows the school identified subject matter topics by percentage of schools by participation year.

Year I : 1995-1996
Year II: 1996-1997
Year III: 1997-1998


Number of Schools=23
Number of Schools=2
from Year I
Number of Schools=16
(12 new and 4 from Year I)
American Pioneer History
Military History
US History
Fine Arts
Coal Mining
Illinois History

Table 2: Subject Matter Topics by Percentage of Schools

Return to Index


Museum Explorers Project Development

To develop school projects, both ISBE and the Museum used several strategies:

--Technical training in the use of computer hardware, software, digital camera and videoconferencing. Throughout the "Museum in the Classroom" project, ISBE provided training sessions for teachers and students, and museum staff. These regional trainings are provided by the Technology HUB in which that school or museum is located (Note: ISBE has the state divided up into seven HUBs).

In Year I, during each school's visit to the SIUC Museum, the expertise of SIUC's Broadcasting Services staff was used to supplement the HUB's technical training for teachers and students.This was based in part by the fact many teachers/students were non-Macintosh users and had to develop this familiarity first. In Year III, the Museum has dedicated part of the two-day school visits to technical training by Museum staff on Adobe Photoshop 4.0, Web page design, and Apple's Authoring Studio through hands-on learning by students who take images of Museum artifacts they have chosen for their project. Broadcasting Services continues to work with the Museum as a resource on technical issues.

--The primary goal of the technical training is to instill confidence in using technology through developing and enhancing technology skills and creating a fundamental knowledge of Website design and construction. This is accomplished through demonstrations, dialogue, and actual "hands on" experience. During their visit, students and teachers attend 2 technology workshops conducted by the Museum Webmaster. During these workshops they learn what the key aspects of a photographic image are and, using Photoshop 4.0, the 6 steps that are necessary to make the minimum corrections required for a Web ready image. They are: opening, cropping, lighting, sharpening, resolution, and saving a file.

--Creativity is an essential component in designing and creating graphic images. In addition to these 6 steps and as time allows the Webmaster also demonstrates some of the more advanced tools in Photoshop which can be used to add elements like type, combine separate images using copy and paste commands, changing the color of a background using hue and saturation, and applying filters. However, we do not expect them to remember the specifics of using these tools but rather using this time as an opportunity to encourage their creativity and open up the possibilities of the software.

--"Hands on" training is conducted during the second day workshop. We begin by readdressing the steps from the first session. Asking for student or teacher volunteers to actually demonstrate those steps using the images taken the day before. This "hands-on" experience is very important. Usually it is the students that feel most comfortable with the technology will be the ones to volunteer and will also be the ones to visually guide the project when they return to their schools. This in no way diminishes the importance of the other students or teachers attending the workshops as this training not only demonstrates the software but also illustrates the technical issues of the Internet. Having this understanding will not only teach them the language to discuss the project but a basic understanding of the technology is in order for them to make decisions on the overall design.

--After the volunteers have completed their images with much laughter and encouragement from their fellow students and teachers we take the images we created in the 2 workshops and construct a Web page using Claris Home page 3.0. This software program is very intuitive and easily navigated. We begin by adding text, the images we created, and links to other documents and URLs. We also explain how to use such features as spell check, placing background patterns, and the way Claris Home page can estimate the download time of a Web page. We end our second day by examining the HTML code we "wrote" while creating our Webpages and answering any questions that they may have.


--A visit by each school to the Museum to discover art and artifacts that can be used to develop and implement their project. Through the "Museum in the Classroom" project, ISBE was able to turn its attention to authentic and engaged learning initiatives. Funded schools visited with their partner museum to identify resources that could be used to develop on-line projects. Since its founding in 1869, the SIUC Museum has collected over 52,000 artifacts and related information in the arts, humanities and sciences. These resources were used by Museum Explorers to develop their project and illustrate Web pages.

  • The Museum Explorers tour the entire archive to allow them to experience the entire collection, not just the artifacts pertaining to the specifc topic they had chosen. During this tour, the teachers and students were given time to examine objects and ask questions. They are also charged with deciding upon artifacts which they are interested in researching and photographing. It was the research and digital photography of artifacts which allowed the teachers and students to begin work on their webpages when they returned home.

In addition to the technical training and on-site visit, the Museum developed several other strategies to aid project development.

--School Visits. To develop a face-to-face communication with students to maintain project development momentum and videoconferencing, Museum staff visited with project schools.

--Summer Teacher Institutes in Project Development and Advanced Technical Training. Each summer the Museum offers project teachers the opportunity to attend workshops that are aimed at stimulating future projects by giving them the means to understand the methods and processes involved in creating and interpreting museum collections, and advanced technical training.

--Museum Explorers Resource Library. In 1997, the Museum began to purchase books and videos that covered a range of topics from use of the Internet in the classroom to children's books that related to our collection. The development of the library was a result of the discovery made in Year I, in that many schools did not have access to current information about their topic, and materials in the Museum's resource collection were academic in nature and not suitable for younger grades. Library materials can be checked-out by participating schools and are circulated free-of-charge by the Illinois library system.

--Museum and School Evaluation. Evaluation of the project has occurred at several levels: ISBE, museums, and schools. In Year I (1995-1996), ISBE used the Center for Children and Technology (New York, New York) to evaluate all of four of its On-Line Curriculum Projects--Museum in the Classroom Project, Illinois Student Project Information Network, EnergyNet, and Tried and True.(For a summary of findings for the "Museum in the Classroom Project" see Appendix B.)

Each project museum has also been responsible for evaluation. Through its three year involvement with the project, the SIUC Museum has used the services of SIUC'sApplied Research Consultants (ARC) to administer the project evaluation. This evaluation has consisted of the application of a pre- and posttest survey which measured the perceived computer/ technology/ Internet comfort levels of all participants before and after project participation. The schools were required to conduct two types of evaluations. The first was a formative evaluation which measured the extent of achievement of project objectives and the second was a summative evaluation which assessed how participation in the "Museum in the Classroom" project improved student and teacher technical knowledge and skill along with any changes in learning,classroom organization and instruction. Both the Museum and the schools use the Website Evaluation form (or a customized version) to evaluate the Website both before and after it is published on the WWW. (Please see Appendix C for an example of the Website Evaluation form.) Museum staff continually evaluate the processes involved in the project making changes to insure that the methods used to develop a school's Website are viable. (For a summary of findings from Year I and Year II, please see Appendix D and Appendix E.)

As part of the proposal process, each school was asked how they would evaluate the project's effectiveness. Each funded school reported their evaluation findings in the grant's final report submitted to ISBE at the end of the project.

Return to Index


Museum Explorers: The Final Product

Upon completion of school projects, the Museum staff reviewed the Website projects and discovered that schools used several strategies to achieve their final on-line project. These strategies included: the use of nontraditional resources for information, the use of compare and contrast, the use of methods to understand our world community, and the opportunity for others to "use" their project information.

These strategies are listed below and are demonstrated by select school Websites.

 --Development of the project through the use of diverse methods of problem solving.

Example 1: Use of nontraditional resources for information

  •  Personal Interviews

    --Watercolor Project (Lovington Grade School--Year II project). Students focused on watercolor techniques and during their two-day visit with the Museum, they chose an artwork from our collection as an example of these techniques. While at the Museum, they also worked with a local watercolor artist to explore the methods for painting. Students also interviewed a local Lovington watercolorist to discuss her art works. 

  • The Internet

    --Native Americans (West Elementary, Carlinville--Year I project). Students "surfed the net" to discover information on Native Americans. 

  • Use of Other Non-Museum Collections

    --Africa (Arthur High School--Year I Project). Students studied the people of Africa, and made contacts with a local family who had been to Africa with the Peace Corps. Through this contact, students were able to use personal artifact collections and photographs. 

  • Museum Resource Files

    --Native Americans (West Elementary--Year I Project). Museum object accession cards, donor files and general collection information files were all used to obtain both general and specific information on Museum artifacts and their associated cultures.

 Example 2: Use of Compare and Contrast 

--Pioneer Inventions and Today (Farmingdale Elementary, Pleasant Plains--Year I and II). Third graders explored Pioneer inventions looking at what type of tool it has led to today. This is definitely a "kids site" with the papers they wrote scanned in as they were submitted.

--Native American Vessels (Mansfield Elementary--Year I). Students looked at the types of vessels used by the Native American groups located in the southwest, plains and northwest coast. Comparisons were made between the form, function and materials for construction.


 Example 3: Understanding our World Community

--Save the Barns! (Lovington Grade School--Year I). Students in this project recognized that the barn has become part of our fading farm landscape. To document these structures, students photographed barns in their community. Museum artifacts were used to illustrate what one might see in a barn.
  • --Multicultural Project (Oswego High School--Year I). African Americans, Mexican Americans, and Native Americans were the ethnic groups studied in this multicultural project. They used Museum artifacts to illustrate the traditional arts and crafts of these groups.


Example 4: Creativity Across Disciplines

  •  --Humanities and Arts (Arthur High School--Year I). As part of their Africa project, students created artwork reproductions of African artifacts to augment the Museum objects they used.


Example 5: Opportunity for Others to "Use" their Project Information

  •  --Native Americans (West Elementary--Year I). The third grade teacher whose class participated in the project, developed educational art activities which they placed on-line through their project Web pages. Students had a chance to make masks and pottery, and do sand painting.

    --Complete Bibliography (West Elementary--Year I). Visitors to the West Elementary Website are given the opportunity to further explore Native Americans through a bibliography of nonfiction and fiction works.

 As our Year III new schools begin to complete their projects, the types of strategies for project development may increase as students and teachers discover creative methods for problem solving.

Return to Index

The Museum Explorers Project and Its Application to Other Museums

All or parts of the basic concept of the project is applicable to any museum. The extent to which it is developed depends on the availability of technical resources and staff time, and school interests. Listed below are associated questions that have been answered in the context of this project. 

What equipment do I need?

  • --Computer: Power Macintosh or IBM compatible (150 mhz or above); RAM: 64 megabytes or higher is recommended for the software programs that are used;
    --Camera: Web page photographs can be obtained in several ways: "flex" camera, video camera, digital camera, and through the use of traditional photography (a scanner is needed to digitize these photographs)
    --Panoramas: A tripod is needed with a tilt-pan head to keep the digital camera level while taking photographs. This insures that when the panorama is stitched together, the resulting image will be smooth.

 What software do I need?

  • --Web pages: Adobe PageMill or Claris Home Page is recommended for "canned" Web pages. A basic knowledge of HTML can give Web page design freedom through a text editor program.
    --QTVR: QuickTime Virtual Reality is readily available for the Macintosh through Apple's QuickTime VR Authoring Studio software. Adobe Photoshop 4.0 is recommended for manipulating images.

Do I have to be connected to the Internet?

  • --Yes, if you and your schools want to use the Internet for research or if you want to share your resources with others.
    --No, you can still use any of the software to do a Website. However, this Website will reside only in your computer (or local network if you have one), and it will not be on the World Wide Web.

 Does the project take a lot of staff time?

  • --The basic "Museum in the Classroom" project requires a lot of staff time to work with the number of schools that we have in the preparation and conducting of school visits, communication with schools to insure project progress (through e-mail, FAX, snail mail, and telephone), and assisting them in obtaining project information. To minimize this, a museum might want to scale down the program to only a few schools.
    --The development of our on-line catalog is time consuming. To attain our long-term project and Museum goal of collection accessibility, the "Museum in the Classroom" project gave us the opportunity to begin to realize it. Project staff have been hired to digitize our collection and create computerized catalog cards. This on-line catalog will broaden our resources. Upon completion of certain collections, it is hoped that an on-line curriculum can be developed to make our collection usable as a school resource.

Return to Index


The "Museum in the Classroom" project has allowed select Illinois museums to develop school partnerships that extend museum resources into the classroom. These museum-school partnerships apply technology in school projects that are influenced by these resources and use the Internet as not only a research tool, but as a means to share their own projects with others. Through the museum-school partnerships, the Illinois State Board of Education, Illinois schools, and SIUC Museum continue to realize project goals.

For the SIUC Museum, the "Museum in the Classroom" project has given us the opportunity to use our art, humanities and science collections as a means to enhance Illinois school curriculum. Authentic and engaged learning are two processes that were triggered by the use of collections in which teachers/students sought to: identify methods of problem solving in the use of Museum collections in project development, develop interdisciplinary projects, and produce Web pages that reflected curriculum. As a result, the "Museum in the Classroom" project has not only become an integral part of the Museum's learning activities, but has offered Illinois schools a means to "rethink" traditional educational models.


Return to Index


Applied Research Consultants. "Museum Explorers: An Evaluation of a Museum in the Classroom Project." Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, 1996.

Applied Research Consultants. "Museum Explorers: An Evaluation of a Museum in the Classroom Project (Year II)." Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, 1997.

Center for Children and Technology. "ISBE On-Line Curriculum Project Evaluation: Executive Summary." Education Development Center, Inc., New York, New York, 1996.

Illinois State Board of Education. "Museum in the Classroom Project: Request for Proposals." Illinois State Board of Education, Springfield, 1997.

Return to Index

Appendix A

Illinois State Board of Education
1995 Technology Policies


1. Technology and telecommunications are keys to improving student learning in this and the next century. It is critical that equitable and universal access to technology and telecommunications be available to all students in the Illinois K-12 school system. The State Board of Education should be providing vision, leadership, advocacy and support for the technical and human resources necessary if K-12 schools are to improve student learning through technology and telecommunications.

2. State regulations should enable and encourage school districts to develop, implement and operate the technology/information plans to improve student learning and increase the efficiency of education systems.

Affordable Access/Infrastructure

3. To effectively serve K-12 students, Illinois schools must be part of an electronic network that is developed, deployed, operated and maintained by state agencies, local school districts, higher education, community groups, business and industry.

4. In order to provide equitable, ubiquitous access to electronic resources for K-12 students, K-12 interests must be represented in the telecommunications regulatory arena through leadership and advocacy.

Professional Development

5. Those entering the professions of teaching and educational administration, and those earning degrees/certificates in education should understand and be able to use technology and telecommunications as instructional, administrative and learning tools.

6. Relevant, student-centered, ongoing professional development is essential to successful integration of technology and telecommunications in K-12 schools.

Curriculum, Content and Destinations

7. Students and their communities should have electronic access to public information and services.

8. The rethinking and redesign of teaching and learning is necessary if schools are to take full advantage of the learning potential inherent in technology and telecommunications.

Return to Index

Appendix B

Summary Highlights: Center for Children and Technology (Year I: 1995-1996)

Summary Highlights from Museum in the Classroom Survey Data

Teachers and Training

Sixty seven (67) "Museum in the Classroom" (MIC) teachers responded to the survey. The teachers represented 34% of the MIC schools which received on-line curriculum grants.

The average number of years the MIC teachers used computers for student learning activities is 7 years, and the range is 15 years. The variance is 5 years. The average number of years they used telecommunications for student learning activities is 1 year, and the range is 7 years. The variance is 1 year.

The average number of years the MIC teachers used computers for professional activities is 1 year, and the range is 31 years. The variance is 6 years. The average number of years they used telecommunications for professional activities is 2 years, and the range is 10 years. The variance is 2 years.

Student Engagement and Learning with Telecommunications

Thirty six percent of the teachers reported that it was too late in the year when they got connected to begin project related activities, and would begin in the next school year.

For those teachers whose students engaged in project related activities, students' exposure to doing telecommunications increased dramatically. Prior to the project, teachers estimated that only 7% of their students could competently log on and access the Internet; and use Web browsers. As a result of the projects, students participated in a range of telecommunications activities. Teachers report incorporating the following telecommunications activities into their classroom teaching: Researching information services (52%), browsing Web sites (64%), researching databases (44%), sending and retrieving e-mail (33%), creating text/graphics for Web pages (53%), exchanging information and data with other classrooms (20%), consulting with staff from museums and other partners (36%), and having real time discussions with other students or experts (16%).

The vast majority of students participating were in regularly scheduled mixed ability classes (45%) or inclusive classes (39%) exposing students with special needs to telecommunications as well. Approximately 27% of teachers are using the project as a focus of an interdisciplinary course for students. Another thirteen percent served honors or college track students. The average number of participating students per teacher was 44, with a range from 3 to 150. These teachers worked with a total number 1,501 students.

Students active engagement and motivation for learning increased as a result of introducing telecommunications to the classroom. As general measure of interest and engagement, teachers reported increase in the following student behaviors: students say they want more class time for this project (82%), students say they are having fun learning (74%), students are interacting more with other students around academic content (59%), students are taking more responsibility for their own learning (59%), completing homework assignments more frequently than usual (41%), and improved attendance (21%). An additional 44% of teachers report students expressing interest in possible careers involving telecommunications and technology, and 27% state that students are using their new telecommunications skills in other subjects.

Students are also using telecommunications to expand their learning opportunities outside the classroom, and on their own time. Forty two percent of teachers indicate that students ask to go on-line during free periods or after school, and continue contacts with adults and other students initiated in class on their own time (32%).

Teachers see the most important benefit for student learning as immediate access to up to date primary source data (60%), followed closely by the relevancy to real issues and results (57%), and the technical skills (56%) students are developing.



Appendix C









Explanation of project and process

Subject matter knowledge

Flow of information


Effective and proper links

Proper use of images - site source

Images and Text Match

Other factors






User Friendly

Flow of site

Style and color

Proper graphic techniques (typeface, spacing, etc. . .)

Other factors








Return to Index

Appendix D

SIUC Museum Project Evaluation Year I

Executive Summary

The University Museum at Southern Illinois University (SIUC) participated in a state-wide Museum in the Classroom project referred to as the Museum Explorers (ME) project. The ME project included 23 public schools (elementary through high school) throughout Illinois. Applied Research Consultants (ARC) was commissioned to conduct an evaluation of the ME project. As part of the endeavor, ARC developed several instruments to serve as both a quantitative and qualitative assessment of the project's impact on participating teachers and students. The primary thrust behind the evaluation was to determine students' feelings, interests, and intentions regarding both their museum-related topic and computers. The evaluation also assessed the teachers' experiences, expectations and interests/abilities with respect to both the ME project and computers.


  • At both pre- and posttest, teachers reported high expectations that the ME project would increase both their students' understanding of computers and the Internet.
  • Teachers had moderate experience with computers and some experience with the Internet prior and subsequent to their participation in the ME project.
  • Subsequent to the ME project, teachers "sometimes" used information from the Internet in class while they "almost never" used this type of information prior to the project.
  • At pre- and posttest, students generally liked to learn new things and to play computer games, while they disliked English/language arts and writing stories and poems.
  • The majority of students were looking forward to participating in the ME project at pretest, and this enthusiasm did not substantially wane upon completion of the project.
  • Generally, students reported being somewhat to very sure about their abilities to use a computer and navigate the Internet both prior and subsequent to the ME project.


Return to Index

Appendix E

SIUC Museum Project Evaluation Year II


Year II of the ME project incorporated several different elements than Year I. First, and foremost, schools were provided with videoconferencing technology to use for connectivity to the University Museum and other schools. Time had also elapsed, allowing teachers and students to become more familiar with the technology present in their schools and classrooms. Changes were also made to the evaluation component, as the University Museum had agreed to distribute the mailings for ARC in an effort to increase the response rate. The Participant Characteristics survey was also modified to gather information that was not collected during the Year I evaluation. An additional measure was created to investigate teacher satisfaction with the training they received up to the pretest measurement occasion. In sum, these numerous changes were made to improve the evaluation component of the ME project for Year II.

Despite changes made in contacting participant schools and teachers, the response rate for Year II showed marginal improvement. ... As different schools have varied schedules, providing teachers the flexibility to select when the evaluation material will be distributed to the students may increase the posttest response rate. ...

Although little change has occurred in participating school and teacher characteristics, the additional information collected by the Participant Characteristics survey was illustrative. Approximately half of the schools select individual students to participate in the ME project, while the remainder include all the students in one or multiple classrooms. In may prove useful in subsequent evaluations to analyze these groups separately, as important differences may emerge which may have implications for how the project is administered to new schools. ...



Return to Index




University Museum
2469 Faner Hall, mailcode 4508
Southern Illinois University at Carbondale
Carbondale, IL 62901
phone: (618) 453-5388
fax: (618) 453-7409
email: museum@siu.edu
url: http://www.museum.siu.edu


Return to Index

Last modified: April 2, 1998. This file can be found below http://www.archimuse.com/mw98/
Send questions and comments to info@archimuse.com