iPad apps at Children’s Museum of Houston
Enjoyed visiting the Children's Museum of Houston at AAM/ACM and seeing what Keith Ostfeld and team are up to with iPad apps. Here's the scoop: rather than creating their own iPad apps for exhibits, something many museums are grappling with, they are scouting out and using existing free and low cost apps on the exhibit floor with staff.
The key: they are focusing on staff-facilitated models to make this work. Keith showed an app they are using demonstrating air flow over user-designed surfaces. Staff use this app with visitors in the Invention Convention workshop exhibit, at the section where visitors are designing their own real-world structures to test in wind tubes. In a sense, it's not different than having interpretive staff pull out an illustrative photo to explain concepts to visitors, just that this photo happens to be an app.
The museum is also in the process of testing iPad usage among families in exhibits. With a multiple year grant from IMLS to explore this, will be good to keep an eye on what they're learning.