Literacy e-cards: Exhibits that change behavior
One of the topics that’s always interesting to reflect on: can our work in museum exhibits actually make a difference in people’s behavior? If we checked in with visitors a month after they came to an exhibit, would they have done anything differently in their lives because of the visit? Would they have connected with neighbors, eaten a more healthy diet, looked into a low emissions vehicle? We’re not here just to inform visitors — we want to make a positive difference in our communities and cultures.
Recently we finished a Storykiosk project with Louisiana Children’s Museum on the topic of family literacy. I’m happy with the format we developed: literacy e-cards sent out to families once a week for four weeks, incorporating their own picture and content developed by the Museum. It takes more than a single reminder to change behavior — it takes steps over time. I’m thinking of this as “serialized-interaction” with visitors, drawn out over an extended time, with multiple opportunities to engage visitors.
We’re actively expanding this server-based exhibit technology, developing new e-card formats that can be adapted to a range of topics, building off a seed planted in the visitors’ original experience in a public space.
(Note: we’ve been exploring this topic for a while — you’ll see a lot of these questions in our National Zoo Giant Panda project back in 2005)…