Dealing with museum pedagogy for the past 40 years, the curators of the Museum of Vojvodina have been designing programs for all visitor categories. One of the main goals of their diverse activities is the creation of the permanent museum audience. In order to achieve this goal, interesting exhibitions and the accompanying programs, combined with a good marketing are not enough. It presumes a continuous development of didactics and a museum content strategy. Investing energy, knowledge and experience on the one hand, and following the trends of contemporary museological practice on the other, we strive to improve interpretative methods, considering it to be one of the factors that influence the creation of cultural needs, especially for the youngest visitors as future consumers of cultural content.
The inspiration for the Museum e-Know@ll app was an interactive picture book (Muzejska lepezica/Museum Fan), published in 2014 by the Museum of Vojvodina, which consists of 50 sheets, each containing basic information, questions or tasks. Having in mind the necessities dictated by the digital transformation era and basic ecological demands, we have decided to design a modern version of this picture book and named it the Museum e-Know@ll.
In a similar form as the printed edition (the aforesaid picture book), this mobile device app assumes didactical content, which is designed into different types of tasks.
The basic content consists of ten stories about different museum exhibits or phenomena, such as the Life in Prehistoric Times, Toys and Jewellery in Prehistory, Ancient Rome – Gilded Roman Helmets, Handwritten Manuscripts, Means of Transportation, Crafts, Traditional Architecture, Agriculture in Vojvodina, Lighting in the Past, Festive Women Caps. These short stories are told in Serbian and English by three animated characters (a curator, a boy and a girl), which appear in augmented reality. The fact that they are told by children makes the stories more appealing to the users (also children).
Each story is followed by a task, which is created in such a manner to encourage interactivity. There are different tasks, such as: find the missing part; link the toy with the similar from the past; make a selfie; choose the correct answer; chronological sequence; connect the terms; find differences; link name and subject; listening-based recognition; mark the intruder.
The app is made for children aged 4 to 6 years, so it can be used as a teaching method in preschools. Considering the fact that they have to come to the Museum accompanied by an adult, the use of this app initiates the parent-child or child-elder bonding. The content is recorded in audio format, so it can easily be used by children who are still not capable of reading.
Museum e-Know@ll can be downloaded for free from the Google Play or App Store. It is a marker-based app, in which specifically designed markers act as triggers. In order to be used within the permanent exhibition, recognizable markers show the visitor where should the app be used. If the visitor doesn’t have the mobile phone, there are also available tablets.
A printed brochure with markers can be bought in the Museum shop. Except from increasing the number of users, this possibility promotes the Museum and develops the motivation to visit. In this manner, children who are not able to come to the Museum, gain the opportunity to learn about it, at their homes as well.
Autors: Slađana Velendečić & Tijana Stanković Pešterac
Slađana Velendečić, Head of the Educational and PR department of the Museum of Vojvodina, where she has been employed since 2000. She has participated in the design and realization of many educational programs. Her main interest in museum work is related to education and interpretation.
Tijana Stanković Pešterac, assistant director of the Museum of Vojvodina in Novi Sad. She organized exhibitions as an author, lead many different projects (concerning archaeology, digitization and museum education and interpretation), published catalogues, as well as scientific and popular articles.