SOURCE: LearningTimes, LLC

LearningTimes, LLC

September 24, 2009 11:25 ET

Handheld Devices in Museums

LearningTimes Introduces First Annual Survey & Opens Online Conference Site

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - September 24, 2009) - LearningTimes, a leading developer of education programs for museums and the producer of the "Handheld Online Conference" today announced the initiation of the first annual survey of the past present and future use of handheld devices in museums, archives and historic sites. LearningTimes developed the survey in partnership with Loic Tallon, a recognized expert in the field.

Together they seek to enhance the international museum community's understanding of handheld guides / mobile interpretation devices and help develop relevant professional development opportunities for museum staff and vendors trying to keep up with this fast-paced field. The survey is available in English, French and Spanish. To participate in the survey visit www.learningtimes.net/handheldsurvey

LearningTimes produced the first Handheld Online Conference in June of this year. This unique full-day event, held entirely over the Internet, attracted hundreds of museum professionals who participated in interactive, collaborative learning experiences. LearningTimes announced today that the conference session recordings are now available for free viewing at www.handheldconference.org.

"The idea for the survey stemmed from conversations during the online conference," said Jonathan Finkelstein, President and Executive Producer of LearningTimes. "We were struck by the museum community's desire to foster further collaborations, to share experiences and best practices on a national and international level."

"We think the findings will provide a fascinating insight into what we are all thinking," added Loic Tallon. "We hope to identify the major obstacles in this field, uncover success stories, and explore the next steps in terms of developments and knowledge sharing."

The survey is open to anyone working with handheld guides and mobile interpretation, anywhere in the world -- including employees of all types of museums, cultural institutions, historic sites, or zoos, whether it has existing handheld programs or not. Multiple responses from the same museum are encouraged as well. The survey also includes a series of questions just for contractors, designers and consultants working in this field.

LearningTimes will publish the findings online and share the raw data (excluding respondents' personal information) with people interested in helping with the analysis. For more information and to participate in the survey visit: www.learningtimes.net/handheldsurvey

LearningTimes produces unique online events, multi-day conferences and online learning programs for museums, education, non-profit and learning-minded organizations around the globe. Their partners and clients include groups like the Smithsonian Institution, American Association of Museums, American Association of State and Local History, the New York City Department of Education, the University of Hawaii, Education Development Center, Wiley / Jossey-Bass Publishing, and public television station WHYY, among scores of others. Their overall services include a variety of offerings that take an organization's communication and collaboration goals online, with an emphasis on human connections, person-to-person interactivity and professional networking.

Loic Tallon is creative director of Pocket-Proof, a digital consultancy specialized in the design, development and evaluation of all types of mobile interpretation tools and handheld guides. He is co-editor of one of the leading books in this field -- Digital Technologies and the Museum Experience: Handheld Guides and Other Media (Alta Mira Press, 2008) -- has experience designing mobile systems for museums around the world, and has evaluated more mobile interpretation tools than he sometimes cares to remember!

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