Exploring New Frontiers in Technology

By: Andrew McGivern, curator of exhibitions on May 23rd, 2012

Adopting a new technology can be both daunting and exciting.

Recently Woodson Art Museum staff decided to switch from offering audio tours on simple MP3 players to the more flexible iPod Touch devices. The Museum’s current audio tours, which have been offered for a few years, require visitors to follow a predetermined order of artwork.

The iPod Touch will allow visitors to explore the Museum in whatever order they choose, accessing audio tracks via the touch screen key pad. Another advantage of the iPod Touch is the ability to include images and video to enrich visitors’ experiences.

Of course, with this and all new technology comes the learning curve. During the next few days, Museum curator Catie Anderson and I will be learning how to develop an app (computer application) using Apple software. The app ultimately will become the audio tour.

If all goes well, we’ll test our first app and have units ready for public use this fall.

As we embark on this research, I feel a sense of excitement and panic – excited to learn a new software and uneasy about the unknown.

Setting out to learn a new and complex software can be likened to early space exploration. At the onset, you have no idea what lies ahead, yet the possibilities are infinite.

Stay tuned.

P.S. If you have tips or suggestions, let me hear from you.

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