Digital Day at the Anthracite Heritage Museum

My apologies for the pretty poor quality of the photos below. Surely you can do better. And then you can enter the 2010 PHMC Photo contest to win fabulous prizes.

I had the chance last week to attend a workshop for teachers at the Anthracite Heritage Museum in Scranton. The workshop, Digital Day, was put together by staff from the Northeastern Educational Intermediate Unit (NEIU19) and was attended by about a dozen teachers. NEIU has offered Digital Day workshops in the past, designed to introduce teachers to new technologies and help them learn how to use them with their students. This year, they decided to hold the workshop at the Anthracite Museum to provide teachers with interesting content to focus on while they explored software that makes digital presentations really easy to produce.

Teachers spent time in the Museum galleries and underground at the Lackawanna Coal Mine Tour (sorry, no pictures, I bailed on that part), armed with digital cameras (both still and video). Museum guides (a wonderful group of volunteers) spoke with the teachers about the larger themes of the exhibits—such as coal geology, immigration, child labor, deindustrialization, home life, and religion. They pointed out objects and images that illustrate those themes and help teachers make them real to their students. I hadn’t been to the Museum for a couple of years, and I was reminded of the number of connections you could draw to issues that today’s students are familiar with. Students and teachers (and families and community members) might have some lively conversations, informed by history but very much relevant to their daily lives.

After the teachers toured the galleries and had a tasty lunch (the folks at the Anthracite Museum always achieve a high level of hospitality), the tech integrators from NEIU worked with them to upload their photos and videos into Photo Story and FlipShare, respectively. Both seemed very user-friendly and adaptable to use in museums as well as schools. Great ways to employ the vast amount of visual material museums and historic sites have at their disposal.

While at the museum, I made sure to catch the newest exhibit, “Just Married: 70 Years of Weddings in Coal Country, 1880-1950.” Museum staff and volunteers put out a call for wedding photos, which resulted in a lovely array representing members of the local community.

Because it's a changing exhibit (and it includes so many textiles), “Just Married” won’t be on view for long, but you have until December to enjoy it. (Just a note: although lit appropriately for a textile exhibit, it's not as dark as my photos make it seem.) If you’re on Facebook, you can also see pix of the exhibit in-progress. Well worth your time (to actually go there if possible, not just look at photos). My thanks to the NEIU and to the Anthracite Museum staff and volunteers for a wonderful day.


irishshammrocks said...

I'm glad that you liked the exhibit we worked so hard on! :) And thanks for the shout out on Trailheads!
Katie (Assistant crew leader with the PCC)

Amy Killpatrick Fox said...

Thanks for reading, Katie. And congratulations to all of you on the great work!

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