Inspiring the Technological Imagination: Museums, Libraries in a Digital Age



This new series at the Futures of Learning blog will be written by the project team on the MacArthur Foundation grant, “Inspiring the Technological Imagination: the Future of Museums and Libraries in a Digital Age”, which was lead by Professor Anne Balsamo.  A series of reports that present the literature review conducted as part of the project which addresses one of the four key questions that defines the Foundation’s Digital Media and Learning initiative:  How might institutions change to take advantage of the learning opportunities provided by new digital media? The work discussed here seeks to contribute to the development of a field in new media and learning by focusing on museums and libraries as important learning institutions.

While this project was only one year in duration, it has yielded several outcomes (in addition to this literature review) that will serve the basis for future research, design, and practice:  1) an article on the notion of tinkering as a mode of knowledge production, 2) an interactive map on DIY culture, 3) a prototype of an evocative learning object that melds the physical and the digital to serve as a creative platform for informal learning experiences within museums and libraries.  These efforts will be described more fully in the final grant report that will be disseminated on Anne Balsamo’s website: The blog posts that will follow will be authored by members of the “Inspiring The Technological Imagination” project research team:  Anne Balsamo (PI), Cara Wallis, Maura Klosterman, Susana Smith Bautista, and Stacy Ingber

Inspired by the efforts of Mimi Ito and her research team Futures of Learning is a collective blog dedicated to the topic of new media and learning. The members of the blog are part of a project, funded by the MacArthur Foundation, that is conducting an international survey of research in the field. We are focusing on two areas. One is an international review of research on how people are adopting digital and networked media. The second area is a review of learning institutions that are incorporating new media in innovative ways. We welcome suggestions for literature and programs that we should be looking at!

Anne Balsamo
Publication Date
Tuesday, May 19, 2009