Research Question 3: Key Trends

What trends do you expect to have a significant impact on the ways in which we approach museum education and interpretation?

INSTRUCTIONS: Enter your responses to the questions below. This is most easily done by moving your cursor to the end of the last item and pressing RETURN to create a new bullet point. Please include URLs whenever you can (full URLs will automatically be turned into hyperlinks; please type them out rather than using the linking tools in the toolbar.

Please "sign" your contributions by marking with the code of 4 tildes (~) in a row so that we can follow up with you if we need additional information or leads to examples- this produces a signature when the page is updated, like this: - Sam Sam Jul 1, 2013

NOTE: During the voting process, the Key Trends are sorted into three time-related categories:

Short-Term Impact Trends
These are trends that are driving museum tech adoption now, but will likely remain important for only next one to two years. Virtual Worlds was an example of a fast trend that swept up attention in 2007-8.

Mid-Term Impact Trends
These trends will be important in decision-making for a longer term, and will likely continue to be a factor in decision-making for the next three to five years.

Long-Term Impact Trends
These are trends that will continue to have impact on our decisions for a very long time. Many of them have been important for years, and continue to be so. These are the trends -- like mobile or social media -- that continue to develop in capability year over year.

Compose your entries like this:

Trend Name
Add your ideas here with a few of sentences description including full URLs for references (e.g. And do not forget to sign your contribution with 4 ~ (tilde) characters!

Creating Authentic Learning Opportunities
As people become accustomed to tools that allow them to do things that previously required a great deal of expertise (i.e., video editing, or publishing to the web), they begin to appreciate the creative skills involved in actually engaging in scientific inquiry, producing art, or the like. “Makers” are an emerging category of museum visitors, especially for science museums, who want to not only appreciate what they see in technical, historical or other contexts, but to also understand how it was created. "Maker” experiences, which engage visitors of all ages in individual and collective experiences of tinkering, making, and discovery are a growing trend, and there is a role for all categories of museums in supporting and encouraging such experiences.
  • Long term trend. American (and international) culture is adapting rapidly to new learning opportunities. Museums have been slow to react to some of these new ways of engaging the public. In the short term, museums can better utilize mobile devices to strengthen our impact. In the long run, museums will have to embrace trends like Makers as a strategy to approaching learning experiences. Museums will always have to be forecasting how these trends develop, last, or disappear, and how that affects their engagement and learning strategies. - ortiz ortiz Feb 16, 2016
  • Agreed on Long-term nature of this trend. Museums have proven highly creative in their ability to create targeted, meaningful, technology-assisted or-mediated experiences. This will improve and increase in perpetuity. - njohnson njohnson Feb 23, 2016
  • From a European perspective, I think this may be Mid- or even Short-term: I know of countless teachers, trainers and informal learners using museums (often without explicit permission) as the backdrop of authentic learning opportunities. Other societal trends, such as the influx in refugees (but also the lack of suitable spaces for collaboration in traditional schools) seem to further enhance this trend. - jasper jasper Feb 25, 2016 Agree - lkelly lkelly Feb 28, 2016
  • Agreed on short-term and mid-term trend. It is happening right now. - hdin hdin Feb 25, 2016
  • Short-term in my opinion, especially in how this intersects with the significant challenge discussed in RQ4 - Balancing our connected and unconnected lives. Museums should be embracing these creative communities as affinity partners and focusing on authentic/effective ways in which to weave their voices throughout the interpretive planning process - emily_fry emily_fry Feb 26, 2016. Agree - lkelly lkelly Feb 28, 2016
  • Mid-term. Museums need reduce their own editorial production efforts and shift roles to being asset providers and facilitators for users' creativity and making. - nealstimler nealstimler Feb 27, 2016
  • This is happening right now, and is a current trend, however, "Authentic Learning Opportunities" seems like a misnomer. Perhaps Self-Guided or Visitor-Led Learning Opportunities is a clearer way to define this? - EmilyLP EmilyLP Feb 27, 2016
  • Long term, in the sense that although this is trending at the moment, it will be a long and decisive haul before it has become an integrated, "natural" way for museums to work together with the public around reciprocal learning and knowledge creation. - Merete.Sanderhoff Merete.Sanderhoff Feb 29, 2016
  • This is short term in that it is happening now but, as Merete observes, museums have a long way to go in fully embracing this trend. I agree with Emily that the trend needs a new title. Hands-on learning? Visitor-led? - laura laura Feb 29, 2016
  • This is a short term issue in that museums are actively discussing the role of 'visitor experience', which perhaps has not always been at the forefront, especially in object-centric institutions. As more institutions tackle it, we will build a body of knowledge -- a longer haul. Examples like the Cooper Hewitt converge learning about the collection and making within the galleries. This kind of seamlessness paired with a strong experience ethos can be powerful. I also think the name should be changed.. but it's about the role and definition of our 'visitors' (and I don't like the word visitor.. it denote that it doesn't belong to them, that they aren't active participants, etc. #rant) - lizneely.mail lizneely.mail Mar 2, 2016

Expanding the Boundaries of Creativity
Museums have long been considered beacons of creative expression within their communities. According to the American Alliance of Museum’s “Trends and Potential Futures Report,” museums “play a vital role in nurturing, documenting, organizing, interpreting and making accessible the new realm of creative output.” Emerging technologies have added new dimensions to what artists are capable of creating, in addition to making possible innovative ways for museums to display their work. Using lasers like paint brushes to generate digital strokes and programming robots to interact with patrons are just a couple examples of how the definition of art has expanded, moving far beyond traditional techniques As such, age-old perspectives of the artist as a drawer, painter, or sculptor have broadened vastly, and technology has unleashed seemingly limitless possibilities for different types of talents to enter the field. Museums are uniquely suited to maximize the emotional impact of these creative works by configuring custom, technology-enhanced spaces to enhance and personalize the visitor experience.
  • Long term trend. As technology and new experiences drive visitors to look at other cultural spaces for inspiration, museums will need to strategically adapt their work to meet these needs. New voices within the museum will be necessary, and we will have to grow a workforce that can design and implement these new approaches. That will mean having to hire people from non-traditional backgrounds. Even with all of these new opportunities, our role is still to connect the past with the present and future. - ortiz ortiz Feb 16, 2016- jludden jludden Mar 1, 2016
  • Agreed...long-term trend. Digital technologies have increasingly democratized access to tools that are blurring the boundaries between what was once a highly curated notion of "art" and a more modern level playing field where museums must participate in the acknowledgment of non-established creative endeavors in order to retain their authority and relationships with an increasingly diverse and creatively productive audience. - njohnson njohnson Feb 23, 2016 Agree - lkelly lkelly Feb 28, 2016
  • I would love to see museums take this approach to expanding the boundaries of creativity like - but I am going to have to agree with the long-term majority here. - ryand ryand Feb 24, 2016
  • Long-term - hdin hdin Feb 25, 2016
  • Long-term, but the role of artist as used in this definition reads as singular and a long-term trend, in my opinion collapses the reciprocal boundaries between maker, viewer, and consumer, and veers toward a more dialogical relationship where the creative experience is ever-changing and not necessarily orchestrated by a single artistic master. - emily_fry emily_fry Feb 26, 2016
  • Mid-term. Virtual museums are more and more prevalent. General public find it more beneficial because it's convenient way to access information. However, online access can alter the visitor's experience/- luannel luannel Feb 26, 2016- jludden jludden Mar 1, 2016
  • Long-term. This trend is of significant importance but it will require a larger philosophical and programming shift to be realized. - nealstimler nealstimler Feb 27, 2016
  • Is this talking about working specifically with the creative boundaries of artists? This seems unlikely, especially in the face of the commodification of the art market, although I do think that museums have the capacity to offer unique spaces for experimentation, specifically to emerging artists. This could be an interesting way to talk about the ethics of working with, and paying, artists and educators. - EmilyLP EmilyLP Feb 27, 2016
  • Long term: In this kind of community we follow trends like this closely and sometimes feel like it's all over the place or even old news. But the shift in mindset needed from the curatororial layer to perceive of museums not only as places to store and show bonified works of art, but equally spaces that encourage the creation of new work and that anyone can do this; and to consider what to do with their creative outputs in collecting institutions... that will be a supertanker turn. (A great background read related to the topic is this splendid article about the changing role of artists in a digital era - Merete.Sanderhoff Merete.Sanderhoff Feb 29, 2016

Expanding the Concept of Visitors
The dichotomy between the onsite and virtual museum visitor is blurring rapidly, and both audiences have high expectations for accessing services and information online. Visitors who are unable to visit a museum in person are now able to experience its collections and respond and contribute meaningfully to conversations about exhibitions and programming occurring in the physical space, redefining what it means to be a museum patron. Through emerging digital tools, museums are now able to develop long-term relationships with visitors that extend beyond the walls of the museum and the duration of an exhibition. Acknowledging the needs of a global audience is also important in helping to keep museums relevant. Museum website traffic has quickly outpaced physical museum attendance. According to the Council of Australasian Museum Directors, 70% of the 51 million visits in the 2013-14 financial year were online. This statistic underscores a major shift in how museums think about their patrons.
  • Long-term trend. With the general public using the Internet to access information, we will always have to be at the forefront of connecting our content with people. In the past that required a physical visit; today someone from across the world who might not have the means to physically visit will still be our visitor. Our websites and digital accounts (YouTube for instance) will play an increasingly important role in who we consider ourselves connected to. This will reshape things like membership, where a virtual visitor might still be a member even if they cannot come to the museum physically. - ortiz ortiz Feb 16, 2016- jludden jludden Mar 1, 2016
  • I suspect that the more users interact with online museums the more curious they will become with the physical object. While they may not be visiting the specific museum they are encountering online - I would suggest that the more our world is seen through the screen the more needy people will become for the real, the original and the authentic and they more they will seek out the physical museum and the material object. - shazan shazan Feb 23, 2016
  • Mid-term. GLAMs have gone through an earlier revolution in the concept of visitors as digital technologies matured in the 90s and the Web took hold as a prime resource for reaching an extended world-wide audience. Social Media has recently brought another revolution that personalized connections with visitors and engaged with demographics that the museum heretofore ignored or declined to interact with. The next phase of change in this area will perhaps be in the redefinition of expectations of what a "visit" means and what a particular demographic is interested in or should be offered. Museums will usefully complexify their sense that any one user of any age, gender, schooling, and location might have multi-faceted interests and needs that the museum can meet in the appropriate measure. And the telepresence, VR, and AR tools that are currently enjoying a second wave of improvement and proliferation will aid and abet the contact point between the museum and the visitor, extending beyond the "website" or a Twitter feed. - njohnson njohnson Feb 23, 2016
  • I have been encouraged to see some museums in Canada practising this trend and including web visits and social media network size in their annual reports. Digital visitors are visitors too and we need to recognize this. The first chance you have to grab and excite people is online, they visit your profile/website after all. Short-term for me. - ryand ryand Feb 24, 2016 I agree. At SMK, we have been including web metrics in annual reports for some years now - apart from website visitors also social media reach, number of page views including our open content on Wikipedia etc. - Merete.Sanderhoff Merete.Sanderhoff Feb 29, 2016
  • Short-term, would like to emphasize the importance to cultivate local audiences/visitors. What can museum do to increase their visits, beyond 1-2 times per year. - hdin hdin Feb 25, 2016
  • Short-term! It's here, it's now, it's happening as this report is published. The threshold of the museum, as Ross Parry nicely writes, is being diffused with digital interfaces and how we perceive/consume identities of cultural institutions online.- emily_fry emily_fry Feb 26, 2016
  • Short-term. We are in hybrid reality with the digital and physical. Some have referred to this notion as “phygital” __ The term in focus for museums now is user rather than visitor. - nealstimler nealstimler Feb 27, 2016
  • Short-term: Museums are bumping up against this reality now, and need to come to terms with what it means to serve a web visitor, their capacity to share information online openly, and even the very concepts of what makes them a museum on the first place if a visitor never interacts with a space or object but only ideas and images online. - EmilyLP EmilyLP Feb 27, 2016 Agree - lkelly lkelly Feb 28, 2016
  • Short-term. I'm thrilled to see this trend here, as it's been brewing the past several years. I think it's critical that we start to consider the needs and motivations of many different types of visitors. - dmitroff dmitroff Feb 28, 2016
  • Short-term. Every conversation I have with museum staff now takes this into consideration. - dianezorich dianezorich Feb 29, 2016
  • Short term. For many large museums, online visitor numbers dwarf physical visitors and (unsurprisingly) online visitors are far more geographically diverse. Museums are only just beginning to understand the needs, motivations and behaviors of online visitors - especially those who are visiting online collections or online rich content. - laura laura Feb 29, 2016
  • Everything is a continuum! This is happening in the short term, but what we will hopefully see in the long term are manifestations of Linked Open Data that connect collections and archives beyond the museum constructs that hold these collections. Online we have the possibility to make connections and learn pan-institutionally and create based on this new knowledge. Institutions will always have their websites for details -- but collections online could be so much freer! Much like the Digital Public Library of America -- can we have an LOD Digital Public Museum? Europeana provides this to an extent. - lizneely.mail lizneely.mail Mar 2, 2016

Increasing Cross-Institution Collaboration
Collective action among museums is growing in importance to drive best practices in technology use across the sector. More and more, museums are joining consortia or alliances — associations of two or more organizations — to combine resources or to align themselves strategically with innovative initiatives. Today’s global environment is allowing museums to unite across international borders and work toward common goals concerning technology use, and the sharing and co-creation of collections and exhibitions. Support behind technology-enabled learning in museums has reinforced the trend toward museum communities and consortia, as leaders in the space recognize collective action as a sustainable method of supporting upgrades in museums’ technological infrastructures and digital offerings. Furthermore, many museums reside on university campuses, affording them greater opportunities to leverage the resources of the universities in addition to their academic libraries
  • Long-term trend. Museums continue to seek knowledge and innovate solutions in confronting critical issues. Cross-institution collaboration has become a method of sharing knowledge and resources that is beneficial especially for smaller institutions.- luannel luannel Feb 17, 2016
  • Agree with above. - ortiz ortiz Feb 19, 2016- jludden jludden Mar 1, 2016
  • I think this is mid-term in the sense that I see a recent and growing demand for collaboration among groups of institutions that is increasingly required by the nature of the technological interrogations being posed and the funding organizations' demand for partnerships when funding expensive projects the intend to produce working toolkits and/or codebase. Many of these endeavors are simply too big to even a large institution to pull off or demand multiple perspectives in order to fully explore the questions being asked. Collaboration has always been a necessary part of the day to day efforts of GLAMs but new digital technologies are making increased collaboration both easier and an imperative. in ways that I think will eventually plateau, hence my mid-term assessment. - njohnson njohnson Feb 23, 2016
  • This is Mid- or even Short-term. I.e. the Balkan Museum Network is partnering on a virtual museum (amongst many other things), and in my own home town of Amsterdam 44 museums have started to collaborate on everything from communications to education to procurement (surprisingly, digital seems to be one of the toughest topic to tackle together). These collaborations are all technology-inspired, enabled by new media and digital ways of working. - jasper jasper Feb 25, 2016
  • Long-term. Definitely it is a good direction for cross-institutional collaboration but a long-term sustainability is another question. - hdin hdin Feb 25, 2016
  • Short to Mid-term, cross collaboration will be key for increasing professional development and institutional buy-in/adoption--a collaborative infrastructure also embeds empathy and reinforces a shared vision which benefits and advances staff and projects in good ways relevant now. - emily_fry emily_fry Feb 26, 2016
  • Short-term. Museums can benefit greatly from collaboration and sharing resources. The SharingisCaring conference focuses on many of these issues __ Leading examples include The Metropolitan Museum of Art Media Lab and the Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh Innovation Studio __ - nealstimler nealstimler Feb 27, 2016
  • I believe this is happening now - we cant get much done without collaboration, certainly in Australia. It's an ongoing way of working IMV - lkelly lkelly Feb 28, 2016 I agree with Lynda - we have to collaborate in Australia and, I think, do so well. - ewallis ewallis Feb 28, 2016
  • Thankfully this is happening now, but no doubt we can expand on the concept. In Denmark, the so called "main museums" within the portfolio of the Ministry of Culture (The National Museum, The National Gallery aka SMK) are obligated to drive common development of databases, open licensing standards, digital tools, understanding users, tackling copyright etc. This has entailed a range of collaborations across the country and across big and small institutions. The problem is often not inaugurating collaborations on shared issues, there's a huge will for that, but to find the capacity within financially strained organisations to run these initiatives in sustainable ways. - Merete.Sanderhoff Merete.Sanderhoff Feb 29, 2016
  • Collaboration = unequivocal good -- however, long-term sustainability of collaborative projects, especially after the project end-date, can be a common concern, and needs more attention.- SOberoi SOberoi Feb 29, 2016soberoi
  • Long-term insofar as this is a trend that has been on the docket for a while and will continue to be far into the future. See "Beyond the Silos of the LAMS: Collaboration AMong Libraries, Archives and Museums.
    - dianezorich dianezorich Feb 29, 2016

Increasing Focus on Data Analytics for Museum Operations
Ninety percent of the world’s data has been generated in the last two years, and through the exponential growth of hardware, software, and networking, every day we add 2.5 quintillion bytes. In recent years, companies such as Macy’s, Netflix, and Wal-Mart have been analyzing data to boost their sales and track customer behavior. Until recently, museums gathered behavioral analysis of visitors primarily through attendance statistics and staff-administered surveys — tools that are now often considered crude and inefficient. Museums are increasingly employing similar strategies as major retailers for analyzing visitor information to generate more revenue and improve the efficiency of their operations in areas such as food service, marketing, retail, development, and program and exhibition design. The benefits are becoming clearer as museums dive into data analytics and begin to learn more about their visitors; these analytics offer more targeted retail and focused information on the collections, as well as a greater understanding of an audience’s interests and needs.
  • I agree with this.- Sam Sam Feb 17, 2016
  • Short-term - The methods and tools have been around for a long time, now GLAMs are learning how to play this game and make analytics work their unique set of goals and circumstances. - njohnson njohnson Feb 23, 2016
  • Short-term. If this is not something you are working on now or have already completed, get on it! - ryand ryand Feb 24, 2016
  • Short-term for sure. - hdin hdin Feb 25, 2016
  • Short-term, especially as museums increasingly aim for transparency and increased customization. - emily_fry emily_fry Feb 26, 2016
  • Short-term. As stated on Trends watch, we live in a society increasingly focused on concrete measurements of outcomes.- luannel luannel Feb 26, 2016
  • We are increasingly seeing a whole range of measuring devices in Museums: turnstiles, baffle gates, sponsors, beams - all kinds of measuring devices that provide realtime information on visitor footfall. - shazan shazan Feb 26, 2016
  • Short-term. One of the most important positions to hire ASAP. See also Villaespesa, Elena. "Data Stories Centralized: A Digital Analytics Dashboard." Digital Underground. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. October 29, 2015. __ - nealstimler nealstimler Feb 27, 2016
  • Is it short-term or just an ongoing process that we are all engaged in? Although his group teds to be more ahead that most so maybe there are places out there not eager or interested in using analytics?? - lkelly lkelly Feb 28, 2016
  • Mid-term: I think smaller and mid-size institutions are definitely not here yet, and it's going to be slow to change due to lack of expertise, knowledge, and infrastructure. I know of only a handful of museums that are "employing similar strategies as major retailers for analyzing visitor information." - dmitroff dmitroff Feb 28, 2016 I agree very much with this - while in our community we are well aware of these tools and how to utilize them, the majority of museums out there are run by incredibly small staffs often without any tech people or means to buy tech support from the outside. Since this is pivotal, the large institutions/alliances in our communities should think about how we can help our colleagues get up to speed through training, easy to use toolboxes, etc. - Merete.Sanderhoff Merete.Sanderhoff Feb 29, 2016
  • I think this is Long-Term, all decision makers will be using data to make better informed decisions and the tools we have at our disposal to get data are only increasing. Some may push this off as reliance on too much data, but most humans like to point to metrics or studies to justify their actions. Technology only increases the availability of this and will require an increasingly strong set of analytics tools and expertise to really understand the data. - kjaebker kjaebker Feb 29, 2016
  • no argument that data-driven decision making should be core, and that as much data should be collected as possible -- but staff need to have the training and resources to make sense of what to collect and what to do (and what can be done) with this information. - SOberoi SOberoi Feb 29, 2016soberoi
  • This will be important trend for museums long term but as Dana, Kyle and Shyam note, data-driven decision making is aspirational rather than near term reality for most museums.- laura laura Feb 29, 2016

Increasing Focus on Participatory Experiences
Expectations for civic and social engagement are profoundly changing museums' scope, reach, and relationships. More and more, museums are integrating emerging technologies and approaches such as social media, open content, and crowdsourcing as a means of engaging their communities both internally and externally on a continuum of participation. Museum professionals are embracing innovations that include mobile and network technology, which enable their institutions to provide patrons with more immersive opportunities that integrate visitor knowledge into exhibits and objects. Additionally, there is a need to recognize that niche visitor groups and individuals can provide museums with insights that enrich collections and enhance the interpretive value of an exhibit. Participatory experiences are becoming more valuable, on-site and online, and museums are increasingly seeking out ways to incorporate community contributions.
  • Long-Term Trends. Many museums acquire new audiences by providing opportunities for visitor's participation in the content development. There has been an increase in technology-based participatory projects in the past few years. More and more museums see the benefit of engaging visitors by allowing them to share artworks, photographs, creations etc. - luannel luannel Feb 17, 2016
  • Long-term. - njohnson njohnson Feb 23, 2016
  • Short-term. We've been connecting the digital experience with the physical for some time now and many more museums are seeing the benefit of encouraging your physical visitors to share their experience online. - ryand ryand Feb 24, 2016 - nealstimler nealstimler Feb 27, 2016
  • Definitely short-term. - hdin hdin Feb 25, 2016
  • Short-term! Experiences that aim to transform the ways in which audiences see the world --and to participate in that dialogue is an important attribute museums need to embrace when selecting exhibitions, partnering with other institutions, and even when selecting acquisitions - emily_fry emily_fry Feb 26, 2016 - Merete.Sanderhoff Merete.Sanderhoff Feb 29, 2016
  • With the social media and mobile becoming increasingly important factors in the lives of museum visitors, museums need to adapt with methods and means to effectively engage visitors.Long-term.- luannel luannel Feb 26, 2016
  • Short-term: This represents museum's shifting understanding/acceptance of how many ways there are to know about something. It's not only for scholars anymore! An important factor to consider is an underlying shift from museum as didactic palace to museum as gathering place. When museums foster co-creation of information, the foundation of what a museum can be changes. - EmilyLP EmilyLP Feb 27, 2016
  • Short-term. Favorite example and platform that I would be happy to see more museums adopt and build into their collections data experience is Smithsonian Transcription Center __ Crowdsourcing can be leveraged more to enrich museum data and bring it back into the context of museum informatics. - nealstimler nealstimler Feb 27, 2016 See also DigiVol which offers a similar 'service' - ewallis ewallis Feb 28, 2016
  • again - I think this is something we are doing as a matter of course and where relevant to the particular project or program - lkelly lkelly Feb 28, 2016
  • short term - in that it's happening now. Our museum is partnering this weekend, for example, with our local city council to run a public 'bioblitz' to record information about plants and animals around our city. Participatory experiences don't need to ask people to visit the museum - though many do. Taking the museum out to where the people are is just as valuable. But is definitely already happening. - ewallis ewallis Feb 28, 2016
  • Long-Term, museums need to make this a goal for the long term health of the organization. Museums can no longer rely on the collections and exhibitions to attract a large enough audience. Varied programming, new types of interaction and meeting visitors where they are will all be ways the museum experience changes into the future. - kjaebker kjaebker Feb 29, 2016
  • I see this happening now in so many institutions and non-existent in others. The difference I feel is whether an institutions culture values the visitor and their personal perspective. Not necessarily in "curating" or "developing content" but in valuing their individual learning style and for relevance in their own life.- margaretsternbergh margaretsternbergh

Increasing Focus on Personalization
"The industrial era birthed the modern retail industry through the mass production of affordable goods. Handmade and bespoke items quickly became synonymous with luxury: only the wealthy could afford goods made to their personal measure. Now we’ve come full circle, as technology makes it relatively cheap and easy to personalize goods and services to each individual user, or use “mass personalization” to create the illusion of individual attention. This trend is playing out in three arenas: the creation of personalized goods, the filtering of personalized content and the creation of personalized experiences. Audiences of the future, shaped by the broader marketplace, may expect museums’ products, communications and experiences to be tailored to their interests and needs."
  • (2015 Trendswatch: Sam Sam Feb 17, 2016
  • Long-term trend. Current Internet trends suggest people are becoming more accustomed to the public expecting a personalized experience driven by technology. Museums will need to address that expectation. Museums can utilize technology to offer visitors more choices to content and experience, and eventually customize that experience to preferences given (or even culled in other ways) by the visitor. One challenge is, museums can present the unexpected. Could we lose that if we cater to this trend? - ortiz ortiz Feb 18, 2016
  • Long-term. The progress of technological support for increased customization and personalization of a user's GLAM experience has been incremental but steady. I expect this trend to continue. - njohnson njohnson Feb 23, 2016
  • It is a continued trend. Again, I would to focus on interpretation and personalization. - hdin hdin Feb 25, 2016
  • Mid- to Long-term; As it mentions above, this trend dovetails with the transformation of e-commerce. Just as retailers deepen the digital connection, museums too should consider data and personalization to connect with visitors to deliver specific content. The trick is ensuring an infrastructure is set in place to help aggregate enough data to serve-up customized and unique experiences. - emily_fry emily_fry Feb 26, 2016
  • Short-term. Not necessarily for museums to do on their own but in collaboration with popular third party applications and platforms. Users utilize everywhere else with daily platforms. - nealstimler nealstimler Feb 27, 2016
  • Personalisation is here and now. short-term in my view - lkelly lkelly Feb 28, 2016
  • I think personalisation is mid term because, although it is more common in other spheres of our life (particularly advertising), I don't think that museums are much good at it yet. - ewallis ewallis Feb 28, 2016
  • Long-Term, as museums continue to understand their visitors they will be able to better personalize the experience for them. This will require continued advancements in technology but is not that far off as evidenced by retail experiences or thinkgs like Brooklyns Ask app. The more personal we can make the experience the better for the visitor. - kjaebker kjaebker Feb 29, 2016
  • Short-term, if institutions have the capability to support it (i.e. if it can be leveraged from existing programs already in place) - SOberoi SOberoi Feb 29, 2016soberoi
  • I think personalization is important but I think we need to be wary of algorithms or digitizing this experience. What is special about museums is the ability for someone to happen upon something they maybe didn't even realize they had an interest in. If we drive personalization from a purely digital perspective or based on their previous habits we loose the opportunity for an individual to discover and explore something new. I see personalization in this sphere as offering opportunities for individuals to find meaning and relevance- margaretsternbergh margaretsternbergh Feb 29, 2016

Increasing Requirements for "Digital Skills"
Mid-Term - Whether a budding scholar is in a Digital Humanities undergrad or graduate program or pursuing some other garden variety liberal arts are of study, the increase in availability digital data and information resources relevant to their studies will demand increasingly sophisticated technical skills including: data manipulation, statistical analysis, mark-up languages and at least a functional knowledge of light programming, information visualization, and more. They must be facile with the tools that provide a platform for this work. The challenge extends to established scholars and educators that wish to take advantage of open data and information resource sets to develop ideas and execute their programs. - njohnson njohnson Feb 23, 2016
  • Short-term. - hdin hdin Feb 25, 2016
  • Short-term - emily_fry emily_fry Feb 26, 2016
  • Short term - EmilyLP EmilyLP Feb 27, 2016
  • Short-term. Not only degree granting programs, but on-the-job experience, conferences, professional development, workshops, etc. - nealstimler nealstimler Feb 27, 2016
  • Short term but my observation at the moment is that first we need to find ways of teaching the teachers. If teachers aren't skilled in these areas, then you have a real challenge ahead. - ewallis ewallis Feb 28, 2016
  • Short-term - SOberoi SOberoi Feb 29, 2016soberoi
  • Short-term. Fairly soon the continual acquisition of digital skills will be seen as part and parcel of being a museum professional. - dianezorich dianezorich Feb 29, 2016
  • Both in museums and the world at large, coding and understanding how the digital world interacts will be required skills for our future workplace. How do we make sure that museum staff that are currently in the marketplace acquire and see the importance of digital literacy? Otherwise, I see institutions even within the museum sector becoming segregated between those who understand and adapt to technologies and those that do not. The gap will continue to widen.- margaretsternbergh margaretsternbergh Feb 29, 2016- jludden jludden Mar 1, 2016

Managing the Moral Marketplace
"Increasingly the press and our peers remind us that each purchase we make and each bite we take has ripple effects on the world. The fact that, in this Internet age, we could research and vet the entire life cycle of a product or service, creates an expectation that we should. And this, in turn, leads to increased demand for transparency and accountability in behavior, sourcing and production. United and empowered by the Internet and by social media, today’s consumers wield unprecedented power, and woe betides any company that crosses the invisible ethical line. And nonprofits, traditionally assumed to be on the side of angels, don’t get a free pass in this era of soul-searching."
  • (2015 Trendswatch:
  • I'm unsure of the length of this trend. It seems like in the short-term, museums will have to market themselves as a strong public good to compete for funding. General trends in this area suggest donors are increasingly putting money into more obvious social service nonprofits. Much of this may be addressed by messaging throughout the field. - ortiz ortiz Feb 18, 2016
  • I'm not sure about this one...that quote isn't providing quite enough context. Is this really saying that visitors will increasingly hold museums to account (and do so publicly) for everything they say and do? What are some examples? - njohnson njohnson Feb 23, 2016
  • I think I need more context to make a decision where it lies trend-phrase wise. It reminds me how much we (my institution) pays attention to our reviews on tripadvisor, so perhaps it's a greater attention/conversation/strategic connections with those platforms. I could be off, though. - emily_fry emily_fry Feb 26, 2016
  • Short-term. Museums need to think of themselves as social businesses rather than non-profits. This perspective includes participation in the collaborative and sharing economies. - nealstimler nealstimler Feb 27, 2016
  • Short-term. And urgent. - lkelly lkelly Feb 28, 2016
  • Ugh. Do NOT like this trend title. If it means helping museum audiences understand and address moral issues, say that. But "managing morality" strikes me as a callous way for anyone to address moral issues. Museums should offer a venue for discussing and examining moral issues. - dianezorich dianezorich Feb 29, 2016 +1 - lizneely.mail lizneely.mail Mar 2, 2016
  • I think this can be broken down into 2 topics: how should the museum operate in a manner most conscious to our world (and considering politics... I'm not sure this is the forefront of the american public's mind, though it is in mine personally); and second the role of the museum in society (museums and ferguson, #blacklivesmatter, ) Museums should be thinking about these issues and our role short-term. - lizneely.mail lizneely.mail Mar 2, 2016

Prioritization of Mobile Content and Delivery
Mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets, and e-readers are capturing a larger share of the information market. A Pew Research Center study of American adults reported that 42% own tablet computers, 55% own a smartphone, and 50% have a dedicated handheld device. With this shift to mobile content consumption, museum staff and audiences are expecting access to museum resources anytime and anywhere. To adapt to this growing demand, museums are integrating mobile options for content and delivery into their services, including mobile-friendly versions of websites, apps, catalogs, and e-books. As the types of mobile devices and applications continue to evolve, museums are becoming more focused on lasting solutions that are device-neutral.
  • Long-term trend. In the near to mid term, this is important for the engagement of people of color, especially young people. Many of them lack access to desktop/home computers, but access the Internet through mobile devices ( As museums learn to adapt to an "Internet driven world", prioritizing where people access information (especially while visiting) will be key to long-term engagement. - ortiz ortiz Feb 18, 2016
  • Mid-term. The museum reaction to the increase in their audience's use of a diverse set of mobile platforms has sent GLAMs rushing towards a "mobile first" strategy that I think will peak in the next year or two before analytics and experience point them to a more balanced and flexible expression of their digital content. - njohnson njohnson Feb 23, 2016- jludden jludden Mar 1, 2016
  • Short-term. Mobile traffic to our website out paced desktop last year. - ryand ryand Feb 24, 2016
  • Short-term. Again, more personalized interpretation. - hdin hdin Feb 25, 2016
  • Short-term -- agree this allows for advancing personalized interpretation and expectation that the physical infrastructure of a museum can support such activity for years to come. Location-based mobile experiences, especially in terms of wayfinding and accessing content is in high demand. - emily_fry emily_fry Feb 26, 2016
  • Short term. Mobile first, information architecture is queen. - EmilyLP EmilyLP Feb 27, 2016 - nealstimler nealstimler Feb 27, 2016 Yes, +1. - dmitroff dmitroff Feb 28, 2016
  • Short-term. Most important user engagement platform. Mobile moves to wearables and then the smart body. Interconnected devices and information flow. - nealstimler nealstimler Feb 27, 2016
  • We really must integrate the view of thinking mobile first - lkelly lkelly Feb 28, 2016
  • I disagree with some of the assertions above - I agree that museum *staff* want access to museum resources wherever they are and whenever they want but I'm not convinced that audiences want that. What I think audiences do want, however, is that if a museum site pops up in a search results list then that site should present well on whatever device they happen to be using. It's a slightly different nuance but possibly means the same end result for audiences. - ewallis ewallis Feb 28, 2016
  • Short-term: mobile-first should not even be a question for more places anymore. Look at your Google Analytics traffic! - SOberoi SOberoi Feb 29, 2016soberoi
  • This is something that again is a huge divide. There are museums that embrace mobile content and whose web content is optimized for mobile delivery and other institutions where mobile is an afterthought and might never become important. - margaretsternbergh margaretsternbergh Feb 29, 2016

Proliferation of Open Educational Resources
Openness — concepts like open content, open data, and open resources, along with notions of transparency and easy access to data and information — is becoming a value across education. As traditional sources of authority are augmented by downloadable content, however, there is need for more curation and other forms of validation that can communicate the credibility of a resource. Complicating the landscape in some ways, “open” has become a term often applied in very different contexts. Often mistaken to simply mean “free,” open education advocates are working towards a common vision that defines “open” more broadly — not just free in economic terms, but educational materials that are freely copiable, freely remixable, and free of barriers to access, sharing, and educational use.
  • Long-term. Not my area of expertise but I see universities along with advanced education resource groups like Smithsonian increasing their digital education footprints.
  • Long-term. - hdin hdin Feb 25, 2016
  • Mid- to Long-term, reminds me of the V&A and British Museum's strategies for publishing and making available not only educational resources, but reports and documents that most museums keep internal. - emily_fry emily_fry Feb 26, 2016
  • Long-term. Goes hand-in-hand with the education revolution we are watching play out. - EmilyLP EmilyLP Feb 27, 2016
  • Short-term. The role of curation is no longer for museums to decide or lead. It’s a marketplace. Users decide what platforms to validate in their own personal and professional practice. - nealstimler nealstimler Feb 27, 2016
  • Short-term - MOOCS, Google Cultural Institute, Apple iTunesU - teachers are going where their professioanl community is and using platforms they are comfortable with, not museum websites. This is short-mid term for me - lkelly lkelly Feb 28, 2016
  • Short to mid term for me with a big challenge in *attracting* education audiences to our fantastic open, reusable resources. Sometimes it seems to come down to old fashioned marketing and giving away swag at education conferences. Otherwise we have a challenge in reaching teachers even though the content is all there for the taking (reusing). - ewallis ewallis Feb 28, 2016
  • Short to mid-term. Not my area of expertise - am basing this on how frequently I hear this trend being discussed among my peers. - dianezorich dianezorich Feb 29, 2016

Rethinking the Roles of Museum Professionals
Access to educational materials of all kinds has never been as easy or as open as it is today, and this trend is only increasing. The model of the museum curator or educator who stands in front of an object and interprets meaning for a passive audience is simply no longer realistic in this world of instant access. Museum professionals must respond by changing their roles to reflect the new need to guide and coach visitors in finding, interpreting, and making their own connections with collections and ideas. Museums are also more willing now to see themselves as learners, taking advantage of user-generated content to enhance the overall understanding of collections.
  • Mid-term. If I read this correctly, it implies that curators will become reference librarians. That doesn't wash with me. Museums will always be seen as authoritative producers of meaning and interpretation...thus curators will always be needed. Do museums need to provide to users increased access to potentially useful materials that include raw data and information resources? Absolutely...but I don't see them getting into the research librarian roll as mediators of access to these resources. The imperative here will be for GLAMs to develop data and information access resources that do not require mediators but rather take advantage of semantic web technologies and improvements in search/browse tools that give user autonomy and confidence in the relevance and recall of what they're finding. I agree that museums have much to learn from their visitors but I see all of this as a mid-term shift that plateaus. - njohnson njohnson Feb 23, 2016
  • Mid-term. - hdin hdin Feb 25, 2016
  • Mid-term, more and more I'm seeing the role of curator as a malleable position that can change into content expert, one in which is non-hierarchical and values other content producers. I also see the role of museum professionals being shared/partnered with other institutions--maybe in the future we don't work in one specific place, but a network of places depending on the project - emily_fry emily_fry Feb 26, 2016
  • Short-term. instead of lamenting the lack of the curator's 'scalability' - our solution has been to upload all our exhibition audio guides and interviews with the curator online - this means that the curator's voice can be heard beyond the gallery - before and after the visit. - shazan shazan Feb 26, 2016
  • Short-term. It’s already happened. The role of museum professionals is to be service providers and collaborative co-creators with the public. The experience and voices of professional interpretation are one voice among the many of people coming into contact with museums. Museum professionals must be open and willing to make more earnest gestures engaging in dialogue with those formerly seen as being outside their institutions in the academy, business and communities. This is how professional development is strengthened moving forward. - nealstimler nealstimler Feb 27, 2016 Agree - if your museum is not already doing this then you're going to be left behind... - lkelly lkelly Feb 28, 2016
    Agree, and well said in Neal's and Linda's comments, above! - dmitroff dmitroff Feb 28, 2016
  • I think even within institutions museum professional job descriptions will continue to be rethought. It is beginning to be the norm that digital expertise is no longer silo'd into the IT department but I think other skills and responsibilities will continue to be de-centralized. Video production, social media, etc are all areas that can and should be integrated across institutions for a more robust engagement with visitors and audiences. - margaretsternbergh margaretsternbergh Feb 29, 2016
  • In the changing nature of the museum profession - I think it's worth addressing the 'post-digital' situation -- where everything has a digital aspect and therefore the role of a digital department has morphed. There is still a need for technology leadership, vision, strategy and skills -- but the placement of these are fluctuating around the org chart. - lizneely.mail lizneely.mail Mar 2, 2016

Rise of Private Companies in Museum Education
Approaches to museum education have changed with the tide of technology, aligning with the digital paradigms that are continuously shaping museum operation and interpretation. While many museums have enjoyed increased capacity and streamlined processes as a result of this shift, there is much discussion about how to leverage these developments to strengthen educational engagement. In recent years, a number of companies and startups have been working directly with or alongside museums on education-centric goals. This trend is exemplified through Museum Hack, a private company that provides interactive, highly personalized tours of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, taking visitors off of the beaten path and engaging them in alternative interpretations of world famous artworks. Attitudes vary about how third-party involvement can help accomplish the museum’s mission; some museum professionals believe that private companies can improve museums by holding up a mirror to their institutions, illuminating areas for improvement. Whatever the case, a range of enterprises and outside efforts from the private sector are increasingly shaping the future of museums with the primary goal of deepening the public’s interest in cultural heritage.
  • Long-term. These entrepreneurial endeavors will inevitably compete with traditional GLAM interpretive programs...and this pressure will be a good thing for GLAMs. Successful institutions will learn how to partner effectively with the commercial/non-profit endeavors to increase their programmatic footprint and impact. This is a long haul trend. - njohnson njohnson Feb 23, 2016
  • Don't know how to respond to this one as it is currently happening. I am curious and concerned at the same time. - hdin hdin Feb 25, 2016
  • Short-term. Museums need to work better and in closer alliance with commercial partners to provide the best user experience for education and broader customer service. - nealstimler nealstimler Feb 27, 2016
  • Short to Mid-term. I think strategic partnerships with for-profit organizations can benefit museums by bringing new technologies and work processes from the private sector into GLAMS. I think that trends from outside the sector can inject new life and energy into slow-moving institutions and expose staff to alternative ways of working and thinking. - dmitroff dmitroff Feb 28, 2016
  • This is inextricably linked with Open Educational Resources - perhaps combine these two? - lkelly lkelly Feb 28, 2016
  • Short-term. Not always a positive trend for museums. The few museum/private partnerships in education that I have witnessed rely on fee-for-use or impose embargo periods on content that restrict access to the resource for set periods of time to all but paid subscribers. - dianezorich dianezorich Feb 29, 2016

Changing perspectives on ownership (of museums, collections, etc.)
From our 2016 trends for Cards for Culture (disclosure: this is my own product!): "The most visible museum collections are owned by us all, and can be curated by all of us, not just digitally. By discarding some of the traditional notions of keeping and presenting heritage, popular museums create a much more dynamic and convincing story, one that reaches many more people in a much more profound way."
My favourite case study of this trends in the Rijksstudio Award of the Rijksmuseum ( which every year celebrates the best reuse of the collection for creative purposes. Enabled by their Rijksstudio (the website that won all the awards), it engages hundreds of amateur and professional creatives to make the collection their own, and reuse it for their own benefit.
  • Short term: already going on in many institutions, but not everywhere yet - jasper jasper Feb 25, 2016
  • Short-term - hdin hdin Feb 25, 2016
  • Short-term. Many museum missions dedicate collections, programs and research to the public. Public ownership of data, digital assets and scholarly research must be among our highest priorities. - nealstimler nealstimler Feb 27, 2016
  • Short-term. I think this will feel less novel in just a few years. - dmitroff dmitroff Feb 28, 2016