Nine national museums have collaborated to create two online learning applications for pupils, teachers, and lifelong learners: WebQuests and Creative Spaces.
The museum WebQuests are free, high quality online educational tools for use by pupils and teachers, promoting open-ended investigations to solve specific tasks. The resources are cross-curricular and cover key stages 1-5.
WebQuests from the National Museum Online Learning Project
To do a quick summary of relevant WebQuests:
1. click on Links to the NMOLP WebQuests;
2. then click on one of the partner museum links;
3. finally, enter Art & Design or your subject area into the ‘Search’ facility.
Or for a bit more of a browse…
Once you’ve clicked on through to each partner museum in Links to the NMOLP WebQuests, you can then browse for eg Art and Design WebQuests by key stage and subject area.
Although the WebQuests will sit on each partner's website they will enable students to search across all the partner online collections to complete the quest.
WebQuest resources are cross-curricular and cover key stages 1-5.
It's not just History and Art that are covered by the WebQuests but a wide range of curriculum subject areas. Sir John Soane's Museum has a 'Write a Suspense Story' WebQuest for KS4 English.
As well as catering for school-based learners, the project offers excellent services for lifelong learners in the form of Creative Spaces. It’s a new social web application that enables users to search across the museum partner collections, document how the collections have inspired their own creative work and process, and share their work and ideas with a like-minded community.
Sir Christopher Frayling described the project as relevant, informative and trustworthy and said: "For decades Britain has been a world leader in lifelong learning and this project is a classic example. It's now taking it into the digital age."
"This project is perfectly placed to promote creativity - especially vital in this time of recession. It is wonderful that this initiative, about helping people to find their talents, is coming from the public sector."
For the launch of the project, example Creative Journeys videos have been produced demonstrating how the partner collections have inspired different individuals in their creative endeavours.
Fashion designer, Vivienne Westwood, presents her own Creative Space documenting how specific objects from the Wallace Collection have inspired and influenced her fashion creations and how the Museum’s contents and its ethos align with her Active Resistance to Propaganda Arts Manifesto, and her view of art.
She described the Wallace Collection as, 'The greatest art school in the world.' and says that she always sends her students and work experience people to visit the Museum.
Creative Spaces is a new social web application.
The combined museum collection project is made up of: the British Museum, Imperial War Museum, National Portrait Gallery, Natural History Museum, Royal Armouries, Sir John Soane's Museum, Tate, The Wallace Collection, and the Victoria and Albert Museum as lead partner. They have shared expertise and resources across their institutions, and departments, including learning and interpretation, online and curatorial.
The project aims to encourage greater use of the partner museum websites, engage new audiences and transform the way they think about and use existing digital collections.
The project was funded by HM Treasury and the Invest to Save Programme as well as contributions from the partnering museums.