When I think about what I want from a museum’s digital presence, I think about access, depth, and engagement. In terms of access, when I go to a museum’s website, I’d like to be able to easily interact with the online exhibitions and see most, if not all, of the museum’s collections. In terms of depth, I’d like to see a variety of materials that would enhance my connection to and understanding of the pieces (digital storytelling is one method of this). In terms of engagement, the site should draw visitors in and somehow find a way to instill the wonder of seeing the actual object (V & A’s Design a Wig does this).
I go back and forth on my opinion on online classes all the time. I think they have great potential to make education more democratic and accessible, but I’m also a huge proponent of small, seminar-based classes and hands-on education. I think certain types of learners can benefit greatly from MOOCs, but others can easily get lost. Senior year of high school, I sat down and did an edX class (The Secret of Life, which is a biology course from MIT) start to finish. I would not have been able to take an MIT class otherwise, so that was really exciting. The professor was very fascinating and charismatic, the course included supplemental materials that kept me engaged, and the course had a very specific structure, which kept me on task. The class had such an impact on me, that it influenced what I wanted to do with my life (this is changing now, but at the time I found a true passion for biology). However, I can easily see others not being engaged with the course.
This video isn’t necessarily digital storytelling in the way that we learned about digital storytelling in class, but I’d argue that it is a form of digital storytelling, and it conveys a profound and complicated topic in an entertaining and easy to grasp manner.