Museum Studies at Tufts University

Exploring museums, ideas, and conversation

Category: education

Games, games, games…

by editor Phillippa Pitts

Games have been on my mind a lot this week. I know a lot of people who spend their incredible brainpower building games for museums, like Kellian Adams Pletcher with Murder at the Met, or Susan Edward with the Getty’s Switch (which I admire for its incredible simplicity!). I’ve even built a few games myself with SCVNGR. Nevertheless, I tend to approach gamification from a skeptical starting point.

This week, two new games crossed my desk that couldn’t be more different from each other: History Hero and Papers, Please.

History Heros, Courtesy of

History Heros, Courtesy of

“Papers Please,” courtesy of Slate

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Learning from 100-year-old Museum Education

Check out this amazing story from the Sunderland Museum. In 1913, their curator came up with a program for blind visitors–adults and children–to let them explore objects. Architectural columns, historical gas masks, and scores of natural history specimens were included.

courtesy of Atlas Obscura

courtesy of Atlas Obscura

Make sure you scroll to the end of the article to see the clay models that the visitors made after their visit. Really incredible!

How is this different from what we do today?

LAyouth explains “Why Museums Suck.”

Howard, a 15-year-old, self-described museum-hater, reviews 5 Los Angeles area museums. Definitely worth a read and, if you look in the comments section, you can see that a lot of museum folks have been reading!

More on AASLH’s Museum Education Workshop

We already mentioned that there’s going to be a terrific AASLH workshop in Boston in March; here are some more details to tempt you to sign up.

The registration for AASLH’s Museum Education 101 workshop scheduled for March 15-16 in Boston, MA, is now open at  The workshop is hosted by Historic New England and will be held at the Otis House. Register by February 13 and save $20 on your registration fee.

What is Museum Education 101?
Museum Education 101 provides an overview of the role of education within museums from an experience–based perspective.  Seasoned educators direct conversations about museum education and what it is museum educators do.  Through interactive activities, hands-on training and case studies, participants will learn about volunteer management, docent training, tour techniques, active learning  with people of all ages, developing exhibits with visitors in mind, on-line education and working with others to build education programs. Participants will leave the workshop with information and materials they can take back to their organizations to adapt and use!

The themes of this workshop are based on the recent publication The Museum Educator’s Manual: Educators Share Successful Techniques, coauthored by instructors Huber and Grove along with Nancy Cutler, Anna Johnson, and Melissa Bingmann. A copy of this must-have education manual is included in the workshop registration.

Who Should Attend:
This workshop is ideally suited for staff (first-time museum educators, directors, tour guides or volunteer managers and mid-career professionals), museum studies students, or dedicated volunteers working in all types of museums  who are given the responsibility of education and public programming.  For more information including an agenda, visit

Cost: $280 members /$355 nonmembers; $20 discount if fee is received by February 13.

Early-Bird Registration Deadline is now February 13!!  You can register today at

Please contact Bethany Hawkins, Program Associate at or 615-320-3203 if you have any questions about these or other upcoming workshops.

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