Keep Up Those Connections

Today’s post was written by Ken Turino, Manager of Community Engagement and Exhibitions at Historic New England, and a Tufts professor. Ken is currently co-instructor of the Tufts courses Exhibition Planning and Revitalizing Historic House Museums. Here he offers insights to career development and shares stories from his own fascinating path.

Over the years, I have found networking to be a great way to stay in touch with classmates, colleagues, and Tufts students. You often don’t know where these connections may take you so it is important to keep them up. Thirty-four years after completing graduate school, I am still in touch with my professor, the head of the Museum Education Program at George Washington University and over the years she has served as a reference for me and we have co-written an article together for History News, gotten together at conferences, and socialized. These many years later I am still in close contact with several of my classmates (we rented a castle together in Scotland for a big birthday two summers ago).  Over the years, we have offered each other support and advice. Some have left the field but our experience together has bonded us, and we have used each other as consultants for projects, sounding boards, and served as references for each other.

It is also important to keep up your further education which leads you to new contacts.  In my case, the contacts I made while attending The Seminar for Historic Administration, led many years later to my current job at Historic New England. One of my GW classmates and I participated in the seminar and I became friendly with one of the faculty, Bill Tramposch. Subsequently, I had him speak for the Museum Education Roundtable in Washington, DC, and we kept up over many job changes in both our careers. I even visited him when he ran the New Zealand Historic Places Trust. Subsequently, he came to Historic New England and asked me to come work with him to create an Exhibitions Program. Although I was director of my own museum, this was an opportunity I could not pass up on.

The point is these connections can lead you in many different paths but you have to keep them up and yes this takes effort but the benefits can be both personal and professional. I am happy to pass on job announcements, internship opportunities, etc. to my friends, colleagues and students. You should too. I have found our museum community particular warm and inviting. So go to the national and regional conferences and talk with people, keep up with your professors and classmates, take seminars and make new acquaintances. All are a great way to make new connections and keep up older acquaintances. It paid off for me.

Professional Development: Inclusive Practices

The Museum of Science in Boston is hosting a webinar event to watch the AAM series on accessibility (see below for more information). The event will be followed by a talk based on the information. Check out below if you’re interested in joining!

 

Stories of Inclusion: Inclusive Practices at Cultural Institutions

The American Alliance of Museums (AAM), in collaboration with the Coalition to Advance Learning in Archives, Libraries and Museums is planning a three-part webinar series on accessibility, Stories of Inclusion: Inclusive Practices at Cultural Institutions, scheduled for October 7, 14 and 28, 2015. The Museum of Science, Boston will be hosting a webinar “watch and talk” event from 1:30-4:30 in conjunction with this series. This is a great opportunity to bring local colleagues from museums, archives, libraries and the disability community together to share ideas, information and inspiration around this important topic. There is no cost to attend a local “watch and talk” event.

In this series, advocates and experts explore issues of accessibility and inclusion from the perspective of visitors, staff and facility or program users in museums, libraries, archives and other cultural institutions. Presenters and special guests in each webinar highlight case studies and examples of inclusive practice, addressing and responding to the first-hand stories of visitors with disabilities.

  • October 7: ADA at 25 and Universal Design at Cultural Institutions
  • October 14: Responding to Visitors who are Deaf, Hard-of-Hearing, Blind or with Low Vision
  • October 28: Responding to Visitors with Cognitive, Developmental and Emotional Disabilities

Each “watch and talk” event consists of:

  • 30 minutes of pre-webinar check-in and networking
  • 90-minute live webinar
  • 60 minutes of post-webinar facilitated discussion or activity

 

RSVP for the Museum of Science, Boston “watch and talk” event HERE. The Museum Of Science is easily accessible by public transit and will provide complimentary parking for event attendees. Light refreshments will be served. Upon arrival, please check-in at the information desk.

Jumbo Perks: Lynda.com

LyndaFor years Tufts Technology Services held a small number of monthly licenses to Lynda.com—an encyclopedic self-paced digital learning library. Now the entire Tufts community has unlimited access to this robust technical training library with just their Tufts username and password.

One of my favorite things about Tufts is finding out about all of the resources we have access to as graduate students. Both on-campus and online, our student status opens the door to far more tools and opportunities than we have time to utilize. As you make priorities for this school year, I encourage you to check out the new access we all have to Lynda.com.

One example of the site’s usefulness is a course I am working through called Instructional Design Essentials. In the segment “Getting to Know the Subject Matter Expert,” Lynda.com provides segmented video instruction regarding best practices of collaboration between content experts and educators, and also guides students through each stage of the process, from preparing for the kick-off meeting through wrapping up the final deliverables. It even includes pre- and post-content quizzes and downloadable charts and outlines ready to be customized to a specific project.

Already an instructional design pro? What about Google Analytics, Photoshop, HTML, or Project Management? Take time now to pick a few playlists that specifically connect to your own 3-6 month goals and schedule in this personal development time.

What tools are you most excited to learn?

Alternatively, if you have trained with Lynda.com or a similar site, do you have any tips for making the most of these resources?

Professional Development Opportunity: Sustainability in Museums and the Role of the Museum Educator

Next Thursday, October 1, the Greater Boston Museum Educators Roundtable (GBMER) is hosting a “working lunch” at the Concord Museum to talk about green practices in museums and how educators can get involved in the topic. The discussion will be led by Sarah Sutton, author of The Green Museum and Environmental Sustainability at Historic Sites and Museums.

The program will run from 10:00 AM until 1:00 PM, and requires an RSVP. For more information, check out the graphic below from the GBMER, or check out their facebook page. 

image001

Calling All Writers!

Now that fall is starting to get under way (sorry to say), we’d like to put out a call for any students or museum professionals who might want to write a guest post for this blog! Whether you have a vague idea of a topic you are interested in, you have something already written and are looking for a place to make it public, or you’re somewhere in between, we’d love to hear from you! You are also more than welcome to take something you have written for class and transform it into a post. You do not need to be a professional writer to contribute to the blog – Jess and I are happy to help with editing. From one time posts to recurring series, we are open to ideas.

If this sounds like something you are interested in, please email Colleen and Jess, your trusty co-editors, at tuftsmuseumblog[at]gmail[dot]com.