Creating a Virtual Museum

I teach half-day at an alternative school for First Nations, Metis and Inuit students. Myself and Brent (the other teacher) have an idea for semester two. We want our students to create a museum exhibit on Canada’s First Peoples. They seem on board with the idea. Our students are taking Ojibwe, physical education/health, learning strategies and then an independent compulsory course. We have 1:1 computers, students bring their own mobile devices, access to a green screen and helicopter/drone with GoPro camera. Access to tools and devices is not a barrier.

Our thought was to make a physical museum display in our class space and then we would like to also have a virtual display and tour. We would invite local elementary schools to visit in addition to visit our virtual space. We have the following ideas for curriculum connections so far:

  • display on Aboriginal games and sport (phys ed)
  • display on local geography and how First Nations historically used the land (geography)
  • display on First Nation treaties (history)
  • display comparing what democracy looks like in Canadian government to First Nations (civics)
  • interview with First Nations, Metis or Inuit people about their jobs, education and how they got there (careers)
  • display on types of art and student creations (art)
  • display on the history of language (Ojibwe)
  • display on traditional types of shelter (living spaces and shelter)
  • a mobile app/game to make practicing Ojibwe language fun (Ojibwe)

We started with the idea of SecondLife, moved into Minecraft and now someone has suggested Google Gallery. Do you have any thoughts on what digital tools might help us create the digital or virtual display and tour of our exhibit?

Thank you for sharing any ideas that you have.

4 thoughts on “Creating a Virtual Museum

  1. Wow – this sounds like a fantastic (and huge!!) project! Best of luck with it. I wonder if, in the future, other schools could add “wings” or “galleries” to the virtual museum – add in information about their own geography or peoples?

    SecondLife and Minecraft are good venues, but would that allow *everyone* to have access? (Or would access only be to those with SecondLife/Minecraft accounts?). I’ve never heard of Google Gallery… Would even a well-set-up wiki work, too?

    I’m always looking to inject science into large projects – ideas might include Native astronomy (grade 9 science), traditional diets (foods/nutrition), traditional herbs/medicine (biology or chemistry), going further back – traditional tool materials (earth science)… just ideas :)

    Looking forward to seeing how this progresses!

  2. Heather…. I love it! We often have math and science running in the first semester, so we could make projects around the Native astronomy, traditional diets, herbs/medicine, etc. to add on to it next year. What an amazing idea!

  3. Hi Jac,
    You might know that the digital ideas would not come from me except that I have added Drop Box to my meager technical repertoire. I do want to congratulate you on mobilizing learning, always your strength. This approach certainly gives a powerful voice. How about connecting with other students in remote areas…Pikangikum had a leader very interested in supporting this.
    Continue the wonderful work and have a great winter week end.
    Jean

  4. Neat idea Jean,
    We could (if I can manage all this in one semester) connect to remote locations and other First Nations most certainly. I could do this to areas I used to live in as well as potentially Aboriginal communities from other parts of the world. Thanks for the ideas!

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