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Program

The Handheld Online Conference took place June 3, 2009 and included three live online events. You may access the recordings using the buttons below. Each session features a brief presentation by each of two speakers, followed by discussion among the presenters and participants. The next conference will take place in early 2010. Please enter your name and email below to stay informed.
 

June 3, 2009 - 11:00-11:55 am EDT Handhelds! Getting It Done at Museums Large & Small
  • Chris Alexander, San Jose Museum of Art The Little Engine that Could - Mobile Tours on a Shoestring Budget
  • Silvia Filippini Fantoni, Sorbonne University and British Museum The Challenges of Developing a Multimedia Guide for Large Museums

June 3, 2009 - 1:00-1:55 pm EDT The Future of Mobile Interpretation
  • Koven Smith, Metropolitan Museum of Art The Future of Mobile Interpretation
  • Nancy Proctor, Smithsonian American Art Museum Beyond the 2 Minute Stop: Soundtracks, Soundbites and Smartphones

June 3, 2009 - 3:00-3:55 pm EDT No Time Like the Present: Rapid Deployment with Open Source Technologies - At What Cost?

About the Conference Speakers:
Chris Alexander Chris Alexander: Chris Alexander has been the Manager of Interactive Technology at the San Jose Museum of Art, California, since 2006. He has a wide-ranging museum background, a Masters of Fine Arts Degree in Visual Art and is certified in Web Design from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Since starting his position, Chris has been actively creating content, both audio and video, in-house and exploring various methods of delivery including mobile phones, video iPods and "web 2.0" web portals. Most recently, in 2008, he developed a first of it's kind iPod Touch tour for the SJMA which utilizes the museum's WiFi network to deliver an audio/video tour to 30 iPod Touch units through the Mobile Safari Web Browser. Chris has spoken at several conferences including Museums and the Web, American Association of Museums and most recently the Tate Modern’s handheld conference Audiotours to iPhones. Additionally, Chris has several mobile experiences for other organizations in the works as a freelance tour designer and consultant.
The Little Engine that Could: Mobile Tours on a Shoestring Budget In his presentation Chris Alexander will discuss several options for museums on a limited budget. There are many inexpensive solutions available to smaller museums and institutions that include Cell Phones, Video iPods, and iPhone and iPod Touch. Each of these has its pros and cons, but they allow museums with no experience in mobile technologies an easy solution for offering a mobile experience to their visitors. Additionally, Chris will talk about tools used for the creation of content to offer on these tours.
Silvia Filippini Fantoni Silvia Filippini Fantoni: Silvia Filippini Fantoni has recently completed her PhD at the University of Paris (Sorbonne) on the use of personalization technology in museums. She has presented the results of her research at international conferences and seminars and has worked on the evaluation and/or the development of technology-based projects with and for various museums around the world including the Louvre, the Centre Pompidou, the City of Science and Industry in Paris, the Indianapolis Museum of Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Tate Modern and the J. Paul Getty Museum. She has recently worked a an evaluator and a product manager for multimedia guides at Antenna Audio. Silvia is currently a lecturer at Sorbonne University, where she teaches courses related to museums and technology, and a multimedia project manager at the British Museum, where she is overseeing the development of the museum’s multimedia guide.
The Challenges of Developing a Multimedia Guide for Large Museums In her presentation Silvia Filippini Fantoni will discuss the challenges that large museums face when developing a multimedia guide, as well as some of the ways in which these challenges have been met so far. These include creating and assembling multimedia content in multiple languages, way finding, random access versus linear tours, high turnover, and distribution issues. She will also discuss the resources, skills and different steps that are necessary for the development of such projects, including the need for testing and evaluations.
Koven Smith Koven Smith: Koven Smith has been working in museums for the last five years, formerly as the Museum Systems Architect at the Indianapolis Museum of Art, and currently as the Senior Analyst for Enterprise Content Management at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Koven has applied his background in composition (he is a 1997 graduate of Boston's Berklee College of Music) and Web Services for the non-profit sector to the problems of information modeling, data normalization, and content aggregation in museums. In addition to his recent work at the Met, where he has participated, among other projects, in the steve (Social Term Editing for Vernacular Enhancement) initiative, Koven developed the IMA's content repository, "Intaglio," and was a member of the evaluation team for CHIN's 2003 Collections Management Software Review.
The Future of Mobile Interpretation The last several years have seen museums carefully moving away from outmoded audio technology towards richer multimedia devices. However, while there have been a handful of successful museum installations of multimedia guides, these devices still have yet to take hold in museums in the same way that audio guides have. This may have less to do with the technology itself, and more with the mindset that produces content for the technology. This brief presentation discusses the means by which museums might break through these old ways of working and begin producing truly next-generation mobile content.
Nancy Proctor Nancy Proctor: With a PhD in American art history and a background in filmmaking, curation and art criticism, Nancy Proctor published her first online exhibition in 1995. She co-founded TheGalleryChannel.com in 1998 with Titus Bicknell to present virtual tours of innovative exhibitions alongside comprehensive global museum and gallery listings. TheGalleryChannel was later acquired by Antenna Audio, where Nancy headed up New Product Development for nearly 8 years, introducing the company’s multimedia, sign language, downloadable, podcast and cellphone tours. She also led Antenna’s sales in France from 2006-2007. When Antenna Audio was acquired by Discovery Communications in 2006, Nancy worked with the Travel Channel’s product development team and subsequently headed up research and development for the nascent Discovery Audio brand. She now works cross-platform again as Head of New Media at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, where she continues to teach, lecture and publish widely on museum interpretation for digital platforms.
Titus Bicknell Titus Bicknell: Apart from a fascinating stint at NBC Universal in 2007-8 working on the big screen, Titus has spent the last 10 years exploring the small screen both web and hand held. As Chief Engineer at Antenna Audio and subsequently Head of Mobile Technologies at Discovery Communications, he participated in groundbreaking handheld projects at Tate Modern, the Louvre, Pompidou, the Intel Museum, and the Getty, among others. Titus is currently Director Information Technology for Experius LLC where he is developing technology solutions for a number of pedagogical experiences including the Gateway Canyons Resort and the Gateway Colorado Automobile Museum.
Bruce Wyman Bruce Wyman: Before becoming Director of New Technologies at the Denver Art Museum, Bruce worked at Nearlife, Inc. in Cambridge, MA as Director of Creative Development. As part of the core development team, Bruce worked on and led a number of technology based experiences that pushed boundaries on-air (Emmy-nominated), on-line, and in-gallery. Previously, Bruce worked at the New England Aquarium in a variety of roles, eventually leaving as the Curator of Interactive Technology. He has worked in the areas of exhibit content development, user experience, interface design, special technology projects, and Internet development. Bruce is now responsible for integrating new experiences and technologies into the Denver Art Museum's programs on-line and on-site in the new Frederic C. Hamilton Building, a geometric explosion of glass and titanium designed by Daniel Libeskind.
Jonathan Finkelstein Jonathan Finkelstein (Moderator) Jonathan Finkelstein is founder and executive producer of LearningTimes. His book, Learning in Real Time (Wiley/Jossey-Bass), translates many years of experience facilitating online learning into a practical resource guide for anyone teaching online. He is also a contributor to a book by museum leaders entitled The Digital Museum (AAM), and moderates online learning events for thousands of busy professionals with myriad backgrounds nearly every week. He is also the producer of numerous podcast series, and the moderator and producer of live webcasts, online conferences and 3D virtual world events for education professionals. Finkelstein, who is the son of two New York City public school teachers, is a Certified Synchronous Training Professional (CSTP) and graduated with honors from Harvard University.

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A Green Conference

Participants joined this powerful professional development event right from theirs desktops! Low in carbon and high in access to people helping realize the potential of handheld devices.

One-Day Online Conference

The Handheld Online Conference took place June 3, 2009 and included three interactive, live online events featuring museum professionals doing exciting work with handhelds. See the session recordings.

International Survey

Please take 10 minutes to help improve knowledge sharing in the field of "Handheld Guides". Our objective is a better collective understanding of the museum community’s use and ambitions with handheld guides / mobile interpretation. Participate Now….