When it comes to being inventive, it’s said that necessity plays a powerful part. And nobody understands this better than the team at the Auckland-based Museum of Transport and Technology (MOTAT), where innovation, creativity and ingenuity drive its daily operation.
Traditionally known as a hands-on provider, MOTAT normally welcomes around 25,000 students on site every year. But when the recent lockdown made remote and online learning the norm, the museum stepped up to meet this new challenge.
“Digital learning and online classes have always been on the cards for us,” explained Education Manager Julie Baker.
“But the COVID-19 lockdown made online learning a necessity and, in turn, gave us the environment to accelerate our efforts in this area.
“Now we’ve jump-started our digital strategy and are delivering online learning experiences two years ahead of expectation. We’ve developed several online ZOOM-based workshops in the areas of NZ History, Technology and Innovation and Design Thinking
“We hosted our first workshop during lockdown itself, with students linking in from their respective home bases. Now knowing how easy it is to engage with schools in this way, we’re keen to make sure schools all over New Zealand know we’re here to help and ready to share our incredible resources with them.”
The online workshops have been designed around MOTAT’s most popular onsite experiences. They are collection-based, curriculum-aligned and are accompanied by comprehensive follow-up resources and activities.
Each is delivered by ZOOM, which enables MOTAT educators to interact with up to 100 students per workshop.
“We want these sessions to be easy to engage with and able to stand alone as an educational experience. You select a workshop topic and book a day and time that suits your learning programme. A MOTAT Educator will get in touch a week beforehand to discuss how we can further customise the workshop to meet specific learning needs.“There’s a small cost to book but being ZOOM-based multiple classes can participate to ensure great value for a school.
And everyone seems to love the fact that there’s no stress about organising buses, collecting permission notices, chasing parent helpers or any other hassles that normally accompany school trips.”
MOTAT has a dedicated team of educators who are focused on creating resources and learning plans that support teachers.
“There’s no museum better equipped to provide engaging learning opportunities around STEM subjects and these workshops help teachers tap into all our resources. We’re home to more than 800,000 collection objects.
“We might be Auckland based but thanks to COVID-19 and the tremendous changes this pandemic has forced us all to face, we are now equipped to connect and share our resources with schools all over New Zealand.”
© INTERFACE Magazine, June 2020