On Monday I had the opportunity to go to the Alamo. It was a fabulous experience, one I never thought I would have. It was a chance to connect my understanding of Florida history with Texas history and, most importantly, a chance to check out new exhibitions and objects.
In 2010 I traveled to New York City and I remember being scolded by a security guard for taking out my cell phone in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I was literally just holding it, not taking a picture or texting or calling, just holding my phone and a museum security guard told me to put it away (visitor service associates can cringe at that!).
Today we are in a different era. Museums now encourage the use of cell phones and mobile devices in gallery settings. So, when I see one of those images of a camera with a big X through it I am usually disappointed. Disappointed for the museum and for myself. I am not able to document my visit to share with students and I am not able to interact with museum content, share via their social media tools and increase public exposure to the site.
At the Alamo I saw one of the most amazing touch screen interactives I have ever seen. Ever! And that is saying a lot for someone who is a museum junkie. I have seen a lot of interactives, some for the sake of interactivity and some that actually encourage visitor interaction, increase their understanding, and engage visitors. The amazing interactive I saw on Monday was in the Alamo’s special exhibition, Bowie: Man, Knife, Legend. Now I know in many exhibitions there are privately owned objects and collections and that is the reason for photography restrictions, but in this instance it means I am not able to share this amazing touch screen kiosk with you. If you check out the link above you will see a small image of the kiosk at the bottom of the webpage. Here is another link to an article about the exhibition that shows the kiosk. So, I guess all is not lost. But, I would have loved to include some images of me actually using the kiosk because it was truly amazing.