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Technology on the Horizon

The USA-based New Media Consortium (NMC) and the Marcus Institute for Digital Education in the Arts have released their NMC Horizon Report on museums .  The report, the fourth of its type, is an attempt to identify and characterize the emerging technologies likely to have a large impact over the next five years in education and interpretation within the museum sector.


The 2013 report identifies six technologies:

  • bring your own device (BYOD)
  • crowdsourcing
  • electronic publishing
  • location-based services
  • natural user interfaces
  • conservation and preservation technologies

and examines their impact over the mid-term and far-term horizons.

Trends and Challenges

The report also identifies and discusses seven trends and challenges that are currently affecting the practice of museum education and interpretation.  These are:

1.  Cross-institution collaboration is growing as an important way to share resources.

2.  Collection-related rich media are becoming increasingly valuable assets in digital interpretation.

3.  Digitisation and cataloguing projects continue to require a significant share of museum resources.

4.  Expectations for civic and social engagement are profoundly changing museums’ scope, reach and relationships.

5.  Increasingly, visitors and staff expect a seamless experience across devices.

6.  More and more, people expect to be able to work, learn, study, and connect with their social neworks wherever and whenever they want.

7.  The need for data literacy is increasing in all museum-related fields.

To read more see the NMC Horizon Report: 2013 Museum Edition.