Smartphone report

We’re always interested in how audiences use mobile technology. Over the past two years many organisations have started to discuss how smartphones could work for them. With this in mind, we wanted to understand exactly which audiences could benefit from smartphone technology in particular.

Latest Report: Smartphones And Their Potential To Support Family Learning in the Cultural Sector

Click here to download the report – please note an email address is required

This report investigates whether smartphones in general and iPhones in particular offer new opportunities for the cultural sector to connect with Mums and indeed families in all their forms.  Could we harness some of the energy and excitement we saw in the playful response to smartphones to help improve family visits to museums or draw families into museums?  What was the potential?

This report summarises some of the trends we have identified in smartphones and their usage, the key family needs within museums and how the two might map onto one another to support family learning within the cultural sector – identifying opportunities and challenges for organisations in the years ahead.

We asked in a number of colleagues family learning and interpretation we respected what they thought why. Here’s what some of them had to say:

This paper signposts a world of opportunity for any organisation that welcomes families and wants to help them get more out of their visit. It’s a fascinating mapping together of research and observation from different disciplines, and the implications are exciting. Few of us will have big budgets for high-tech projects in the future, so taking an imaginative approach to building on what we’ve got already – families’ current behaviours, using technologies that they already have and extra functions already on the market – makes all kinds of interesting work possible.

Dr Louise Govier, MLA Museums Clore Leadership Fellow 2008-9

Telecommunication has come a long way, from simple telephones to smartphones, and have expanded beyond their original use as simple communciation devices. The latest arrivals, apps, are likely to enrich the way we can experience heritage, art and culture in exciting new ways. This report summarizes where we are today and what their potential use could be for our sector.

Dirk Bennett, Head of Interpretation, English Heritage

This a really useful piece of work… I think it will help museums assess where we are and where we might be going.

Gina Koutsika, Head of Interpretation, Tate Britain

The report is a great introduction to the subject and to how families might use the technology. I think that the emphasis on the role of the parent/carer in the museum visit is very important and the report shows this effectively.

Sally Davies, Assistant Curator (Early Years), Tate Modern

This report gives a really useful snapshot of how a range of families use and experience museums, in their own words. Mapping the family learning experience in the research findings to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs has proved a fruitful way to think about the range of ways in which our sector currently works with families, where we should be aspiring to go with this work, and the role that smartphone apps could potentially play in this.

Abigail Hackett, Heritage and Learning Consultant

Click here to download the report – please note an email address is required