University of Wyoming Geological Museum Participates in National Digital Learning Program

the University of Wyoming (UW) Geological Museum is one of 10 museums across the country selected to help develop a new digital learning platform known as Museums for digital learning. The platform aims to connect K-12 teachers and students across the country with digital teaching and learning resources.

The project is currently in its testing phase. So far, the Geological Museum has provided a learning kit.

“The first one is this Wyoming junior paleontologist program and it’s aimed at young kids, more like elementary school,” said Laura Vietti, museum coordinator and collections manager. “It highlights the different time periods and highlights what paleontology is versus archeology. It reviews and will target specific fossils in the museum. But we have photos of them instead of them being. actually in the museum. “

The UW Geological Museum has one of the best collections of fossilized teeth in the world.

Vietti is also working on a second resource kit for middle and high school students. This one focuses on the amount of information that can be learned from fossilized teeth.

According to Vietti, there are still disparities between museums of different sizes with different resources, but the platform helps level the playing field a bit.

“I think it’s really exciting to be able to create content, working with the Field Museum and some of these other great museums. And all the content is so different, and it’s really fun to see how people put things together. educational activities. Basically they are all different “said Vietti.” I am able to look at all these other kits and sometimes I will look at the [Field] Museum and just say, ‘Oh, man, that’s a good idea. I wish we could do that. But they have more resources. And then, in the same vein, I think we did things much better than them. “

According to Vietti, participating institutions don’t have to do any backend coding or editing to add content.

“We have a very strong community engagement here in Laramie and Wyoming, and to some extent even in the nation. We are certainly well known. But I think to really experience what the museum has to offer you have to come. at the museum, even though we have a lot of our digital specimens and we have a lot of resources online, ”she said.“ This resource kit, it really offers a new and exciting way to interact with people around the world. And that really takes away the barriers for me to reach this large audience. I don’t think that will prevent anyone from coming to the museum. In fact, I think it will increase the number of visitors because it will bring together a new and different audience than what we would normally get. “

Participating museums will provide feedback on the platform and the process before it is opened to more institutions. The Museums for Digital Learning platform was to be launched at the end of 2020 but has experienced some delays. It should be launched in the coming months.

A question about this story? Contact reporter Ivy Engel at [email protected].

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