Sharing our expertise and resources

As a producer and strategist in the digital arts space, I have the same conversations with organisations all the time; around building new audiences through platforms, technologies, products and experiences. Which tends to feel like a lot of organisations, spending a lot of money (and for some, this is a huge investment and risk) having the same conversations and building the same castles. I feel there is a great opportunity to share expertise in this area and concentrate our efforts together to achieve really meaningful digital work, rather than replicating the same small wins. An example of this is the number of small learning departments creating online learning platforms/interactives all competing for the attention of the same user group – teachers. If we all committed to a simple solution, like publishing open data and pushing to one single Open Educational Resource bank we’d manage to create a unified digital arts space, maintain our identities, learn from each other and share more widely the expertise of specialists in this area. 

Why the contribution is important

There are great gains to be made in reaching new audiences through better methods of communication, partnership and skill-sharing. With public funding ever-dwindling, the digital divide between NPOs and smaller arts organisations is widening – where access to funding and expertise makes all the difference. Perhaps we can learn from the tech sector, where large organisations buy in specialist expertise from smaller agile organisations (where the risks can be taken and boundaries pushed through specialist funds); but ultimately there needs to be a mechanism for sharing our digital wins and losses and moving forward together.  

by Missy on July 17, 2017 at 04:59PM

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  • Posted by TCHLearningAndPartcipation July 18, 2017 at 15:47

    It is true that many cultural organisations do try and find an individual organisation based approach to talking to particular audience segments like teachers. Cultural Organisations compete to build relationships with teachers and deepen existing partnerships. Due to this competition (for teachers time, their access to young people and potential income through charged for programmes) perhaps joined up attempts at promotion will always be challenging.

    I agree often organisations do spend money and it isn't always as effective as they might hope due to lack of expertise. What you describe does remind me of TES resource bank whilst teachers were sharing 'resources' e.g. PowerPoint, lesson plans this could work equally well for 'resources' such as projects, workshops, exhibitons etc. TES started to allow contributors to charge for their resources to generate income. How would such as system be funded? Would large players end up contributing more and therefore dominating the space? There are certainly local networks that market it's member organisations effectively using social media etc but are too expensive for smaller organisations to join.

    The Customs House ( Elizabeth Kane Learning Officer
  • Posted by willpsaunders July 18, 2017 at 17:17

    I would be interested to know if there are any examples of the model you think might work ie do we see any examples of succesful shared resource where cultural organisations pool digital knowledge?
  • Posted by Missy July 21, 2017 at 17:20

    I don't think there are any at present. However, I believe we are poised on the brink of a new era of open educational metadata publishing. Only this week Amazon Inspire ( launched in beta, and it could have exciting ramifications for how teachers search for materials and we as cultural organisations, publish.
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