Logo for ASTC Digital Engagement Project

While many museums have been designing digital engagement programs for years, the COVID-19 pandemic pushed the field to quickly create or expand their online offerings. This rapid proliferation of digital museum content is a testament to the field’s ability to efficiently pivot in response to changing circumstances. The rise in digital content has also allowed new audiences to gain access to museum programming for the first time and opened opportunities for museum staff to establish new ways of connecting with their communities. As museums reopen their physical locations, many are wondering what the future of digital engagement should look like at their institutions in order to nurture these new or reinvigorated connections. 

The ASTC team has launched a project to learn about our members’ experiences, challenges, and opportunities when it comes to digital engagement: What do science centers and museums need to continue to provide creative, effective, and equitable digital programs for diverse audiences?

This project is supported by the Overdeck Family Foundation, a foundation that is committed to inspiring young minds and strengthening family learning through out-of-school time STEM experiences. 

10 Tips for Science Center and Museum Digital Engagement

Thumbnail image of PDF handout describing 10 tips for museum digital engagement.

Digital engagement can and should continue to be a part of the strategy for science centers and museums! Taking what we learned across listening sessions with ASTC members, expert interviews, and a literature review, we compiled 10 tips for museums looking to continue and increase digital engagement.

Accessibility Toolkit for Museum Digital Engagement

This toolkit provides concrete guidance on how to ensure that digital programs and experiences are accessible to a wide range of individuals, including those with disabilities. Created by our partners, Sara Kobilka from Renaissance Woman Consulting and Meryl Evans.

Community of Practice 

As a part of this project, we created a Digital Engagement Community of Practice where museum professionals working in digital engagement can learn about colleagues’ programs, share stories, and ask questions! This online community features a library of recommended resources to help members start, sustain, and strategize museum digital engagement. We hope the library grows over time as members add the resources that they’ve found useful in their own work! 

Blog Post: Digital Engagement Strategy and Financial Sustainability

Steven Beasley of Field Theory, Nik Honeysett of the Balboa Park Online Collaborative, and Rosie Siemer of FIVESEED offer their expertise on strategies that can contribute to the financial sustainability of digital engagement efforts.

ASTC Virtual Convening: Exploring Sustainable Approaches to Digital Engagement 

This convening, which took place on April 26 and 28, 2022, was an opportunity for our members to hear inspiring stories of successes in museum digital engagement, learn from their peers, and have discussions about developing their own organizations’ digital strategies. Discussions focused on four key areas of sustainable digital engagement: Reflecting on 2020–2021, Finding Your Strategic Value, Staff Capacity, and Sustainable Financial Models. 

Literature Review

Museum Digital Engagement: Before, During, and Beyond the COVID-19 Pandemic covers the major topics in museum digital engagement from before the pandemic, during the height of the pandemic, and into the future. This review was developed with Oberg Research. 

For questions, contact Naomi Wallace, Manager of Impact Initiatives.

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