@MarDixon Passionate about culture. Champion for the next generation of Cultural visitors. Defender of Libraries. Digital, Wearable Tech Enthusiast. Sharing knowledge. Troublemaker and/or advocate, depending on what you need.
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    August 15th, 2014mardixonCulture, International, Tech

    The National Gallery LondonAs many of you know I’ve been a Google Explorer since December 2013.  My original focus was to see how Google Glass could work within the cultural sector.

    For months I used projects I was working on to share Glass – to instigate dialogue and consider how people would use Glass should they own a pair.  As time went on my focus shifted from the cultural sector in general to, more specifically, accessibility. It became apparent the more I experienced the use of Glass with others just how many of those experiences that Glass provided generated examples of how this new technology could impact on people’s lives for the better.

    It was during MuseumNext that my research came full circle back to Glass in museums.  There was a lot of discussion on innovation and technology at MuseumNext, but I challenged the discussion by suggesting that the word innovation is being used to loosely and freely, is what many Museums doing innovate? Is an App still ‘innovative work’ just because it’s….an App?  This initiated another discussion from a few follow up posts which lead to me mentioning that I’ve had Glass for a while now, making it very public and offering it for research or experimentation to the Museum sector however at that point NO museum had taken me up on the offer.

    Joseph PadfieldFrom that initial discussion a few museums contacted me, one of which was Joseph Padfield from the National Gallery.  Joseph was interested in Glass and its possibilities within the National Gallery from the museum aspect but also conservation. We decided on a visit the National Gallery and we would run a two-day research project to see if Glass really did have potential there.

    Initially we arranged for a brief ‘consultation’.  I came in, demonstrated Google Glass and let a few of the staff members have a go, albeit briefly.  We covered in this initial meeting;

    • What Google Glass looks like
    • How it works (physically)
    • How to operate it
    • Some of examples of accessibility that it could be used with.

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    July 29th, 2014mardixonCulture, International, Tech

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    June 16th, 2014mardixonCulture, International, Tech

    IMG_6244I have been back from Russia now just over a week. It was an experience that allowed me a real insight into the Russian museum community (albeit primarily on the western  side).   From running workshops, speaking at a conference,  being a guest to many museums, and speaking with numerous people (museum, digital, tech and more) I came away with a solid knowledge of their current cultural position (and quite frankly, a thirst to go back!).

    Firstly a little background on this trip.  I first encountered Anna Mikhaylova via social media (of course) then in person at ‘Museums on the Web’ in Portland, Oregon.  I can’t remember when or how the idea of me going to Russia happened, but soon we (more like Anna) had formulated a detailed plan for 20 days in St Petersburg, Vyborg, Peterhof and Moscow.

    My itinerary was hectic and diverse but allowed me to truly see the museum community in a holistic (and hands on) view. Read the rest of this entry »

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    February 13th, 2014mardixonCulture, Tech

    [Please note: I actually have a lot more to say on this topic but decided to keep it short and sweet for your sanity and mine… mainly mine.]

    answerI’ve been involved with a few research projects lately.  Each project is interesting and worthwhile in their own right.  However, I’ve noticed there has been a two-part theme that has run throughout all of them:

    a)    Is tech the solution or the problem?
    b)   How much influence does funding have in that answer?

    We live in this wonderful society where tech and digital is plentiful.  As a Google Explorer and someone who has my iPhone pretty much attached to my hand at all times, I’m constantly connected.  I’m the type of person that gets the shakes when the power goes out.

    However, I’m also the first to ask:  are we using tech for the right reason?  Are we trying to fit that square into a circle because we should or because it’s there?

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    January 6th, 2014mardixonTech

    “It’s an emotional luxury product,” Stuart Miles of gadget site Pocket Lint  “One that you do not need but once you have it you will find ways to use it.”

    Surprisingly, this quote is not about Glass but was said at the launch of iPads back in 2010. Now (2014) there are hundreds of example of iPads changing lives for students and those with disabilities.

    Since posting that I’ve a pair of Glass, I’ve been asked a lot of questions and somehow been involved with several debates. Hopefully, I can address some of the replies here: Read the rest of this entry »

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    January 2nd, 2014mardixonCulture, International, Tech

    googleglassFor the past couple of months, I’ve been asked a lot about Google Glass and where they fit in with the big picture (museums, galleries, teens, kids, innovation, etc).  I’ve been reading up as much as possible but knew the only real way for me to be honest with my response would be to own a pair.  After arranging to receive a pair of Google Glass I started researching things – like what to do when I open the box.

    I will admit that I was a tad intimidated at the thought of having a developers pair of Glass.  Did that mean I would need to program them to turn them on? How complex would it be to work them? What level of skill would be required? Would I have the patience to deal with this learning curve?

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