We are writing at an exciting time in the history of the California Automobile Museum; we are on the verge of finally realizing our long-held goals of launching a capital campaign to provide funding for the interior improvements, an endowment fund, and ultimately acquiring a new facility.
Until then, our mission continues: to preserve, exhibit and teach the story of the automobile and its influence on our lives. Teaching is a huge part of what we do, and people learn more if they are directly engaged. To that end, we have chosen educational technology as our project for the 2013 Annual Fund Drive.
Currently, at the California Auto Museum you will find:
- Knowledgeable and friendly docents/tour guides
- Hands-on vehicles and auto-related information
- A fabulous collection of cars spanning from the late 19th Century into the 21st Century
What you will not find:
- New technology to benefit visitors
The biggest challenge that museums often have is staying relevant to new generations, and one way we can overcome that obstacle is by adding the technology that the younger patrons (and many older patrons as well) are familiar with as a learning tool.
Technologies such as mobile apps, touchscreens, and audio/visual components, are changing the face of museum education as we know it and have the capability of turning visitors into the curators of their own experience!
There is a widespread agreement in the academic industry that devices such as tablets, apps for smartphones and interactive computers are important; they can engage people by stimulating multiple senses, including sight, sound, and touch.
One of our docents has recently developed the beginning of what will be an iPad tour that can be used by docents to enhance tours by adding audio files of what a particular car sounds like or a video of what our Model T Snowmobile looks like driving in snow.
Developing a mobile tour like this will be better for us than a standard audio tour used by other museums because we already have such a successful docent program to build on.
These technologies will not only be able to serve us for the next year or so in our current facility, but also during our interim year in a temporary facility and into the future in our new building. With our ongoing growth and plans for continued success, we hope you are inspired to make an investment in the Museum's future by giving to our 2013 Annual Fund for technology.
Thank you for your support!
Karen McClaflin, Executive Director
P.S. We have already made steps to move forward technologically with the launch of our new website just last week - check it out at www.CalAutoMuseum.org, AND our fabulous Facebook page with over 3500 fans - like us if you haven't yet!