Digital innovation: interrogating our past, understanding our present and imagining our future

Kristy Kokegei, History SA, Australia

The growth of digitally disruptive technologies has profoundly changed the way museums do business in an increasingly connected world of social media, networked audiences, mobile technologies, and linked open data. The digital revolution has transformed the general public’s expectations of us and continues to transform the museum industry and challenge traditional notions of institutional authority.

Museums have moved away from the use of digital technologies as one way content delivery tools to a more integrated and connected approach to technology to facilitate communication, information exchange and co-creation; effectively re-engineering the museums relationship with its public. History SA and its three museums, like many in the sector, have embraced the digital revolution as a catalyst for organisational change. But as the museums’ conventionally authoritative models evolve slowly and digital and community engagement is re-engineered, what becomes of our traditional museum specialists? Drawing on a number of digital and online projects undertaken by History SA and its three museums over the past few years, this paper will explore the challenges and opportunities for digital innovation by museum specialists and look at new collaborative models. From augmented reality to 3D visualisations to contextualised gamification, like the stories we tell in our galleries, this is one of interrogating our past, understanding our present and imagining our future.

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