Monday, 16 March 2009

A British musical learning experience


Just this past weekend I took my family up to London and the O2 Centre (the rebranded Millenium Dome) to see an interactive installation called the British Music Experience.

It was great to see a modern attempt to create an environment designed to engage an audience of all ages. It had some real lessons in how to provide an effective learning experience in the 21st Century. First of all, technology was at its heart. Each area used clever interactive displays to explore the development of British music from the 1920s to the modern day. Huge screens enabled you to collaborate and comment with others on facts and figures. Memorabilia could be chosen and short audio clips brought them to life. You could twist a dial and move backwards and forwards in visual time to see how the political changes of the Thatcher era influenced musical innovation, fashion and mood. You could explore a large digital map of Britain and discover where bands originated from and where key events in rock and pop history occurred.

You could then get your dancing shoes on and be instructed in various dance styles from the ages, and then watch back your performance to the hilarity of all. Best of all you could use the Interactive Music Studio and sit down and play a guitar, bass, keyboards, drums all while being instructed by a famous musician on video. These were stimulating interactive learning experiences and great fun.

A neat twist is that by wiping your ticket over sensors on each exhibit, you could choose to "clip" that information for reference back at the main web site. You can also save your performances to view/listen back to when you got back at home.

You can see more photos here.

If only school were more like this.

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