Be a virtual curator

The role of museum websites in school and individual education

MúzeumCafé 49.

The digital revolution has resulted in a great variety of technological and social changes. Today use of the internet is an everyday matter for many people. It is the easiest and simplest way of contacting others, as well as obtaining information. Thus nowadays being online is vital for efficient operation in many areas of life. This also applies to museums with regard to both communication and education. Websites create a kind of bridge between visitors and museums. The internet for most people is the only method of being able to see a museum which is a long way from their place of residence. It is enough to get on the web and visitors can immediately learn about the basic concept of a museum. If the webpage is created appropriately and efficiently, the desire to visit the museum can intensify and visitors can have a positive attitude, even before viewing an exhibition in reality. A website can also represent an intrinsic part of museum education. There are several ways of connecting a museum’s collections and exhibitions with media systems in schools and other educational institutions. It is important for museum education that in situ events become part of internet-based activities. Regrettably, however, the websites of most Hungarian museums are still less efficient considering education compared with the sites of foreign museums. Apart from the most important elements, such as programmes, exhibitions and contact information, these pages hardly include other content with educational aims. Museum websites are outstandingly important from the aspect of education. Today’s increasingly popular virtual walks provide an opportunity to learn about the objects of art held in a museum which may not be presented at an exhibition due to lack of space or other reasons.