Four Conferences in Four Weeks: ASTC, MakerFaire, DML & MineFaire

I am getting ready for weeks upon weeks of conference travel. To get me pumped up (both to go and share it with you) I created this video in homage to science museums (using the new video sensation I learned from my kids).

With that out of the way, let’s get on to business. This weekend I am going to ASTC in Tampa, the gathering of science centers (and related natural history museums like ours). The weekend after we’re presenting some AR demos with Hololens at the New York Maker Faire. Then, it’s off to the something-old, something-new Digital Media and Learning Conference (DML) in the shadow of DisneyLand. With the family in tow, I’ll then be heading to Philly for my first Minefaire (a fan-oriented Minecraft event) where I’ll be presenting with my son.

This will be the first time I get to connect with my professional peers wearing my new hat. If you haven’t heard, after four years leading digital learning within our youth programming, I now have a new role at the American Museum of Natural History (you can learn more about it here).

ASTC – Tampa

  • Mobile Apps, Museums, and MicroRangers: Fighting the 6th Extinction with Playful Learning (Session/Poster ID: 5326) (link) Saturday, September 24, 2016: 11:00 AM-12:15 PM – This is a poster session with two key MicroRanger partners – Nick Fortugno of Playmatics and Jeremy Kenisky formerly go Geomedia – talking about what we learned working with each other to create this audacious, augmented reality, exhibition-based mobile game.
  • Puzzling Out Serious Games in Museums – Saturday, September 24, 2016: 2:00 PM-3:15 PM – As a great follow-up to the Poster session, this panel brings together a number of museums to explore the different ways we are developing games for our visitors.
  • Renewing the Currency of Cultural Halls: Reframing the Past to Save the Future (Session/Poster ID: 5227) Saturday, September 24, 2016: 4:30 PM-5:45 PM – If sessions were my children, it’d be more diplomatic to say I love them all equally. But I don’t. I feel like this particulate session might be the most important one I’ve organized in years. It is an opportunity to share with our peers what’s been changing behind the scenes as classic natural history museums struggle with our legacy of indigenous people-focused cultural halls, and its an opportunity to also demonstrate how that change has com about, in no small part, through building renewed contemporary relationships.
  • 3D Printing in Museums: innovation, design, fabrication…and frustration Monday, September 26, 2016: 10:15 AM-11:30 AM – I think the title speaks for itself.

I’d love to speak with anyone involved with a science visualization lab – come find me!


My new colleagues exploring emerging media are teaming up with the Interactive group with Exhibitions to offer this: “Come explore hands-on AR/VR and Arduino/Raspberry Pi prototypes under development at the American Museum of Natural History: explore the surface of Mars, dive deep into the anatomy of a shark, and explore the boundaries of how we sense the world.”

DML – Anaheim

On the first day I will participate and share a paper within: “Power Brokers: Building Youth Social Capital through Connected Learning.” Then, within the main conference, I will co-present with Eve (from the Field) and Rik (from CalAcademy) on our “The DigitalLearningification of Informal Learning Centers: Lessons from Three Museums.” After spending a year collaborating on our podcast Object Oriented – exploring digital learning in object-based museums – DML is a great opportunity for Eve, Rik and I to track how DML has changed education programs within natural history and science museums in recent years and how that has led, in part, to the end of our podcast (I know – so sad). Is it the end of DML or just the sign of a more mature phase?

I’d love to speak with anyone using AR or VR for learning – come find me!

MINE FAIRE – Philadelphia

I have no idea what this event will be like, but I can’t wait to find out. My son and I have 20-minutes to present “Growing Up Minecraft: a father and son explore six years of living (and learning) in Minecraft.” It’s loosely based on a talk I gave last year at Bard College but this time I won’t just be speaking ABOUT my son but WITH him. I’m super excited.



About Barry

The Associate Director For Digital Learning, Youth Initiatives at the American Museum of Natural History.
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