This weekend I visited my family up in Chicago. In addition to eating pizza, walking in the forest preserve with the dogs, and playing board games, we participated in another family tradition – a visit to the museum campus downtown. Having fond memories of these adventures, it’s no wonder I found my way into the museum community as a professional. Now I get to enjoy the museum-going experience both as an interested visitor and as an applications developer looking for inspiration.
While investigating the exhibits and schedules on the Shedd’s website, I found an intriguing interactive called SheddHeads. Visitors to the aquarium can upload their photos and videos, rate them, and enter them in contests. It inspired me to bring my camera along, and while I was there I noticed quite a few other folks taking pictures with everything from cell phones to digital SLRs. I have to admit that I got in the groove taking photos and forgot to check the labels to see what it was I was observing a few times. So, is this a missed educational opportunity… or a successfully engaging experience? Something to consider.
What do you think? Can an interactive experience be too engaging?