The South Baltic success story #7 – BalticMuseums: LoveIT!

Another month and yet another Success Story from the South Baltic Programme! This time we wish to inspire you by presenting the BalticMuseums: LoveIT! – Brand, gamification and Apps for museums and tourist attractions project!

 

 

Hi, my name is Jurgita Eglinskiene. I’ve been working in international projects at the Lithuanian Sea Museum in Klaipeda for many years.

This year, we celebrate our museum’s 40th anniversary and the 10th anniversary of a series of projects with our BalticMuseums community: since 2009 we’ve been cooperating with other museums, universities and IT specialists in the South Baltic region to exploit chances of digitalization in our visitor services. Back in 2009, we had started with clumsy specialized devices for offering eGuide tours, and now, just ten years later, we jointly develop gamified apps to be used on the visitors’ smartphones. Technology changes very fast, and so do opportunities. With the project, we can share developments and will be able to use the visitors’ own electronic devices instead of providing them as a museum. This means we can concentrate on the content of our museum, to produce the stories around it and focus on how to make the visit involving and mind-changing for our guests.

Photo BM2: During the hackathon event at our museum (you see me at the very left) ©Lithuanian Sea Museum

 

The project “BalticMuseums: LoveIT!” helps us implement new IT services for visitors in our museum. We will have a new multi-lingual app for visitor’s smartphones (Bring Your Own Device BYOD), with gamification elements. To gain input for such app, we wanted to work with external users. We had a chance to take the challenge of organizing a hackathon, a creative programming marathon, in our museum for the first time! With this example, you can understand how much cooperation is worth.

Our project partners in Gdynia (Poland) – NMFRI Gdynia Aquarium and Experyment Science Center – had already hosted a hackathon in the project. They were supported by two partners from Szczecin (Poland) – University of Szczecin and Netcamp. After that, all learnings were gathered and documented by Stralsund University of Applied Sciences (Germany). With this input and the support of our colleagues from Poland, we could organize our hackathon event.

Then, we extracted our learnings and passed the baton on to Malmö Museums (Sweden) and NaturBornholm (Denmark), who hosted the third hackathon. After that, again, a concept revision was made, and the final hackathon was hosted by Business Academy North and Stralsund University of Applied Sciences (Germany). Here, we opened up and seven museums, which are not partners of the project, participated with their topics in the event. This process helped us to learn as an international team, continuously revising a concept that we created together and then opening it up to others.

Photo BM1: Our team at Lithuanian Sea Museum discusses ideas for an App ©Lithuanian Sea Museum

 

Apart from working on the BYOD tools and content, we are also preparing a joint brand for our app, so that we can reach a higher impact within the project community and beyond. In our project, we have strong focus on learning and exchange. In online sessions, we also get input from other organizations outside of our project. We reflect our learning and share it online on a knowledge base (www.knowledge.balticmuseums.info).

In addition to the ‘hard’ results from the project, we have other benefits. The project work has encouraged us to approach many things in the museum in a fresh way. To name some examples: for working with the Generic Learning Outcomes concept in the exhibition we got new perspectives from colleagues from Malmö, or analysing User Experience and finding critical points in the visitor journey in our museum was freshly inspired by colleagues from Gdynia. So, we gain not only new tools, but also ideas, and a spirit of sharing, openness and improvement.

Photo BM3: The final “Baltathon – BalticMuseums hackathon” in Greifswald, Germany ©Business Academy North

 

In our museum, many employees are engaged in the project, from the educational department, PR, IT, and project management. Thus, the project provides inspiration to all our organization. But it does not end there. Due to the project’s dissemination activities, other museums from our region know about the international activities the Lithuanian Sea Museum is participating in and the results that we achieve with it. That strengthens the image of our museum, helps us to be a leader and advisor to the colleagues in Lithuania. We just celebrated the museum’s 40th anniversary and invited our international partners from various projects as well as Lithuanian colleagues. It is was received as a great exchange and inspiration. Thus, we can leverage our experiences beyond our own institution.

 

Photo BM6: Project partners from Poland share their App ideas ©Weronika Podlesińska

Personally, I became a real friend to many people living far away from me, who work in very different fields.  Without the project, I would never have had a chance to make those friends. Being a member of a project family, makes me feel being an essential part of an international community.  My advice is: Don’t be afraid of joining any international project or community – it always pays off in the sense of new friends, experience and opportunities for new ideas and activities!

Photo BM5: BalticMuseums project team meeting in Malmö, Sweden 

 

Read more about the project:

www.balticmuseums.info

www.knowledge.balticmuseums.info

https://www.facebook.com/Balticmuseums/

Jurgita also shared with us her thoughts and comments on working in SBP cross-border project! Read her inspiring comments and let us know if you have a similar story you would like to share! We will be happy to interview you and get o know better your South Baltic project.

 

What has been valuable or what was the greatest asset for you as a person to be a part of this project?

I became a real friend to many people living far away from me, who work in very different fields.  Without the project, I would never have had a chance to make those friends. Being a member of a project family, makes me feel being an essential part of an international community.

 

What have you discovered from working with other nationalities? Is there something you discovered and you considered as a surprise (for its originality, something you discovered about your country that you did not know before?)

I’d say, we’ve learnt much of each other, for example: from Scandinavian people – to be properly dressed and prepared for any weather conditions, to be open to everything that nature can suggest and award us with; from German people – to be more active and efficient everywhere: at work, during your holiday or in leisure time; from Polish – never to loose good temper and high spirits. To sum it up, it’s a great inspiration for working with people from different national cultures and work backgrounds!

What has your organisation gained from the project?

The project “BalticMuseums: LoveIT!” helps us implement new IT services for visitors in our museum. We will have a new multi-lingual app for visitor’s smartphones, with gamification elements. To keep up to date with ever-changing tech developments, the work in our interdisciplinary project team of museums, universities and IT specialists is extremely helpful for us. In this field, change happen so fast, that we need to share developments with other institutions to continuously have an attractive offer for our visitors. In addition to the ‘hard’ results from the project, we have other benefits. The project work has encouraged us to approach many things in the museum in a fresh way. To name some examples: for working with the Generic Learning Outcomes concept in the exhibition we got new perspectives from colleagues from Malmö, or analysing User Experience and finding critical points in the visitor journey in our museum was freshly inspired by colleagues from Gdynia. In addition, we had a chance to take the challenge of organizing a hackathon, a creative programming marathon, in our museum for the first time! So, we gain not only new tools, but also ideas, and a spirit of sharing, openness and improvement.

 

Have you experienced any successful spinout of your project /added value? (have you had any successful surprises of your project?/ have you learnt something you could apply/ suggest in your own country?

During our BalticMuseums hackathon event, the technology of hologram was proposed. The idea had won the competition but was not directly applicable to our BalticMuseums project. Inspired by the hologram solution we created another project. To open up our museum, we place a temporary exhibition in Klaipeda City centre. The hologram technology was applied inside a marine shipping container, showcasing an exclusive shell from the museum’s collection. Thanks to the hologram technology the exhibit was very emotionally touching.

 

What have we discovered working in cross-border cooperation with other nationalities?

Being in an international partnership for many years, we gained a wealth of experiences that allows us to feel confident in any international contacts, activities or relations. We have developed our point and our position, which allows us to act as an equal, reliable and respectful partner.

And finally – on a strategic level:

How has the project made an impact on your area?

Due to the project’s dissemination activities, other museums from our region know about the international activities the Lithuanian Sea Museum is participating in and the results that we achieve with it. That strengthens the image of our museum, helps us to be a leader and advisor to the colleagues in Lithuania. We just celebrated the museum’s 40th anniversary and invited our international partners from various projects as well as Lithuanian colleagues. It was received as a great exchange and inspiration. Thus, we can leverage our experiences beyond our own institution. The project “BalticMuseums: LoveIT!” allows us to implement new and modern tools which put us in an advanced situation to provide an engaging museum visit to our visitors.

 

Has your project had an impact at the policy level?

Not yet, but likely in the future. We focus on the promotion of national maritime history. It is discussed and approved in Lithuania, that school programmes and other sources of education lack information and attention to national maritime history. We hope that our tool will have a further impact on the situation.

 

Tips & tricks

My advice is: Don’t be afraid of joining any international project or community – it always pays off in the sense of new friends, experience and opportunities for new ideas and activities!

 

This story was delivered to you by UMBRELLA project!

 

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The content of this website is the sole responsibility of the author and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union, the Managing Authority or the Joint Secretariat of the South Baltic Cross-border Cooperation Programme 2014-2020. The project UMBRELLA is partly financed from the Interreg South Baltic Programme 2014-2020 through the European Regional Development Fund.