The 21-Tech initiative has allowed me as a Discovery Guide to push myself further on how much information I can process and share with each visitor I encounter.- Odis Garrett, Children’s Museum of Houston Discovery Guide
21-Tech is a bridge between our museum guides and the visitors in that it creates connections between educational concepts and the real world.- Shawn Waxali, Children’s Museum of Houston Discovery Guide
21-Tech has helped Discovery Guides engage visitors by extending their experience through the apps and applying it to the exhibits.- Ian Tibby, Children's Museum of Houston Discovery Guide
21-Tech is a way of ‘hiding the vegetables in the fruit’ where the kids do not realize they are learning, but instead having fun and being fed knowledge that intrigues their minds.- Lauren Bell, Children's Museum of Houston Discovery Guide
21-Tech provides a new outlet for our Discovery Guides to interact with the visitors in a way that further enhances their experience and makes the visit overall extra enjoyable.- Sylvia Garcia, Children's Museum of Houston Discovery Guide

App: Objective

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App Description: Objective is a vivid collection of digital microscope slides.  Users can view a variety of slides such as onion root tips undergoing mitosis, human blood smears, and a mammal eye.  What makes this app a gem is the ability to scan the entire slide and zoom in and out giving users an experience like using a microscope, but much easier.  Since the images are high resolution, the details are clear even at 1000x magnification.  This app was created by Objective Pathology Services for medical students and pathologists to view slides away from the lab, so there is a learning curve with the medical jargon, yet once this is deciphered, there is tremendous potential for use with the general public.  The ease of use makes it appealing for kids, and the image clarity draws great interest from adults.

How We Use It: Since this app was created by and for pathologists, the bulk of the samples are diseases.  Our educators mostly use the blood disease slides such as chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) or malaria.  We also offer visitors a key to blood cells and a real microscope for visitors to use with a healthy blood smear.  We then challenge visitors to look for similarities and differences between the two.   What follows is a great discussion of looking for clues and making predictions as well as personal experiences around the topics of disease.


Museum Recommending: Oregon Museum of Science and Industry
Platform Used: iPad2 (iOS)
Cost: FREE
Link: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/objective/id447364961?mt=8


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Project Brief

21-Tech partners study and share the effective use of Personal Mobile Technologies (PMTs) by gallery facilitators in their work with visitors. The initial three years (2011-2013) of 21-Tech are funded in large part by a 21st Century Museum Professionals award from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The project is led by the Children’s Museum of Houston in partnership with Lawrence Hall of Science, New York Hall of Science, Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, and Sciencenter. For more information, please visit the About page.

Major funding provided by:

Additional support provided by: