Jessica Castillo is a Senior Explainer at NYSCI and has been working closely with 21-Tech. Here is a cartoon she came up with in regards to her thoughts about the 21-Tech project.
Using portable devices does enhance the experience of visitor interactions. In case there are questions we don’t have the answer to, we can use the internet from the device in order to find an answer. Then there are some apps that can be used to explain certain concepts to visitors; so we are able to re-emphasize these concepts from the exhibits so the visitor can retain them. And since these apps are available to anyone, it is likely that visitors will try it at home or teachers to use in a classroom.
The only issues I see are that there aren’t many apps currently that can be used as such a tool. For instance, an app may be able to sense vibrations but it shows no measurement so it’s hard to use for experiments. It’s also possible for the device itself to become the focus of the interaction, thereby missing the exhibit itself. So we just need to find good apps or perhaps even create our own. Then we need to practice to use the devices as support tools for the exhibits.
All in all, 21 Tech does provide a new way for interacting with visitors. And it does it in such a way that visitors can relate to and even take with them wherever they go.