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Commitment to Chicago Public and Illinois Schools

In addition to free access for all Illinois students on field trips, educators on site will create innovative programming.  This will not be a museum that simply takes reservations, waits for students to arrive, and then hands them a map. No. We can and must do more.

We can leverage digital learning and collaborative technology. The digital learning revolution is more than trading textbooks for tablets—it is an opportunity to accelerate collaboration among schools, families and community organizations to propel student engagement and learning. Museums can be community hubs that help expand Internet access and digital literacy. Internet-based resources and collaboration tools can facilitate learning projects involving teachers, students, and museum staff. Digital tools such as badges (openbadges.org) recognize and document student learning, and can even be used to grant school credit for learning that happens in museums.

We will be a partner to schools, not just an edifice for field trips. 

Most importantly, an entire section or floor of the museum will be dedicated to school visits and similar educational efforts. 

We can provide classroom spaces in which teachers can lead their own post-visit discussions, or work on related material. This would allow teachers to deepen student learning through connection-making and discussion. 

We should also encourage students to create something that helps museums reach out to their families and friends, encouraging students to bring their families back to the museum so that the “students can become teachers.” 

Students should be excited about their visit, maximize their experience, and leave the museum asking new questions and finding new interests and passions.