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Pros: It's easy to create a box that fits your project perfectly; layers allow for real depth of learning.
Cons: It can be a little clunky interface-wise, and there's more guidance for teachers than students.
Bottom Line: The perfect place to show off a collection or put together a history project using multimedia.
Museum Box is pretty versatile. It's a great place for kids to start learning how to use digital media in presentations, especially in history or humanities classes. Assign kids a historical figure or time period and let them figure out how to bring the subject to life within a box. The process of "opening" the box to uncover information lends itself to sharing in front of the class or in small groups, and discussions can stem from its contents. It's also a fun way to visualize text; students could write poems within the box layers for an experimental writing project. Kids can even create boxes as study aids -- the possibilities are endless!
Museum Box is a website that allows users to curate a collection of multimedia on any subject by virtually placing and organizing items in a "museum box." It can be used for anything from history projects to family albums, and while all kid-created boxes are posted online for anyone to view, each box is approved by a moderator before publication.
Kids begin creating a museum box by choosing a topic (family, the Civil War, 1950s toy robots, etc.), then gathering multimedia that can be virtually kept in the box. The site supports text, photos, audio, and video. Once kids open the interface, they can make some decisions about their box. Each box contains a number of cubes (you can choose how many), and each side of a cube can hold a piece of media, which is uploaded, placed in My Drawer, then dragged-and-dropped into the appropriate spot. Organization and a bit of strategy comes into play here, but the layers of information that a box can hold are nearly infinite.
Museum Box is really well-designed, and kids who like categorizing and cataloguing things will love to play around with it. There are so many options; for example, you could create a simple, single-cube box called "Chicken," featuring changes in the bird's development on each side; or a three-layered box with 24 cubes encompassing highlights of 1800s British Literature by region. The drag-and-drop interface is easy to use, and while it sometimes takes the finished boxes a little time to load, the end result is pretty cool.
Kids can learn about how to research a project, and with this kind of technology, it doesn't mean miserably thumbing through an encyclopedia. They'll explore multimedia and figure out how pieces of history fit together, whether they're photos, videos, sounds, or text. Looking at other museum boxes, there's potential for enhanced cultural understanding, as users from all over the world share historical and biographical data. Museum Box is an engaging, super-detailed place to organize information in a new, exciting way.