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Training workshop on the use of new technologies for Museums - Caribbean Islands
22-25 August 2001
Curaçao, Netherlands Antilles


For museums geographically isolated as in the Caribbean islands, new technologies, such as the Internet, represent an opportunity to fill the communication gap. Access to the Internet facilitates contacts and communication amongst museum professionals through use of e-mails and participation in discussion lists. Computerised libraries, databases and museum collections inventories -especially when available on the Internet- facilitate and increase research opportunities. The Internet also helps museums to commercialise their products - reproductions, cards, CD-ROMs, publications ...

To face the needs identified, ICOM and the Museums Association of the Caribbean (MAC) organised a Training Workshop on the use of new technologies for museums in Curaçao, hosted by the Jacob Gelt Dekker Institute and the Museum Kura Hulanda.
This Workshop was the first activity in the Caribbean region organised by ICOM, in co-ordination with MAC. The implementation of this Workshop was possible thanks to the financial support of UNESCO.

The aim of the workshop was to assist museums to make better use of the Internet.

Participants profile:
Museum professionals from the Dutch, French, Spanish and English-speaking Carribean.

Session 1: Generalities concerning the Internet
Connection, providers access, Internet Services (browsers, URLS and domain names, search engines and directories, e-mail, newsletters, discussion forums...) were presented.
Session 2: Designing a web site
This session developed an understanding of the principles of designing a Web site. The trainer presented specific methods and processes for designing a site, taking examples from existing Web sites. At the end of the session, participants could obtain the template for a complete design document. The goals and the audience were also identified. Within this session great importance was given to the information architecture including site content, function and structure.
Session 3: Visual design
This session increased the understanding of participants as to how well visual design supports the goals of a Web site and the intended user experience.
Session 4: Creating a Web site
This session was almost a practical exercise. The trainer presented the basics of the HTML language and participants developed a Web site from their project. Various software for the creation of a Web site was discussed as well as the promotion of the Web site on the Internet.
The .museum domain was presented to the participants.

At the end of the Workshop the Web sites created by the participants were presented and follow-up activities were identified and discussed by the participants.

Other two workshops on the same subject are planned for the Pacific Islands and Central Asia.

A discussion list for the Caribbean museums will be developed and managed at local level.


Updated: 11 July 2005