Samsung Electronics and The British Museum today announced the reopening of the award-winning Samsung Digital Discovery Centre (SDDC). Following a significant upgrade to the Centre, there will also be an ambitious new digital learning program available to schools across the UK.
The Virtual Visits program will enable schools that are unable to visit the Museum, to still experience the British Museum collection and access to staff via a learning session broadcast directly into their classroom. Following successful pilots, 35,000 places over the next five years will be available for pupils from across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to take part and become virtual visitors.
Virtual Visits have been created with the curriculum needs of schools in mind and is designed around the realities of classroom technology. Sessions are offered on prehistory Britain, Roman Britain and the Indus Valley, and new sessions on ancient Egypt and ancient Greece are in development. Each class will have the session tailored to their needs and pupils can enjoy direct interaction with British Museum staff, as well as high-resolution digital assets such as 3D digital objects being shared with students.
Samsung and the British Museum will also begin to develop an innovative and exciting new strand of programming for teenagers, which young people themselves will help shape. By working directly with teenagers, it will help develop quality programming that fully understands and meets their diverse needs, as well as enhance their experience of the museum’s collection through Samsung technology.
The SDDC provides a state-of-the-art technological hub for children and young people to learn about and interact with the British Museum’s collection through Samsung Technology. Ahead of the refit, the SDDC welcomed its highest ever number of visitors, with 25,000 school children and families using the Centre in 2018/19. Since it opened, 150,000 people have visited the space to take part in a wide variety of activities such as workshops, family drop-ins, and facilitated school visits. This major refit revealed today sees improvements to the user experience to cater to the growing number of visitors, as well as a full upgrade in the Samsung technology available. This will include the Samsung Flip, E-boards and the latest range of Galaxy Smartphones, tablets and smartwatches.
Over the past 10 years, the SDDC has provided the largest program of digital learning activities in any UK museum. It continues to demonstrate the highest levels of audience satisfaction, with 95% of families surveyed in 2017–18 stating they found the sessions ‘good’ or ‘very good’, and that 96% of teachers said they would recommend the SDDC to a colleague and would bring a student group to the SDDC again. Thanks to Samsung’s support, expertise and technology, the SDDC schools and family programs have transformed the Museum’s digital learning provision into a world-class, sector-leading and award-winning program.
Francis Chun, President & CEO of Samsung Electronics UK & Ireland says: “At Samsung, under our global Corporate Citizenship vision of Enabling People and supporting education for future generations, we’re committed to empowering the next generation of innovators to discover and unlocking their full potential. Our collaboration with the British Museum for the past ten years has allowed us to constantly trial new technologies that engage children and young people in innovative ways to not only help them learn about lessons in history, but enable them to better understand the present and prepare for the future. By extending this long-standing partnership for a further five years to 2024, we stand beside the British Museum as we together navigate the ways in which emerging technologies can further enhance the way we learn.”
Hartwig Fischer, Director of the British Museum, says: “We are delighted that thanks to the generous support of Samsung, we can now offer 35,000 school children over the next five years the opportunity to interact with the world-class collection and expertise of the British Museum, who ordinarily might not be able to. Pupils from Andover to Aberdeen and Brecon to Belfast can now experience some of the Museum’s incredible treasures from their own classroom, potentially sparking a lifelong curiosity in the history of the world. The advances in digital technology have enhanced the learning opportunities within – and now outside – the Museum, and the SDDC has been at the very forefront of our efforts to share the collection more widely. We are grateful for the longstanding and continued partnership with Samsung for making it possible.”
For more information about the British Museum Samsung Digital Design Centre: https://www.britishmuseum.org/learning/samsung_centre.aspx