Touring with Technology

Cheryl Bancroft - Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Facilitator

Bonnie Castellani - Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, CT

Mary Clary - Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco

Bonnie Hay - Toledo Museum, Ohio

Carolyn Horter - Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art, Gainesville, FL,

Danielle Kaiser - Museum London, London, Ontario, Canada

Marilyn Langer - Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco

Barbara Liddell - Asian Art Museum, San Francisco

Alfredette MacDonald - Van Dusen Botanical Garden, Vancouver, B.C.

Lisa Newcomb - Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, Alabama

Sue Hubbaw Ryan - Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA


Introduction: We brainstormed on the various ways that using technology could improve docent tours and be considered a teaching "tool."

I. Using an I-Pad:

  • On botanical tours-use I-Pad to show flowers in a different season.
  • Show other works by an artist whose painting is in a gallery.
  • Can show where an object came from-in situ.
  • Can show video of artist talking and working (SFMOMA does this)
  • Can compare and contrast objects (paintings) readily.
  • Can enlarge the image to see brush strokes and details.


II. Using Smart Boards-to make experiences with art more interactive before actually going into a gallery:

  • Interactive one hour tour-10 to 15 minutes using Smart board, then enter gallery.
  • I-Phone:

    • Using I-Phone to activate a Treasure Hunt for objects in the galleries.
    • Downloading an App for a particular museum tour on one's I-phone.


III. Headsets and microphone:

  • Useful for giving tours in crowded galleries.



Technology should not take the place of needing to see the "real" thing. Technology not a substitute for seeing the real thing but just another "tool" and should be used sparingly.

The image on the I-pad or I-Phone is not the real thing. Cannot know the scale or size of an object. Cannot see the brushstrokes or application of paint.


Sign Up to Stay Informed
Keep up to date on topics of interest for docents/guides and plans for the next symposium

Join our mailing list!

Donation button homepage PNG 2021

KC National Docent Sym Logo Sept 2022