I came across a new app called GoSoapBox that is designed as an instructional tool and feedback loop for teachers in the traditional classroom environment. As with every new educational technology that I encounter, I asked myself “how could museums use this?”  I think that GoSoapBox has some great potential for stimulating conversations about works of art.  Here is a description from their website:

GoSoapBox is used during class to break down participation barriers, keeping students engaged, and giving teachers insight into student comprehension that was never before possible.

Imagine replacing “class” with “tours” and “students” with “visitors” and this sounds very exciting.   There may be museum visitors who do not want to interrupt a tour to ask a question. Or possibly a group wants to explore the gallery on their own but might want to engage in some online discussions or polls as they wander.

With GoSoapBox visitors aren’t required to create an account. Users can use the service from a smartphone, tablet device, or laptop. Each space in GoSoapBox is called an event that is each assigned a custom access code (maybe an accession number).  Discussions, quizzes, polls, and audience questions may be assigned to each event. Visitors would be able to ask questions, vote up questions posed by others, participate in discussions, or tell the docent/educator that they’re confused, all while in the gallery. The tool has many functions that could be used synchronously, while on a docent tour, or asynchronously, possibly with discussion questions related to an artwork that can be addressed at any time.

GoSoapBox has a free 14 day trial for anyone who wants to try it out, or can be purchased for $15 per month or $90 per year.

Have you come across any new educational apps that you feel might be useful to museum educators? Please share your ideas in the comments below.


Leave a Reply