Scotland – By Andrea Gothard

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Scotland was so much fun and so beautiful. One of the most important things I learned while in Scotland is that it is important to allow yourself to sit back and think. In the work force and especially in communications you need to be creative. A way you can practice creativity is finding time to relax and let your imagination run wild. Finding time to yourself whether it be on a train, a coffee shop or a museum is so important because inspiration is everywhere and you never know when a million dollar idea can pop into your head.

While in Scotland one of my favorite things that I did was go to the National Museum of Scotland. I thoroughly enjoyed the museum as well as the assignment that went along with it. While at the museum we were asked to look for forms of communication. This really got me thinking. I was able to walk about the museum by myself, which allowed my mind to wonder, and my thoughts to flow. When doing so I realized that communication is almost everything and everywhere. Communication is telling us where to go, where not to go, what to say, what to do, what to buy and so much more. This museum in particular is all about communication education. The aspect of this museum that sets is apart from others is its interacting learning.

Throughout the entire museum there were several hands-on activities. I found this unusual for a museum and also brilliant. At times museums can be boring and dull but the interactive stations created a fun atmosphere to learn in. By using these interactive stations you could learn about animals, space and different cultures around the world. The assignment for the day was to look for five forms of communication so when I was wondering around the museum the first thing I thought of was to write about interactive learning. But then the I looked deeper and noticed that these interactive stations touched on all five human senses: touch, smell, sight, hear, and taste. I then thought about how communication reaches us in several different ways. For example, a loud noise used as an alarm communicating to someone it’s time to wake up or there is danger, or someone feeling their phone vibrating communicating to them that someone is contacting them. Communication is everywhere and in all different forms.

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The first sense of interactive communication I found was sight. There were clearly several pictures and facts that one could see and read but there was also an interactive station. This station was called “See like a cockroach”. Someone could look through goggles that altered their sight to see like a cockroach. This was an excellent display of how to teach someone and communicate to them of how insects and animals see differently than humans.

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The second sense of interactive communication I found was touch. An example of touch that I found was a station that was called “Feel the Sound”. At this station you could feel the vibrations of how blue whales communicate with each other. This was a great way to communicate and teach people about how whales communicate. Also, throughout the entire museum there were “Please Touch” signs everywhere. This was so crazy to me because I am personally used to museum where you are not allowed to touch anything and you would get into deep trouble if you did. Giving people, especially children, the ability to be hands-on in the museum encourages them to learn more.

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The third sense of interactive communication I found was hearing. Music was played in each room of the museum to set a tone and add to the atmosphere in the room. There were also several places where you could sit and listen to a video or recordings teach you about a particular subject. This is a great way to communicate to people, especially children, who don’t like reading or cannot do so. There was also an interactive station in which one could listen to different animal noises. Once again this was a great way to communicate to people how animals communicate.

The fourth sense of interactive communication I found was smell. At first I thought this was going to be a challenge to find. While in search for this sense my noise kept redirecting me towards the café, but I ended up stumbling across a interactive smell station. This station allowed you to test you nose by guessing the animal based on what you smell. This was a fun and unique way of communication. Even though some of the smells where not ones I would prefer to smell it was still a unique learning experience.

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The fifth and final sense of interactive communication I found was taste. This was definitely the most difficult for of communication to find. There were not any interactive stations encompassing taste, probably for health reasons, so I wondered over to the café. I found soda cans that represented different animals and sights that where found in the museum. This particular for of communication is not exactly a learning experience but it is interactive. Using the animals on the soda cans is an interactive marketing strategy. For example, a child explores the museum and falls in love with bears, they then see the soda can with a bear on it and want it, not for the soda but for the bear.

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Communication is all around us and things are communicating to us without us even knowing it. The museum was an excellent place to see this. I am so glad I was able to explore the museum on my own so I could really take it all in. I have now gone to a coffee shop alone to write my blogs and I have found it so much easier to write. Being able to clear my mind from reality and let imagination set in has been so much fun. After this experience I am more attune to my senses and what is being communicated to me throughout the day.

 

 

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