September 2021

The 6 core elements of my VTMO course (& why they’re important)

THE 6 CORE ELEMENTS OF MY VTMO COURSE (& WHY THEY'RE IMPORTANT) INTRODUCTION  Today I’m talking about the 6 core elements in my popular Visible Thinking in the Museum Online (VTMO) course - elements that you should also have in your toolbox and repertoire as key factors for connecting with your audience and engaging them with art and objects. I'm also talking about the history behind the course and how it came about - at the start of the pandemic in 2020! THE STORY BEHIND VTMO In March 2020, like many people I lost all my in-person

What to Expect from The Art of Engagement Challenge

WHAT TO EXPECT FROM THE ART OF ENGAGEMENT CHALLENGE INTRODUCTION  Would you love to learn how to design and lead engaging discussions around art and objects in just 4 days? On Monday through to Thursday next week (13-19 September 2021), I’ll be sharing 4 principles that are key 🔑 for creating engagement and connection when you're designing and leading art discussions. ⁠ In this BONUS episode of The Art Engager podcast you’ll learn everything you need to know about what happens when you join the challenge, who it's for and how it will work. Join in the 4

Success-Factors for Leading Discussion-Based Programmes Around Art

SUCCESS-FACTORS FOR LEADING DISCUSSION-BASED PROGRAMMES AROUND ART INTRODUCTION  Today I’m sharing some thoughts about how you can successfully lead engaging discussion-based programmes around art. I’ll be talking briefly about the difference between conversations, discussions and dialogue before moving into 11 tips for successfully creating and leading conversations around art and objects. Don’t forget last week we covered 6 common fears about leading art discussions and I shared some tips on what you can do to overcome these! So do go back and listen to episode 18 as a podcast or read the blog post, if you haven’t already. 

Common Fears Around Leading Discussion-Based Programmes ( and How to Deal with Them)

COMMON FEARS AROUND LEADING DISCUSSION-BASED PROGRAMMES (AND HOW TO DEAL WITH THEM) INTRODUCTION  Leading tours and educational programmes that are based on discussion, inquiry and interaction can be a scary business. Both for you and for your participants. And if you’re about to take your first steps, it might seem really daunting. However, do remember that any concerns you have are perfectly normal and you’re not alone (we’ve all been there and had to start somewhere). Take it one step at a time and with time, practice and guidance, it will get easier (I promise!). In this post,

August 2021

13 Ways to Make your Online Experiences More Engaging and Interactive

13 WAYS TO MAKE YOUR ONLINE EXPERIENCES MORE ENGAGING AND INTERACTIVE SUMMARY Although I’d love to have a crystal ball and see into the future, I can’t predict what is going to happen in the next 6 months any more than you can. Although things are opening up now in some areas, I can’t say for certain that we won’t at some point be restricted in the way we gather and hang out together at some point in the coming months. And if you work regularly with audiences in-person - whether in a gallery, museum, heritage or outside

How to Use See Think Wonder in your Art Discussions

HOW TO USE ARTWORKS TO IMPROVE YOUR QUESTIONING SKILLS SUMMARY Today I’m doing a deep dive on the most famous and well-known thinking routine of them all - See Think Wonder. I’m going to share with you how you can use this thinking routine in your art discussions and why it’s one of the best routines for getting started with Visible Thinking in the Museum - my method for engaging and connecting with audiences, art and ideas. See Think Wonder is actually the first thinking routine that I teach when I do a training with teams of educators

How to Use Artworks to Improve your Questioning Skills

HOW TO USE ARTWORKS TO IMPROVE YOUR QUESTIONING SKILLS SUMMARY How can you improve your questioning skills without resorting to reading long lists of tips and techniques and do's and don'ts? What can you use to help you create, sort and evaluate better questions? The simple answer is: ART. I’ve been using artworks for years to help me to brainstorm, sort, re-word and improve my questions. Artworks (and objects) provide an engaging and focused way to work on your questioning skills. I’m not an ‘expert questioner’ by any means and have found that this is a skill that

July 2021

5 Simple Slow Looking Activities for Summer

5 SIMPLE SLOW LOOKING ACTIVITIES FOR SUMMER SUMMARY Today I’m sharing 5 simple slow looking ideas for the summer. In our fast-paced society, we scan, we skim and we scroll. We have forgotten what it’s like to really look at something. Slow looking is a wonderful alternative to life in the fast lane. The 5 activities I'll be sharing here are simple, effective ways to slow down, improve your observational skills and focus and notice more details around you.  You can use these slow looking activities throughout the summer - either on your own or with friends and

How to use the Unveiling Stories thinking routine to Investigate Multiple Layers of Meaning in a Photograph

How to use the Unveiling Stories thinking routine to Investigate Multiple Layers of Meaning in a Photograph SUMMARY Today I’m talking all about how to use the ‘Unveiling Stories’ thinking routine to investigate multiple layers of meaning with a photograph. This is part of a new series of episodes on the podcast where I share a thinking routine with you and all the insights for how you might be able to use it with an artwork or object with groups - either in-person or online. Unveiling Stories was our ‘thinking routine of the month’ for June in the

6 Best Practices for Sharing Information

6 BEST PRACTICES FOR SHARING INFORMATION IN YOUR ART DISCUSSIONS SUMMARY Many of us are experts in our field - possibly art historians, historians or archaeologists - and want to share that incredible knowledge with the groups we lead in our programmes. But knowing what information to share, how to share it and when to share it is often tricky – especially on interactive, discussion-based programmes. And what happens when you add too much information? And how much is too much? Sharing information that is engaging and memorable (without overloading your participants) is a great skill to master.