Student at ACMI using a VR headset
Stories & Ideas

Fri 24 Jan 2020

ACMI author icon

Christine Evely

Head of Education, ACMI

Christine Evely, Head of Education, talks about ACMI’s reimagined Education program and its innovative and interactive learning spaces.

ACMI is transforming into a brand-new global museum where media, digital and screen literacy intersect. We are reimagining and rebuilding our museum, with a new free-entry exhibition, immersive experiences and interactive encounters throughout the building, and a refreshed and unique program for schools.  

Our Education team has been working with teachers, students, the University of Melbourne and artists to evaluate, re-design and pilot new school programs and resources.   

A world leader in moving image education, ACMI is committed to growing screen and media literacies, and building digital fluency in our communities. The opening of our renewed museum in mid-2020 will reveal a dynamic new exhibition, supported by innovative onsite and online programs and resources offering important learning opportunities for students and teachers from Foundation to VCE, including those engaging in city experience programs. 

New programs for a new ACMI  

Inspired by our new exhibition, vibrant creative learning labs and cinemas, we invite schools to engage with our transformative learning program, scaffolded by pre- and post-visit resources, and stand-alone resources designed to connect ACMI to classrooms around Australia and beyond.  

Our focus is to prepare young people for present-day demands and future challenges. We aim to support schools to foster digital and global citizenship, upskill students for jobs of the future, and inspire a passion for learning. As learning contexts evolve, digital technologies enable formal and informal exchange of ideas, and collaboration, across time and place. ACMI facilitates real-life flexible learning through diverse and evolving creative technologies including film, animation, games, AR and VR.  

Schools can select from short and extended experiences including workshops, screenings, talks and interactive videoconferences that link with and expand upon visits to our exhibition, and our online resources.

Students from Elsternwick Primary School check out the green screen in the Gandel Digital Future Lab

Students from Elsternwick Primary School check out the green screen in the Gandel Digital Future Lab

New ways to engage 

Our new exhibition will enable us to extend our positive learning connections and partnerships with schools, to demystify screen, media and digital technologies and build transferable skills for now and the future.  Drawing on the specialised knowledge and skills of our educators, our curriculum-rich program develops interpretative, hands-on and creative competencies, supporting teachers to build the thinking skills that foster discernment around use of technologies and digital fluency amongst their students.   

Experiential and active learning are central to our new exhibition. Interactive experiences let you animate shadows, craft optical toys, experiment with time, assemble film scenes and create soundscapes in a custom Foley studio. These moments can be gathered with the Lens, a new device that allows visitors to collect favourite objects, artworks and creations in the exhibition, and continue discovering new material after their visit.    

Students and teachers will witness how the moving image developed across time, countries and cultures – from the first projections and optical illusions to the birth of film and beyond. They will discover how inventors, innovators and artists have been wielding light, splitting time and capturing motion in a technological revolution that continues today. Ancient shadow puppets, Victorian era magic lanterns, original cameras, iconic costumes, movie sets, sketches, clips and contemporary art are part of a mesmerising exploration of screen history, culture and art that will help students to make discoveries about their world over time, with an eye to future innovation.   

Five key sections in the exhibition frame major moments in moving image history:   

  • The origins and future of cinema
  • Production design and the creative process  
  • Australian culture and stories  
  • The rise of videogames  
  • How screens inform, influence and empower.  

Professional learning

Our professional learning programs will assist schools in supporting students to navigate, critique and manage our interconnected world and the evolving landscape of screen, media and digital technologies. With an ambition to enable students to create, collaborate and communicate thoughtfully, with confidence and proficiency, our programs will guide teachers how to use screen, media and digital technologies dynamically in the classroom.     

Along with foundation skills relating to Digital Technologies and creative connections forged with The Arts, English, The Humanities and key STEM areas, our educators – highly skilled in devising effective, memorable and engaging learning experiences – have developed a program designed to increase capacity across Personal and Social, Critical and Creative, and Ethical Capabilities, along with a range of workplace and enterprise skills; essential to wellbeing and active participation in everyday life.

The year six class from Elsternwick Primary School interact with an activity station in the Gandel Digital Future Lab

The year six class from Elsternwick Primary School interact with an activity station in the Gandel Digital Future Lab

New flexible learning spaces

Our brand new Gandel Digital Future Labs offer flexible learning spaces thanks to a generous Flagship Grant from Gandel Foundation. These spaces work in combination with our learning program to encourage learners to appreciate and engage with invention and innovation; to critique, create and communicate. They have been designed to inspire dialogue, collaboration and teamwork; to foster participation in performance, immersive and locative experiences; and to promote use of connective technologies linking classrooms with real-life learning.

Our renewed museum offers even greater opportunities for students to engage, discover and reflect throughout the building. We invite teachers to consider ACMI as their informal ‘classroom’, booking an exhibition visit and related program, to initiate or extend classroom learning.

Teachers can be confident ACMI school programs provide experiences that promote discovery-based learning, reduce the digital divide and inspire joy and discernment in responding to and making moving image works. We look forward to reinforcing our connection with teachers and students when we reopen; to activating collaborative, creative learning; and motivating enthusiastic young producers to shape a positive future.

Help us inspire the next generation of storytellers, coders, makers, watchers and players donate today.