Please Touch Museum Philosophy

Yesterday was my first time visiting the Please Touch Museum in Philadelphia. I attended a second birthday party for my cousin’s daughter, and I  witnessed all of the reactions of the party goers as they made their way around the museum.


The Please Touch Museum mission states: “Everything we do is designed to promote creativity, imagination, deductive reasoning and critical thinking. Our visitors learn about family dynamics, encouraging cooperation, and developing social and practical life skills. Lessons about language and literacy, and nature and neighborhood, are woven into the Please Touch experience. We lead you and your children on an exploration of self, family, community and world.”

Throughout the day, I observed just that. I took a few moments to look at faces and reactions when children were able to explore, investigate and play with every item in each room in the museum. There was no fear that anyone was going to say “Stop, please put that down!” When students walk into our classrooms, many of us are so quick to say that phrase when it comes to devices. Instead, we should utilizing technology in our classrooms like the Please Touch Museum designs their rooms. We should see students learning with the help of technology. When used to enhance learning, technology will generate more opportunities for creativity, imagination, deductive reasoning and critical thinking!


The same could be said for the creation of makerspaces and use of social media in schools/classrooms. When they are utilized to promote creativity and enhance learning, why not use it to our advantage! Don’t shy away from it because it is not traditional. If the Please Touch Museum ran like a traditional one ,with children simply walking around observing, it would be significantly limiting the experience! We shouldn’t do that to our students either.

I am not saying that those learning outcomes do not occur in a classroom without technology. I know they do! Children just walking through the Please Touch Museum experience moments of wonder and creativity, but when they get to interact and hold opportunities in their hands those are the moments of true exploration. Technology can bolster and enhance student experience. It can empower students to have a voice especially ones who may have never been heard before!

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