Museum Box

Website review by
Polly Conway, Common Sense Media
Museum Box Website Poster Image
Curate collections, history with nifty archive tool.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this website.

Educational Value

Kids can learn about how to research a project, and with this kind of technology, it doesn't mean miserably thumbing through an encyclopedia. They'll explore multimedia and figure out how pieces of history fit together, whether they're photos, videos, sounds, or text. Looking at other museum boxes, there's potential for enhanced cultural understanding, as users from all over the world share historical and biographical data. Museum Box is an engaging, super-detailed place to organize information in a new, exciting way.

Positive Messages

Exploring the past with Museum Box gives kids the same sense of accomplishment and pride they might get creating a treasure box in real life. It's empowering and can bring kids closer to historical events.

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What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Museum Box is a website that allows users to curate a collection of multimedia on any subject by virtually placing and organizing items in a "museum box." It can be used for anything from history projects to family albums, and while all kid-created boxes are posted online for anyone to view, each box is approved by a moderator before publication.

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What's it about?

Kids will begin creating a museum box by choosing a topic (family, the Civil War, 1950s toy robots, etc.), then gathering multimedia that can be virtually kept in the box. The website supports text, photos, audio, and video. Once you open the interface, you can make some decisions about your box. Each box contains a number of cubes (you can choose how many), and each side of a cube can hold a piece of media, which is uploaded, placed in \"My Drawer,\" then dragged-and-dropped into the appropriate spot. Organization and a bit of strategy comes into play here, but the layers of information that a box can hold are nearly infinite.

Is it any good?

MUSEUM BOX is really well-designed, and kids who like categorizing and cataloguing things will love to play around with it. There are so many options; for example, you could create a simple, single-cube box called "Chicken," featuring changes in the bird's development on each side, or a three-layered box with 24 cubes encompassing highlights of 1800s British Literature by region. The drag-and-drop interface is easy to use, and while it sometimes takes the finished boxes a little time to load, the end result is pretty cool.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Ask your kids: If you could make a real museum box containing the things most important to you, what would it hold? This could include sounds, special memories, objects, etc.

  • Visit a local museum and pay special attention to how things are displayed. Are there signs next to paintings with historical information? Why are some items under glass, but others are not?

  • Explore some of the museum boxes that have been created and shared by other people online. What new things did you learn?

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For kids who love history

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