This chapter presents different examples of how informal learning institutions including museums, science centres, and afterschool programs are being transformed by the presence of information technologies (IT) and how informal learners, in turn, are adopting and shaping IT. Everyday uses of IT are also reviewed to share the multiple practices that learners both invent and regularly engage in to support communication, play, and personal meaning-making in online spaces. Note that while examples for this chapter are predominantly drawn from science education, informal learning institutions of all types use IT in creative ways to support out-of-school learning opportunities, and as a bridge to more strongly link personal interests and everyday activity to topics covered in formal schooling. The chapter concludes with some trends for the future, arguing that out-of-school time plays a critical role in learning; in many cases, one that is more important than schooling – especially for children and young adults who do not thrive in formal learning environments.


Out-of-school learning Interactive multimedia Museum Informal learning Digital library 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sherry Hsi
    • 1
  1. 1.The ExploratoriumSan FranciscoUSA

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