Helping the cultural sector reach teachers

The cultural sector is continually looking at how it can engage children and young people and the online world is the key frontier for this engagement. However,  the stark truth of the situation is that it is very hard for education teams in cultural organisations to ‘get in front’ of young people when they are online.


Here are three things which could help cultural organisations to be successful in reaching teachers, and don’t cost the earth.

1. Make teachers your best friends

There was lots of discussion about how to engage teachers, the challenges of getting their attention and how to cross the chasm of the school office ‘black hole’. A lot of people seemed quite distant and relied on emails and letters to engage teachers.

However, Internet has given rise to lots of informal ground-up teacher networks that offer brilliant opportunities to engage teachers, whether face to face or online. Events like TeachMeets or other meet ups such as Primary Rocks, offer greater opportunities to meet teachers and the costs to get involved won’t break the bank. There are lots Twitter chats, most well known in the UK is UKEdChat but there are lots of others where you can hear direct from teachers, or get more closely involved.

2. Free Google AdWords for charities

Many of the people we spoke to weren’t aware that Google give eligible charities a monthly $10k grant of AdWords to spend. We work with organisations where the deployment of this grant has led to a 20% uplift in traffic to their website. More information here:

3. Platforms and distribution

So many cultural organisations have amazing resources but connecting them with teachers is a huge challenge. The conversations we had at the conference showed that lots of people were unaware of distributing resources via London Grid for Learning, uploading resources to TES, or sharing resources on platforms like Pobble. This report commissioned by Arts Council England and undertaken by Eylan and Storythings is also worth reading to understand more about how, and when, teachers seek out resources.

And finally…

This post was inspired by Culture 24’s conference, Let’s Get Real, which brought together organisations and individuals from across the sector to share ideas, experiences and plans about how organisations could reverse this trend. Curated by Anra Kennedy, Culture 24, and Eylan Ezekiel, we found out about some truly brilliant digital projects and initiatives. A lasting memory is the point made by Amy Cotterill, Museum Development Officer, Essex County Council who explained that ‘doing something digital’ wasn’t an aim in itself, instead you had to start with the audience and what would engage them – we agree completely.