Small Bytes

Welcome to Small Bytes!

Small Bytes: Supporting Digitization in Ontario’s Smaller and Rural Museums is an initiative of the Ontario Museum Association (OMA) funded by the Department of Canadian Heritage. 

With this initiative, the Ontario Museum Association will provide accessible, high-quality online training opportunities to build the digital capacity and skills of Ontario’s smaller and rural museums, to increase accessibility to their collections through digital initiatives.

The training opportunities will be in two parts:

2022-2023: webinars to help develop digital skills that meet immediate needs. Each webinar will be accompanied by a take-away resource to help participants apply their learnings.

2023-2024: development of more in-depth courses on digital skills for museums that can be delivered on an ongoing or as-needed basis in future.

The OMA has formed the Digital Museum Advisory Committee made up of museum representatives who bring technical expertise and small and rural museum voices to the project. This group will provide input on the digital skills needs in the small and rural museum community and feedback on materials created in the project.

What’s Upcoming:


New Digital Skills Courses:
Meet our Course Directors!

Registration opens March 12, 2024
We at the OMA are happy to share that registration for our three pilot editions of online digital skills courses for Ontario museums is open for OMA members and non-OMA members!

The three online courses to be piloted (all from April 22-June 3, 2024) are:
  • Museum Digital Strategy and Transformation 
  • Reaching, Engaging, and Inspiring Online Audiences 
  • Digital Learning: Inside, Outside & Way Beyond the Museum 

Read more about the courses and the course directors below.

To register for the courses:

  • Individual members or designates of Institutional member organizations will be able to register for the courses on the OMA website. This will be similar to registering for past OMA Conferences or the OMA Fall Workshop Series in 2023.
  • If you have questions about your membership status or login credentials, or need to renew your OMA membership, please contact the OMA at [email protected] or call the OMA office at 1-866-662-8672.
  • All course registration is first-come, first-serve. Each course will have capacity for 30 participants. 

Note: these courses are separate from the Ontario Museum Association’s Certificate in Museum Studies program and will not count towards completion of the Certificate.
For this pilot iteration of these courses, Member registration fees for each course are $160+ HST. Members must be logged in to the OMA website to register as members. Registration for non-members will open on Tuesday March 26 at 12noon ET. Non-member registration fees are  $245+ HST per course. 

Part of the delivery of these pilot courses is an Evaluation Strategy designed and implemented by the Instructional Designer. Course participants’ experiences and recommendations for any future courses are a key part of determining the success of the pilot courses.

About the courses:
These courses will deliver low-cost online digital skills training to Ontario museum workers without requiring them to travel. These courses will be applicable to all working in the museum sector, but learning outcomes and topics to be covered are particularly designed to address the needs of those from smaller or rural museums who seek professional development in fundamental digital literacy and practice. 
Each course will be delivered primarily asynchronously, and estimated to involve up to 10 hours per week of independent study. Any synchronous components of the courses, such as Zoom meetings, will be non-mandatory and will be recorded where applicable, such as guest speaker presentations. Assignments will be graded by the Course Director and will be focused on developing applicable digital skills related to the course content. 
If you have any additional questions, email Christopher Shackleton, Digital Transformation Projects Coordinator, at community[at]
Digital Skills Course: Museum Digital Strategy and Transformation
April 22 - June 3, 2024

A digital strategy is critical for ensuring a museum’s sustained relevance and success in today’s world. It leverages technology to support the museum’s mission more fully, connect with new audiences, and aid in planning for effective use of resources. This course is designed to equip museum professionals with the knowledge and skills necessary to navigate the components of strategic planning and consider appropriate digital tools for transformative impact. Through a combination of discussions, readings, and activities, participants will be guided through the process of developing an actionable digital strategy.

Core topics include:

  • Understanding the principles of strategic planning
  • Determining the scope of digital transformation (SWOT analysis)
  • Integrating the needs of target audiences (online and onsite)
  • Incorporating accessible & inclusive practices
  • Producing an actionable & sustainable digital strategy

Course Director: Jack Ludden, Digital Experience & Innovation Strategist, Balboa Park Online Collaborative

Jack Ludden is a cultural heritage expert who builds open and collaborative work environments by bridging experts from different fields of interest. Jack has been a leader in the cultural heritage community for more than 30 years as a digital advocate, communications specialist, and a user-experience expert at organizations such as the Getty, Disney, and the Shoah Visual History Foundation. Currently, Jack is working with the dynamic and talented team at Balboa Park Online Collaborative (BPOC) as a Digital Experience and Innovation Strategist. He is also the Collections Management Director for the Sandor Family Collection and an Adjunct Professor at Northwestern University. Jack is an active board member of The Book Truck and the Northwestern Alumni Association. 



Digital Skills Course: Reaching, Engaging, and Inspiring Online Audiences
April 22 - June 3, 2024

How well does your website, social media program, or other online programs serve your public? What might improve your museum’s impact in the online world? Learn how to propose accessible methods to assess current engagement levels and outline effective solutions for existing and new online programs, including methods of generating revenue. Each week students will read articles, participate in hands-on and collaborative learning activities, and analyze case studies. Students will demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of the content in the final assignment: creating a plan to improve the impact of an online public program at their own museum.

Core topics include:

  • Observing online engagement
  • Understanding the needs & expectations of online audiences
  • Identifying effective experiences for different platforms
  • Exploring accessible & inclusive practices
  • Planning for online revenue generation

Course Director: Julie McNevin, Museum Professional and Educator

Julie McNevin (she/her) has nearly 20 years of experience as a museum professional and educator. Julie holds a Bachelor of Arts in History and Religion & Culture from Wilfrid Laurier University, a Bachelor of Education from Nipissing University, and is a certified member of the Ontario College of Teachers. Additionally, Julie is preparing to begin a Master of Education program in September of 2024.

Julie’s path to a career in museums began while working as a Summer Student at Sainte-Marie among the Hurons and Discovery Harbour (Huronia Historical Parks). She returned to HHP in September of 2023, to work in Programming and Marketing and Visitor Services. For the past 10 years, Julie worked as the Education Programmer at the Museum of Dufferin, where she played a pivotal role in updating and introducing new technologies and digital services across departments. Her work has offered the opportunity to work with a range of platforms and audiences. 

Julie enjoys channeling her creativity, ingenuity, and resourcefulness to experiment with using technology to develop engaging and enriching learning opportunities. This has recently extended into running her small crafting side-business. Julie is excited to be able to bring her experiences with integrating technology and creating audience-centered online experiences to the course.

Digital Skills Course: Digital Learning: Inside, Outside & Way Beyond the Museum
April 22 - June 3, 2024

Focusing on the mission-critical role of education programming, this course explores a diverse array of digital techniques, tools, and resources to create and support effective learning experiences. Whether fostering collaborations with schools or inviting the local community to share their stories, digital tools can reach a broad audience and foster innovative and inclusive learning environments. Each week students will engage in discussion, review case studies, and participate in activities that will build towards the creation of a plan for a digital educational experience, tailored to a specific audience and learning outcomes.

Core topics include:

  • Planning for a range of digital learning experiences suitable for onsite and online visitors
  • Exploring the educational potential of popular online media platforms (podcasts, YouTube, TikTok, etc…)
  • Understanding how digital experiences can support accessible & inclusive learning goal
  • Enhancing learning experiences for individuals and groups

Course Director: Christina Sydorko, Education Programs Coordinator, Oil Museum of Canada, National Historic Site

Christina Sydorko is a dedicated educator who strives to create exciting and informative educational experiences. She has an Honour’s Bachelor of Arts from the University of Western Ontario and a Bachelor of Education from Windsor University with subject specialization in History and Geography. Christina spent 15 years teaching in the Lambton Kent District School Board before moving to be the full time Educational Programs Coordinator at the Oil Museum of Canada, National Historic Site in 2017. She has spearheaded the creation of the Travelling Trunks educational kits and virtual education programs at the museum with a focus on fact based education. Christina is also the recipient of the 2021 Award of Excellence in Programming from the Ontario Museum Association for virtual programs and the Lambton County Innovation Award for 2021.  Christina hopes to encourage a new generation of young people to find the wonder and exciting opportunities in the physical world around them.


What's Happened So Far:

Webinar 7: Podcasting for Ontario Museums

Thursday, July 13, 2023
Speakers: Angela Bobier, Executive Director at Backus-Page House Museum; Kathleen Powell, Supervisor of Historical Services/Curator at the City of St. Catharines; Adrian Petry, Visitor Services Coordinator at St. Catharines Museum & Welland Canals Centre; and Maxime Escario Blanco Producer & Director at Beyond Reach Productions (Owen Sound)

Download slides from St. Catharines Museum

Download slides from Maxime Escario Blanco of Beyond Reach Productions

Webinar 6: Approaches to Online Exhibits

Thursday, March 2, 2023
Speakers: Peter Pavement, CEO at Surface Impression; Kendra Campbell, Interpretive Planner at the Royal Ontario Museum; Natalie Wood, Curator/Director at Brockville Museum; and Heidi Reitmaier, Executive Director at Myseum of Toronto. Moderated by Sarah Beam-Borg, Origins Studios Inc. 

Download slides from Peter Pavement

Download slides from Kendra Campbell

Download slides from Natalie Wood

Download slides from Heidi Reitmaier

Webinar 5: Actionable Online Accessibility

Wednesday, February 22, 2023
Speakers: Shelley Boden, Sean Lee and Francis Tomkins

Download slides for Actionable Online Accessibility


Webinar 4: Synchronous Virtual School Programming Workshop

Wednesday, June 15, 2022
Speaker: Christina Sydorko, Oil Museum of Canada

Download slides for Synchronous Virtual School Programming


Webinar 3: Asynchronous Virtual School Programming Workshop

Wednesday, June 8, 2022
Speaker: Christina Sydorko, Oil Museum of Canada

Download slides for Asynchronous Virtual School Programming


Webinar 2: Virtual School Programming - Decision Making for Small Museums

Wednesday, May 25, 2022
Speakers: Christina Sydorko, Oil Museum of Canada, Karen Taylor, the Canadian Canoe Museum, and Michael Furdyk, TakingITGlobal

Download the Virtual School Programming Decision Making Worksheet

Download slides for Virtual School Programming - Decision Making for Small Museums

Download the Whose Land? Professional Development Series lesson plan

Download the webinar follow-up resources


Webinar 1: The Digital Strategy - Intention through Application

Friday, April 29, 2022
Speakers: Corey Timpson, Corey Timpson Design Inc, Mary-Katherine Whelan, Amherstburg Freedom Museum

Download the Digital Strategy Checklist Tool

Download Slides for The Digital Strategy - Intention through Application