Pop-Up Digital Lab

A temporary interactive exhibit dedicated to gathering insights on how The Warhol’s educator audience uses digital tools

A pile of bright orange and green response cards


In 2016, my colleagues and I at The Andy Warhol Museum were in the midst of working on several digital offerings for educators, including our online curriculum and the D.I.Y. Pop app that walks users through Warhol’s silkscreen printing process. During our annual Teacher Open House event, we transformed an area of the museum’s lobby into a space where teachers were invited to participate in facilitated and unfacilitated activities, sharing how they use technology, testing existing digital resources, and providing feedback on how to improve our digital offerings in the future. The Pop-Up Digital Lab was a fun and fast way to collect data as we start new digital projects and revamp old ones.


  • Desi Gonzalez, lead
  • Melissa Pallotti, intern


When designing the Pop-Up Digital Lab, we had two goals in mind:

  • Understand more broadly how educators use online resources to aid their classroom teaching and curriculum develop
  • Understand how educators use and value existing Warhol Museum digital resources—specifically, our online curriculum and the D.I.Y. Pop iOS app—and learn how we might improve them in the future
  • Inform the redesign of warhol.org, which would include a rethink of our online curriculum

To investigate these questions, we dedicated a corner of the museum’s lobby to four stations—some facilitated, while others were unfacilitated—that would allow teachers to share their input:

  • Inspiration wall: In this unfacilitated activity, educators used Post-it Notes to answer the question “What are some of your favorite online resources, apps, websites?” and added dot stickers to indicate the kinds of digital media and devices they use in the classroom.
  • Explore D.I.Y. Pop: Teachers used the D.I.Y. Pop app with a facilitator, whose primary role was to observe and notetake on their experience
  • Dive into Lessons: Educators had the opportunity to use The Warhol’s online curriculum and express their feedback on comment cards at this unfacilitated station
  • Online resources card sort: A facilitator led users through a card sorting exercise that illuminate the kind of content educators find most valuable in online curriculum

This close up shows one of the large pieces of brown paper, attached to the wall with blue painters' tape, from the Inspiration Wall after the Pop-Up Digital Lab. "What digital tools do you use in the classroom?" is written in black marker at the top of paper. A number of options are written below the title, and colorful dot sticker "votes" surround the options.

Two large pieces of brown paper are taped to a silver wall in the Andy Warhol Museum entrance space. Two women, both wearing black, are leaning against the wall and filling out sticky notes to contribute to the Inspiration Wall.

Dive deep: Card sorting activity

At our final station, educators were invited to participate in a facilitated card-sorting activity that would inform us as we rethought the resources and lessons section of our website. Participants were given a set of eight cards, each of which had a statement about what they might be looking for on The Warhol’s online resources. The statements provided were:

  • I want to find inspiration for lesson plans I will write.
  • I want ideas for art-making activities.
  • I want access to resources such as powerpoints, images, or videos to use in the classroom.
  • I want to download full, pre-written lesson plans.
  • I want to learn about the historical and social context around Warhol’s life.
  • I want to learn about Warhol’s process and artistic technique.
  • I want to learn about specific artworks.
  • I want to refer students to this website for their research projects.

First, we asked teachers to eliminate statements that didn’t reflect why they might go to The Warhol’s education page. Afterward, teachers ranked the remaining statements by importance. We took a photograph of their top priorities—along with the grades and subjects they teach—as a quick snapshot of each data set.

A woman watches as two older women arrange the large white index cards on the counter. One woman wears a black sweater with a ghost near the collar and pumpkins around the opening of her sleeve. She has short brown hair and thin, rectangular glasses. The woman next to her has short lighter brown hair and hot pink fingernails. She wears a burgundy tracksuit jacket with two white stripes down the sleeve.

To code the data collected from twenty participants, we awarded points to each statement based on how it was ranked. Cards that were ranked as most important received eight points, second most important received seven points, and so on. Cards that were eliminated in the first round entirely received zero points. We then calculated the average score each statement was awarded overall and by the grades that the teachers taught.

Highest-ranked Lowest-ranked Second-lowest ranked
Elementary school Art-making activities Warhol’s process Referring students for research, social context around Warhol’s life
Middle school Resources like powerpoints and images Pre-written lesson plans Warhol’s process, information about specific works
High school Warhol’s process Referring students for research Pre-written lesson plans
Overall Art-making activities Referring students for research Pre-written lesson plans

It was interesting to learn that educators’ needs vary based on the age group their are teaching. Elementary school teachers were more interested in hands-on activities than specific content about Warhol’s art and life. We were surprised to find that teachers weren’t interested in pre-written plans, but instead desired modular activities and discussion points that they can build their own unique lessons around. We took these learnings into consideration when redesigning our online lessons: we’ve broken down the lessons into discrete sections so that teachers can incorporate a smaller section into their curriculum, and have added elementary and middle school adaptations that are more tailored to the needs of those age groups. For the future, we’ve considered building an interface that allows educators to save small sections of lessons that they can use to build a custom teaching plan.


Pop-Up Digital Lab: Learning From and About Teachers on The Warhol Blog
Lessons section on warhol.org