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Getting Started for Teachers

The Smithsonian Learning Lab and Your Curriculum

Educators are the lifeblood of the Learning Lab, so it's our mission to provide you with easy access to Smithsonian collections, resources, and expertise to help you create richer learning experiences that result in greater student achievement.

Regardless of where you live, the Learning Lab enables you to discover, customize, and integrate our world-class digital assets into your lesson plans and classrooms.

In addition to offering primary source sets created by Smithsonian staff and partners for K–12 teachers, the Learning Lab empowers educators to create personalized collections they can share with students and colleagues. The Learning Lab is not only a platform for the discovery and exploration of knowledge, but also a source for creativity and innovation in the classroom.

Educators Helped Build the Learning Lab

Prior to building the Learning Lab, the Smithsonian launched an intensive series of research projects designed to identify barriers educators encounter when attempting to implement digital learning resources in the classroom. What you generously helped us understand over the course of three years, more than 7,000 surveys, and targeted focus groups, resulted in the construction of a digital laboratory designed to meet the needs of 21st-century teachers and learners.

In addition to your contributions, the Learning Lab is growing organically every day as our staff works to digitize the Smithsonian's collections, ensuring there'll be something new to find each time you visit.

Be a Part of the Future of the Smithsonian Learning Lab

Finally, we want to say thank you. The Learning Lab is possible only because of the generosity, insight, and expertise of educators nationwide. Likewise, it'll only succeed in becoming a premier educational platform and an engaged community dedicated to innovatively trading ideas and knowledge because of teachers like you, and the way you use the Learning Lab in your lessons.

Additionally, through the generous support from the Grable Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, and Youth Access Grants administered by the Smithsonian Assistant Secretary for Education and Access, among others, we are conducting ongoing research into educator and student use of the Learning Lab. Insights from these studies and direct feedback from users informs enhancements to the Learning Lab to adapt to the evolving needs of the education community.

Begin Your Discovery Here...