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New White Paper Suggests Ways Using the Lab Can Achieve Educational Goals

"Integrating Authentic Digital Resources in Support of Deep, Meaningful Learning," a white paper prepared for the Smithsonian by Interactive Educational Systems Design Inc., describes instructional approaches that apply to successful teaching with the Smithsonian Learning Lab. After defining its use of terms such as deeper learning and authentic resources the authors review the research basis of three broad approaches that support integrating digital resources into the classroo…

Smithsonian Learning Lab Named Top 10 Tech of 2016 by School Library Journal

The team here at the Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access is excited to announce that the School Library Journal has selected the Learning Lab for their Top 10 Tech of 2016! Along with their annual choices for best books and more, this year the Journal has included projects that highlight leading trends in how technology can better serve school librarians and the teachers and students they serve. Kathy Ishizuka, the Executive Editor of School Library Journal, summari…

Adapting Collections in the Learning Lab

By: Kate Harris, Learning Lab Coordinator, Pittsburgh, PA All teachers want more of one thing: time. The Learning Lab makes it easy to save time and effort with its "copy" function, which allows you to make an exact copy of the collection someone else has created for the purpose of adapting it. You can add or remove resources, change text, simplify a topic or make it more complex—it's up to you. Your adaptation does not change the original collection; instead it adds to the Learning La…

Why is that Rhinoceros Wearing a Suit of Armor?

By: Sara Cardello, Education Specialist, Smithsonian Libraries The Smithsonian Libraries' Education program began just over 12 months ago with the hiring of its first Education Specialist. Through webinars, trainings, focus groups, and hackathons with teachers across the nation, we discovered that the Smithsonian Libraries' robust database of online images were confusing to find, difficult to peruse, and challenging to use even once they were located. Our rich collection of images contain…

Dorothy’s Ruby Slippers Are Part of History

By: Michelle Smith, Associate Director for Digital Media, Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access Perhaps you've heard that the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History has asked the American people to fund the conservation of the ruby slippers Dorothy wore in The Wizard of Oz? Here in the office where the Smithsonian Learning Lab is produced, we have used its resources and tools to do what the Smithsonian does best: contextualize artifacts within their l…