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How Will Your Students Use the Learning Lab?

Since 2011, the Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access (SCLDA) has strived to better understand the needs of educators utilizing museum digital assets through a variety of research and user testing studies. This research ultimately led to the creation of this website. The Smithsonian Learning Lab provides access to the digitized collections from across the Smithsonian's 19 museums, 9 major research centers, and the National Zoo, to be used as real-world learning experiences. Wi…

3,500+ Resources You May Not Know About

By: Michelle Smith, Associate Director for Digital Media, Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access It's natural—and correct—to think of artworks, objects, and artifacts when you come to the Learning Lab in search of resources. However, there are also many text resources that may be of particular interest to teachers and students. Here we will highlight just a small selection of these authoritative yet accessible articles and blog posts. Magazine Articles Smithsonian maga…

Building STEAM Skills with Hands-On Activity Collections

By Cody Coltharp, Digital Interactive Designer, Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access When I work with teachers around the country demonstrating the Learning Lab, many have mentioned the challenge of integrating technology in ways that are both engaging and easy to implement in a classroom environment. In response, I've created six "activity collections," which are teaching collections that combine Smithsonian digital resources with fun hands-on activities to develop ST…

Visit the Smithsonian Learning Lab Team at NAEA 2017

Start spreading the news...New York City, here we come! From Thursday, March 2 through Saturday, March 4, Smithsonian educators will host sessions at the 2017 National Art Education Association (NAEA) National Convention. Here's a schedule of where to find us during the convention: Smithsonian Learning Lab mini-sessions will take place in the Union Square Meeting Room in the Lower Lobby in the Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel. There's something for everyone. Stop by for free L…

Looking Closely to See Far

As an educator in the office that built and manages the Smithsonian Learning Lab, I make presentations and offer professional development about it in schools all over the country. I demonstrate how to use the Lab and how it can support and enhance instruction. One of the most popular and effective approaches my colleagues and I have found is to incorporate into a collection a flexible and open-ended structure such as that of Visible Thinking Routines. These research-based routines develope…