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What It Takes to Engage Teachers with Digital Museum Resources: Five Lessons Learned

By: Michelle Knovic Smith, Associate Director, Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access  Wherever you are on the journey to digitize museum collections, there are questions to address regarding who will use these millions of digital assets, and how. Teachers and their students seem to be obvious audiences, but what does it really take to be accessible, relevant, and useful to them? The Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access aimed to find out in a two-year study that i…

Beneath the Text: Analyzing Letters from Seattle’s Chinatown-International District

By: Rahul Gupta, Education and Tours Director, Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience  Teachers approach me in my work as Education Director at the Wing Luke Museum and ask repeatedly for resources they can use in their classrooms: resources that give students practice viewing and analyzing history through multiple perspectives. In our collection, we have a trove of letters sent in the 1920s from China to family members living here in Seattle, WA. We recommend these lett…

Who Belongs?: Using Collections to Think about Immigration

By: Laura Lamarre Anderson, Grade 4 Teacher, STEM Academy at the Rogers School in Lowell, MA I am immersed in work for my certification to become a Reading Specialist, fine tuning my skills in reaching struggling readers. At some point in every text, the authors and researchers stress the need to connect with student interests and to build on strengths to shore up weaknesses. With this in mind, I started pulling together resources for our 4th grade Social Studies unit on immigration. …

Step Inside a Student-Curated Gallery

By: Ashley Naranjo, Manager of Educator Engagement, Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access                              The iconic America’s Presidents exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery is the nation's only complete collection of presidential portraits outside the White House. This video may help demonstrate the breadth of the exhibition. As you might have noticed, the …

The Domino Effect

By: Ashley Naranjo, Manager of Educator Engagement, Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access    In 2017, I had the pleasure of connecting with Jean-Marie Galing after a webinar hosted by the National Art Education Association featuring the tools and classroom applications of the Smithsonian Learning Lab. As a result, Galing, an art resource teacher in Virginia's Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS), created forty collections of resources that were embedded…