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Ashley Naranjo

Education and Outreach Strategist
Smithsonian Institution
Smithsonian Staff

Ashley Naranjo, M.Ed. is a museum educator, specializing in the use of digital resources for teaching and learning. She currently manages distance learning initiatives and education partnerships for the Smithsonian. Portfolio highlights have included: the Smithsonian Quests digital badging program, Smithsonian Online Education Conferences, Smithsonian Learning Lab nationwide teacher professional development, Teachers of the Year programming at the Smithsonian, “Explore with Smithsonian Experts” video series, and Smithsonian print publication guides.

Before coming to the Smithsonian, she has had experiences in education in both formal and informal learning spaces: as an ESOL instructor for adults, a middle school teacher in the humanities and a summer programs administrator. She holds a B.A. in Human Development (Developmental Psychology) from the Lynch School of Education at Boston College, where she was a research assistant and independent study student in the Laboratory of Thinking, Learning & Cognition in the Arts. She completed a M.Ed. in Learning Design and Technology from the Rossier School of Education at the University of Southern California, with a thesis entitled, “Using Digital Museum Resources in the Classroom”. She is a 2019 graduate of the Getty Leadership Institute’s NextGen of Museum Leaders program.

Ashley Naranjo's collections


Forensic Anthropology: Bone Basics

Learning resource collection introducing the skeletal characteristics that can help us identify young and old, male or female, and ancestry. This collection was created with the Anthropology team at the National Museum of Natural History. ( )
Ashley Naranjo

Unveiling Stories: Marian Anderson in Concert at the Lincoln Memorial

This collection uses the Harvard Project Zero Global Thinking routine to reveal multiple layers of meaning in a set of photographs and artworks. The strategy is paired with photographs and artworks from the National Portrait Gallery, the National Museum of American History and the Smithsonian American Art Museum, as well as a Smithsonian Channel video and two essays recounting the day's events. Using the "Unveiling Stories" routine, along with some guided questions, students will look at a single story from multiple dimensions. Questions for the first two artworks by William H. Johnson are suggested to be answered in a Think, Pair, Share discussion format. Tags: William H. Johnson, Marian Anderson, Easter 1939 concert, Lincoln Memorial
Ashley Naranjo

American Indian Responses to Environmental Challenges

This collection features the Smithsonian website “American Indian Responses to Environmental Challenges” which includes videos, personal accounts, and discussions of strategies for maintaining water resources. It also includes an archived webinar featuring Smithsonian experts and case studies of specific nations including the Campo Kumeyaay Nation, the Leech Lake Ojibwe, and the Lummi Nation, as well as the environmental challenges they face. A Smithsonian Magazine article provides further information about a real-world challenge that the Lower Elwha Klallam tribe are experiencing today.
Ashley Naranjo

International Picnic Day- June 18

This collection celebrates the #HashtagHoliday of #InternationalPicnicDay. A picnic is an outing or occasion that involves taking a packed meal to be eaten outdoors. Often, picnics take place at urban parks or on the shores of a beachfront and are enjoyed in large groups, typically families. In this collection, you will view images of picnic scenes and a vibrant picnic poster series from the 1970s and 1980s. This collection includes a creative writing prompt around describing event sequences and using imagery in your writing. It was adapted from the Smithsonian's collection of "Summer Picnic" posters
Ashley Naranjo

Presidential Portraiture: Looking and Analyzing Questions

A topical collection of United States presidential portraits. This collection might be best shortened to introduce a specific historical era and the leader(s) of the time, or adapted to show how American leaders wanted to be perceived during their tenure and legacy and how artists depicted them. It includes the National Portrait Gallery's "Reading" Portraiture at a Glance sheet, which offers suggested looking and analyzing questions. It is also includes associated curator and educator talks on the portraits of the presidents, where possible.
Ashley Naranjo

Looking at "America's Presidents": Four Presidents through Portraiture

This archived online conference features four of the portraits found in the National Portrait Gallery's "America's Presidents" exhibition, along with example strategies for how to use portraiture in the classroom, led by educator Briana Zavadil White. In this collection, we investigate portraits showcasing the use of symbolism, changes over time, use of color, and mass production of imagery. Presidential portraits included in this collection: George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, John F. Kennedy and Barack Obama.
Ashley Naranjo

An Introduction to Origami Paper Folding

In this activity, students will be introduced to the art of origami paper folding by learning how this tradition has been passed down through generations from an interview with an artisan and how to make an origami paper crane from a fellow student.
Ashley Naranjo

Niagara Falls: Investigating Change Over Time with a Body of Water

<p>Learning resource collection, which highlights several artworks and photographs of Niagara Falls as early as 1820 to today. It introduces close-looking strategies, with a consistent set of guiding questions to analyze each image and discover changes of a place, specifically three waterfalls on the United States-Canada border, over time.</p>
Ashley Naranjo

Packing a Space Lunch

In this activity, users will learn how to search and refine their search based on a specific prompt: "Pack a space lunch." Users will select a lunchbox from the National Museum of American History's collections and then consider 3-5 space food images from the National Air and Space Museum that they'd include in their lunch. Here, I've provided an example of what this might look like. Users can customize their included resources with the Learning Lab's annotation tools to provide context for their choices. Users can also experiment with reordering their images based on the logical order of the meal.
Ashley Naranjo

Climate Change Online Conference Series: Archive and Related Teaching Resources

This online conference series invites educators and students to explore Smithsonian research and collections related to the evidence, impact, and response to climate change. Smithsonian curators and researchers explore the evidence of climate change, as well as the impact of climate change on the environment, wildlife, biodiversity, and human populations. Smithsonian experts also lead discussions on how people are responding to the threats posed by climate change. Includes the archive of each session, with teacher-created suggested lessons that utilize Visual Thinking Strategies. Original Airdates: Fall 2009 <br /><br />
Ashley Naranjo

An 11 year old's Letter and Lincoln's Beard

<p>This teaching collection includes videos, portraits and lesson plans from the National Portrait Gallery and the National Museum of American History. During Abraham Lincoln's campaign to become president, an 11-year-old girl named Grace Bedell wrote a letter suggesting he grow a beard to gain more votes. Of course, Lincoln's beard became iconic in imagery during his Presidency and throughout the Civil War.</p>
Ashley Naranjo

World War I Stamps

<p>This topical collection features forty international stamps that were issued during the World War I era. These stamps will serve as inspiration and a starting point for teacher-created Smithsonian Learning Lab collections during the National Postal Museum's workshop, "<a href="" target="_blank">My Fellow Soldiers: Letters from World War I</a>" (July 2017) </p> <p>#NPMTeacherPrograms<br /></p>
Ashley Naranjo