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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


Santa Claus: Comparing Evolving Imagery and Text

<p>This collection gathers depictions of Santa Claus from ads, paintings, photographs, stamps from 1837 to today. Also, includes analyses of his evolving image from the Smithsonian Magazine and the National Museum of American History blog. How does the description of Santa in the Christmas poem, "A Visit from St. Nicholas" compare with the images that follow? Includes a discussion question extension: How might you revamp Christmas stories to better reflect the time and country that you live in?</p> <p>Keywords: Saint Nicholas, holidays, poetry</p>
Ashley Naranjo

Righting a Wrong: Japanese Americans and World War II

<p>On February 19, 1942, Executive Order 9066 (#EO9066) was signed by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, resulting in the imprisonment of Japanese Americans &amp; Japanese nationals in prison camps across the United States. In this short film, "Righting a Wrong", students can learn more about this history as they hear from a museum expert, who provides a behind-the-scenes look at personal objects from Japanese American youth who had lived in incarceration camps during World War II.  <a href="" dir="ltr" class="twitter-timeline-link" target="_blank" title=""><span class="tco-ellipsis"></span><span class="invisible">http://</span></a></p> <p>The artifacts include a boy scout uniform that honors the 100th infantry battalion of Nisei soldiers, a thousand-stitch sash created by community members that served as an amulet for a soldier at war, and traditional Japanese geta sandals created for a son by his father that feature Mickey Mouse.<br /></p> <p>This Smithsonian Learning Lab collection received Federal support from the Asian Pacific American Initiatives Pool, administered by the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center.<br /></p> <p>#APA2018</p> <p><br /></p>
Ashley Naranjo

Proud Publisher: Heritage Bookmaking Activity

The Smithsonian has joined with book artist Sushmita Mazumdar to create a series of easy-to-do book projects designed to get families talking and creating together. In the "Today I am Here" storybook, students explore their heritage by identifying a person, place, and object to tell the story of their own personal history. Included here is a video demonstration and accompanying downloadable instructions to make your own “Today I am Here” storybook!
Ashley Naranjo

Practice Telling Time

<p>This collection includes a variety of images of clock faces to use with young learners who are practicing skills in telling time with analog clocks featuring Arabic numerals. Teachers can use these images to help students tell and write time to the nearest minute.  The images range from clocks in isolation to clocks used in artworks and finally, clocks in context through photography. Additional resources are included to provide further teaching context on the concept of time.</p>
Ashley Naranjo

Portrait Analysis: Norman Mineta

<p>In this activity, students will analyze a portrait of Norman Mineta (b. 1931), a U.S. politician and the first Asian American to hold a post in the presidential cabinet, serving as Secretary of Transportation and Secretary of Commerce under President George W. Bush. The son of Japanese immigrants, Mineta and his family were incarcerated in the Heart Mountain camp in Wyoming under Executive Order 9066 during World War II. </p> <p>This activity can be used to build students vocabulary in discussing visual elements of a portrait or as an entry point for studying Norman Mineta's life and achievements, U.S. history, and more.  Questions from the National Portrait Gallery's<em> "Reading" Portraiture Guide for Educators</em> and a Project Zero See-Think-Wonder routine guide the student inquiry.  The complete guide and instructions are located at the end of the collection. To learn more about other Asian Pacific American activists and leaders, visit this collection: <a href="" target="_blank"></a></p> <p><em>This Smithsonian Learning Lab collection received Federal support from the Asian Pacific American Initiatives Pool, administered by the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center.</em><span></span> </p> <p>Keywords:  internment; Japanese American; Nisei; San Jose, California </p> <p>#APA2018 #EthnicStudies<br /></p>
Ashley Naranjo

Photograph Analysis: "Moon Man" Image of Buzz Aldrin

<p>This topical collection includes the iconic "Moon Man" image of astronaut Buzz Aldrin, a National Air and Space Museum “expert annotation” video featuring a curator highlighting specific details, and other resources about the space suit and the Apollo 11 mission. </p> <p>Teachers and students may use this collection as a springboard for classroom discussions about the mission to the moon, for analysis of photographic details, or in biography projects about the astronauts.  <br /></p>
Ashley Naranjo

Objects that Changed the Way We Live

In this collection, we'll explore everyday objects and their impacts on society. Students can begin by reading an illustrated essay from the National Museum of American History highlighting objects that capture several pivotal moments in innovation. Included in this collection are the clock, the iPod, the bicycle and the cellular phone. What other objects have changed the way we lived?
Ashley Naranjo

"Nightstand Portraits": A Burton Morris-inspired Activity

This teaching resource collection includes an activity, (created by the Heinz History Center's Education Manager, Mariruth Leftwich), highlighting Pittsburgh-native pop artist Burton Morris' "Nightstand Portraits" series as a springboard for students to create their own imaginary "Nightstand Portrait". This could be a portrait of themselves, a historical figure, or even an icebreaker activity for students to introduce each other to the rest of the class.
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

My Smithsonian Closet

<p>This collection serves as an example of how you might create your own grouping of objects and visuals that inspire your own fashion choices, while also practicing research skills in mind mapping to improve your online search results.</p><p>Consider the following questions:</p><ul><li>What Smithsonian objects would you put in your closet? </li><li>What surrounds your closet? </li><li>What inspires your closet?</li></ul> <ol><li>Learn more about this #SmithsonianEdu Challenge prompt by reading this blog post, featuring collections created by three previous Cooper Hewitt National Design Award winners <a href=""></a></li><li>Try it out for yourself. How might mind mapping search terms provide unique search results and serendipitous finds for your own collection response? How can these objects inspire creativity? How can these visuals help tell a story? </li><li>Add <a href="">#MySmithsonianCloset</a> to your collection description and it will be added to a growing list of collections in response to this prompt. </li></ol>
Ashley Naranjo

My Fellow Soldiers: Postcards from World War I

<p>This topical collection features more than a dozen postcards that were distributed during the World War I era. These postcards 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</p>
Ashley Naranjo

Music Innovation: How Technology Has Helped to Change Music Over Time

<p>This topical collection provides examples of places, objects and people connecting music and STEM for a teacher professional development workshop hosted by the National Museum of African American History and Culture. During the workshop, teachers explored popular music, the creation of Hip-Hop and the technological advances needed for it to become what it is today. Teachers and students may use this collection as a springboard for the classroom. This collection is not comprehensive, but rather provides a launching point for research and study. #SmithsonianMusic</p>
Ashley Naranjo