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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


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

What Makes You Say That?: Interpretation with Justification Routine with a Historical Photograph

This collection uses the Harvard Project Zero Visible Thinking routine, highlighting interpretation with justification. The strategy is paired with a photograph from the National Portrait Gallery. Once you have examined the photograph and answered the questions, view the original resource and the short video with a curator to check and see if your interpretation was correct. How does viewing the photograph with the museum label change your interpretation? Suggestions for teachers regarding visual clues for this image are in the "Notes to Other Users" section.
Ashley Naranjo

Student Activity: Exploring Water Quality

In this activity, students will learn about sources of pollution in nearby streams, lakes, and rivers, and then conduct their own test of water quality. They will take a sample of local water and determine its pH number—a measure of acidity or, its opposite, alkalinity. They will be able to identify point and non-point pollution sources in their community, and make connections between everyday human actions and water quality.
Ashley Naranjo

The Brown Sisters: Forty Years in Forty Portraits

This collection includes a unique series of portraits of four sisters. Every year, for forty years, one of the sisters' husbands captured the four women in a black and white photograph. A New York Times article introduces the project, paired with the forty photographs and some discussion questions considering elements of portraiture that are captured in these images.
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

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

Iconic Pittsburgh Images, Paired with Project Zero Routines

<p>Includes iconic people, places, and things associated with Pittsburgh. </p> <p>Prior to the workshop series, select one resource from this collection and conduct an adapted <strong>See-Wonder-Connect</strong> routine (What do you see in the resource that's worth noticing? What do you wonder about? What connections do you make to it?). You may consider sharing with a partner, using the <strong>Think-Pair-Share</strong> routine. Finally, <strong>Imagine if...</strong> you were using one of these resources in your own practice, what would you have students do with it? </p> <p>This collection was created for the <em>Smithsonian Learning Lab</em> workshops in Pittsburgh and the surrounding school districts. Funded by the Grable Foundation and in partnership with the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, the Quaker Valley School district and the Washington International School. <br /></p> <p>#<a href=";st_op=and&amp;item_type=collections">PZPGH</a></p>
Ashley Naranjo

Aral Sea: Exploring Change Over Time with Satellite Imagery

This teaching collection includes maps and satellite images, complemented by image interpretation guides and related magazine articles, for students to discover what natural causes and human impacts have had consequences for the Aral Sea. The Aral Sea has been a continuously shrinking body of water over the last 50 years after the rivers that fed into it were diverted by irrigation projects. Learn what you can discover by annotating change through satellite imagery.
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

Narrated Stories from Around the World

This topical collection includes fourteen narrated stories, many include visuals, as well. These stories could be used with young children to compare narrative arcs, identify key elements of storytelling, or simply for enjoyment of listening to short stories from around the world, including tales from the Chinese, Blackfoot, Ho Chunk, Cheyenne, Cree, Anikara, Iroquois, Painte, Popul Vuh, artist Romare Bearden's reimagined version of "Homer's Odyssey", Inka, Tlingit and Ghanaian (Asante, Ashanti).
Ashley Naranjo

Declaration of Independence Resources

A topical collection of resources related to the Declaration of Independence that provides context. (1) Jefferson's mobile desk, on which the Declaration was drafted, (2) the scene of its drafting, (3) the audio and text of the document, (4) a lesson plan focuses on how it came about, how it was designed and the compromises that were necessary, (5) an online exhibition featuring Thomas Paine and his pamphlet 'Common Sense', another resource on what led to the Declaration, and (6) a commemorative bandanna of the original document suggests how the Declaration was valued.
Ashley Naranjo