Smithsonian reimagines digital resources for the classroom

The Smithsonian Institution is making it possible teachers to find, customize and share digital museum resources through its new online toolkit.

Created by the Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access, the Smithsonian Learning Lab provides free access to more than a million authentic resources from all Smithsonian’s museums, research centers and even the National Zoo. Users will find visuals of museum artwork, artifacts and specimens, audio and video recordings, teaching materials and learning collections put together by other teachers and Smithsonian educators.  

The site’s interactive tools help educators with organization, augmentation and customization. With its workflow tools, users can upload materials from third-party sites and combine them with resources found through the Lab to build collections. They can customize and enhance resources with notes, tags and annotations to create interactive learning materials and activities. Educators can publish and share the collections and activities they create, or keep their work private.

According to the Smithsonian, the available teaching materials are standards-aligned and designed to support curriculums for K-12 classrooms and higher education environments. The tools were beta tested and piloted in real public school classrooms before their recent release.

About the Author

Amanda Ziadeh is a former reporter/producer for GCN.

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