Leading Museums, Museum Leaders

Smithsonian Learning Lab

Homepage of the Smithsonian Learning Lab.

Centre for the Future of Museums, Coming Soon – the Smithsonian Learning Lab, 24 November 2015

Many museums are retooling their digital resources to create more meaningful experiences for visitors—both local as well as virtual. Earlier this year we highlighted one example—the Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh’s Innovation Studio. Today,  Darren Milligan (@darrenmilligan), who leads strategy for digital outreach at the Center for Learning and Digital Access at the Smithsonian Institution, previews another digital “lab” and invites you to test it out.

The Smithsonian Learning Lab project is the result of a major rethinking of how the digital resources from across the Smithsonian’s 19 museums, nine major research centers, the National Zoo, and more, can be used together, for learning. It is a big dream, an aspiration to make these resources more accessible and more useful to teachers, students, parents, and anyone on a lifelong quest to learn more. It hopes to ensure the Smithsonian is part of nationwide learning in ways that are joyful, personal, and shareable.

The Smithsonian, like many of our institutions, is in a period of change. The Smithsonian now receives many more digital than in-person visits, a trend likely to continue. We are committed to understanding and serving the needs of our diverse digital visitors and enabling them to access and use our content wherever they are. The Learning Lab is a platform for users to find and interact with Smithsonian digital content and learning resources. It is a place where users can:

  • Discover: Search from (and save for later) more than a million of the Smithsonian’s digital and digitized resources, including scientific specimens, artworks, historical artifacts, texts, as well as audio, video, lesson plans, activities, and more
  • Create: Adapt museum-created or user-created learning activities or create new personalized collections using the wide variety of resources available, or ones they upload or link to from other non-Smithsonian sources
  • Share: Share resources, collections, assignments, and quizzes with peers, colleagues, and students

Read more

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