Created by the Smithsonian Institution, the world’s largest museum, education, and research complex, the Smithsonian Learning Lab (winner of the 2019 Webby Award for Best Education Website) is a free, interactive platform for discovering millions of authentic digital resources (images, videos, books, music recordings, articles, websites, and more) from across the Smithsonian’s museums, research centers, libraries, archives, and more. The site, accessible at learninglab.si.edu, allows teachers and students to use these resources to create and adapt personalized interactive instructional materials with online tools and share in the Smithsonian's expansive community of knowledge and learning.
To build the Learning Lab, the Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access spent more than a decade in active experimentation and research designed to better understand the needs of teachers, students, and museum educators and to understand how a place like the Smithsonian, one well-positioned to use technology to ensure equitable access to our resources, could better serve their needs. Since the launch in 2016, Learning Lab users, which include Smithsonian educators, curators, and scientists, but primarily consist of classroom teachers from across the United States and around the globe, have developed more than 40 thousand examples of how museum resources can be at the core of educational experiences. These examples range from experiments to true models for how museums can support digital learning in every classroom.
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