The Smithsonian Learning Lab was created to connect students to over 2 million digital resources available from 19 Smithsonian museums and the Smithsonian National Zoo. Partnered with this is the adoption of new state and federal policies calling for curricula to include digital materials and resources, including open education resources.
But let’s not focus on the stuffy adult whatnot. There are fun and interactive ways students of all ages can enjoy learning with the Smithsonian Learning Lab! Students who don’t have financial or geographical access to Smithsonian resources can now replace a field trip with digital experiences.
1. Collections Are More Fun Than “Sit and Get”
Students can save, sort, edit and recall resources from the search function, creating their own collections. Building collections allows kids to learn based on their interests and can challenge them to make connections between disparate resources.
If students find interesting items outside of the Learning Lab, they can also add non-Smithsonian resources from any web link.
2. Personalized Learning
The new Sorting Activity Tool allows students to arrange items in a linear order or group items into buckets. This example asks participants to sort presidents by the year they were in office. Students find these activities more engaging than dull instructional alternatives.
3. The Variety Of Resources To Engage Students
From space exploration to insects, from old books to ruby slippers; there are over a million unique resources for students to explore.
4. This Is Not Yesterday’s Technology
The Learning Lab is continuously being improved with features added. New 3D objects allow students to move resources as if interacting with the physical items!