January 19, 2022

Smithsonian Learning Lab Goes Live, New Digital Platform Will Assist in Discovery and Usage of Digital Museum Resources

From the Smithsonian:

The Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access today debuts the Smithsonian Learning Lab, an online toolkit [free] that enables everyone to find, customize and share digital museum resources with others. The Learning Lab offers free digital access to more than a million diverse resources from across the Smithsonian along with simple-to-use tools to organize, augment and personalize these assets.

Many of the site’s features are designed to support the learning needs of teachers and students in K-12 classrooms, higher education and other blended learning environments. As users build and publish the resource collections and activities they have created, the Learning Lab becomes an ever-richer source of knowledge and ideas and a more collaborative community.

“Not everyone can come to the Smithsonian, but they can visit the Learning Lab to inspire and design their own digital learning experiences,” said Stephanie Norby, director of the center. “Teachers can use trusted, authentic resources and interactive tools to make lessons more relevant and compelling to students while meeting curriculum standards and fostering higher-order thinking skills.”

The launch follows months of beta testing and classroom pilots. Allegheny Intermediate Unit, which serves 42 suburban school districts in Pennsylvania’s Allegheny County and Pittsburgh Public Schools, piloted the Learning Lab with social studies teachers.


[Students] can easily find something of interest across disciplines through a visual exploration of artworks, artifacts and specimens, audio and video recordings, thousands of standards-aligned teaching materials and hundreds of exemplary learning collections created by Smithsonian museum educators and teachers from across the country. The website’s tools allow educators to organize the resources they find and those they upload from their own materials or third-party sites into collections. Then, they can customize and augment the resources with additional notes and tags, “hotspot” annotations, quizzes, assignments and other interactive learning activities. Educators and learners can keep their work private or share their creations with a colleague—or everyone—to use or adapt.

Read the Complete Announcement

Direct to Smithsonian Learning Lab

See Also: Much More About the Learning Lab in this Smithsonian Magazine Article

At the end of June at the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) Conference, an organization serving more than 100,000 educators committed to empowering connected learners, the Smithsonian is set to unveil a game-changing new tool, Smithsonian Learning Lab, designed to empower anyone to discover and use digital museum resources.


The digital tools allow you to search the collections, store your favorites for later, zoom in to access them in unprecedented detail, annotate with notes, call attention to details with pins and captions, upload resources from other organizations for cross pollination, share on social media, and even publish your work for others to see and use.

Read the Complete Article

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.