Smithsonian Learning Lab: Help Me, to Help the Smithsonian, to Help Teachers, to Help Students Be More Successful

Web Crit
Darren Milligan, Smithsonian Institution, USA

The Smithsonian Learning Lab will be a web accessible digital platform (accessible through fixed and mobile web devices) that enables the discovery, by teachers and learners of all types, of millions of digital assets from the Smithsonian’s galleries, museums, libraries, and archives through faceted, targeted search, as well as serendipitous exploration. It will be a place rich with research-based tools that aid its users in the customization of its contents for personalized learning. It too, we hope, will become a community of users, both within the Smithsonian and across the world, who collaborate, create, and share with each other new resources for learning. The Learning Lab will be a place where users can:

– Search for and Store Smithsonian learning resources (lesson plans, etc.), learning experiences (currently called Quests), and digitized museum collections, videos, podcasts, etc.,
– Create and Share with learners and peers personalized collections and learning experiences they build using a variety of resources the Learning Lab will make available, or ones they upload and link to from other non-Smithsonian sources, and
– Participate in online learning experiences (activities made by Smithsonian educators, or those made by other users) themselves or with others (their students, for example).

The Smithsonian Learning Lab will launch in public beta in the Fall of 2015 at

I am hoping, through the MW crit process to inform the ongoing evolution of the project through the insightful lens of my peers, their knowledge of the field, and their own successes and failures.