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Breaking the Ice

Here’s a fresh way to start the school year: Use Smithsonian Learning Lab to get to know your students and introduce them to each other. The best part? You’ll also be incorporating digital media skills that will set the foundation for the school year!  My Smithsonian Closet: The idea behind this activity came from my colleague, Kate Harris. Students curate the details of an outfit based on images and artifacts from the Smithsonian’s collections.  From aluminum-coated space boots to …

Back to School

Think back to your own student days and you may remember anticipating the beginning of a new year. I am still nostalgic over the smell of new, freshly sharpened pencils; a colorful Trapper keeper to stay organized; and the lengthy list of all the novels we would be reading through the year.  As students, we might not have realized all the hard work our teachers were putting in during the summer months. Fast forward to this past summer when I had the great fortune to watch more than 180 tea…

Mr. Lee Goes to Washington

By: Ernie Lee, 2017 Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access- Council for Chief State School Officers Teacher Fellow; 2016 Georgia Teacher of the Year This summer, as the 2017 Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access (SCLDA) and Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) Teacher Fellow, I had the opportunity to research Manifest Destiny and the Indian Removal Act for a series of lessons I’m currently developing. Being in Washington, D.C., was a h…

If You Are Interested in Animals, You're in the Right Place

By: Michelle Smith, Associate Director for Digital Media, Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access When it comes to animals, the Smithsonian collections are amazingly rich and diverse, from fossils millions of years old to the creatures currently living at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo.  You can find examples of both—and many more—in the Smithsonian Learning Lab.  The following is a sample of resources and materials: Artistic Animals Ranging from artists’…

Teach Digital Curation with Depth

This blog post originally appeared on the International Society for Technology in Education's (ISTE) EdTekHub on May 23, 2017. By: Kate Harris, Learning Lab Coordinator, Pittsburgh, PA "It gets so much harder when you get down to the last few choices. I want to include them all." The student speaking had narrowed down 26 images of historical documents and artifacts related to the bombings at Hiroshima and Nagasaki to six that reflected her point of view, and now she had …