Smithsonian Learning Lab
Explore and learn from over a million exciting resources.
I was never quite a textbook learner, especially when it came to science or math. I always needed real-life examples, or more tangible evidence in order to truly grasp the concepts we were learning in class – which is why I loved the few visits we made to museums. To me, seeing the ideas we talked about in class come to life made them a lot more understandable. Unfortunately, we only had so much access to educational museums in South Florida, so I didn’t get this opportunity as often as I would have liked. Having access to world-class museums from anywhere in the world is something that I never thought I would experience. But the Smithsonian is making this once outlandish idea a reality with The Smithsonian Learning Lab.
The Smithsonian Learning Lab is a beautifully-designed platform that makes over one million materials from across the Smithsonian’s 19 museums, nine major research sites, and the National Zoo attainable to anyone with access to the internet. You can search to find and explore resources such as photos, videos, and text, and then create personalized collections of the materials. You can even further personalize the collections by adding your own notes and tags, and incorporating your own discussion questions, features that turn the site into an invaluable tool for educators and students. Collections can then be shared using social networks, which speaks to The Learning Lab’s mission to build a "global community of learners who are passionate about adding to and bringing to light new knowledge, ideas, and insight."
What’s exciting to me about The Learning Lab is that it offers a different type of learning. It isn’t strictly structured, but rather allows you to learn about what you're interested in and allows you to learn in a way that works for you. To get started, check out their guides.