Funding, Grants & Awards

Smithsonian Learning Lab Receives Grant To Study Use of Digital Learning Resources

The Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access (SCLDA) has received $500,000 in funding from Carnegie Corporation of New York for a two-year study of teacher and student use of the Smithsonian Learning Lab's digital learning resources.

The Smithsonian Learning Lab is a new Web-based digital platform for educators and students to find and interact with more than 1 million digital learning assets and tools from the Smithsonian's collections, including digitized collection objects, videos, podcasts, lesson plans and project-based learning experiences. The Smithsonian Learning Lab, which launched in public beta this fall, will replace the Smithsonian's existing educational sites: Smithsonian Education, Smithsonian Education Conferences and Smithsonian Quests.

The research project will be conducted by the center in partnership with Mark Warschauer, professor of education and informatics and interim dean of the School of Education at the University of California, Irvine, and participating classroom teachers. The researchers will analyze how K-12 teachers and students use the Learning Lab "based on those who receive professional development and mentoring at pilot sites and those who access the material online independently without support," according to information from the Smithsonian.

The goals of the research project are to enhance the Smithsonian Learning Lab and "advance digital teaching and learning strategies throughout the education field," according to the Smithsonian. The project is also intended to build on the findings of previous studies to ensure that educators can locate and make effective use of online educational resources provided by cultural institutions and ensure those resources have the potential to improve student learning outcomes.

About the Author

Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at leilameyer@gmail.com.

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